Takahiro Watanabe: How can drama change learning of both teachers and children at school?

Introducing drama into school curriculum can impact how teachers learn during in-service training programs at school as well as how children learn in lessons. Not just discussing lesson plans or events in lessons but in trying out activities children experience changes the way teachers view lessons and interact with each other

Introducing drama into school curriculum can impact how teachers learn during in-service training programs at school as well as how children learn in lessons. Not just discussing lesson plans or events in lessons but in trying out activities children experience changes the way teachers view lessons and interact with each other. In this case, it can be said that the teachers take the role of not only a character but also a child. Just as children explore stories more deeply and vividly through putting themselves into a character’s shoes, teachers explore lessons more deeply and vividly through putting themselves into a child’s shoes. The author engages in a project of a primary school in Japan where teachers are encouraged to use drama in their lessons. Teachers in the school experience drama activities of a lesson in a pre- and post-lesson session. Achievements and problems of the project will be reported.

Takahiro Watanabe:
Associate professor of Graduate School of Education, Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan. He received his M.A. in Education in 2002 at Kyoto University. His major is curriculum and instruction, drama education and teacher education. His research theme is how learning at school can be expanded into learning making full use of body sensation and imagination. He is a teacher educator as well as a researcher. He leads a teacher education program centering on dialogue-based review sessions of mock lessons so that students can deepen reflection and develop culture of dialogue. He collaborates with in-service teachers and formed a study group “Manabino Kukan Kenkyukai” (Learning Space Study Group) for exploring the use of drama in learning.

Tegan Arazny (Facilitator & Documenter)
Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that promotes Young People’s expression and engagement through Puppetry and Theatre practices. As well as collaborating and performing with ERTH Visual & Physical Inc and Welsh theatre company PuppetSoup, she has co-directed and worked alongside Shop Front Arts Co-Op Junior Ensemble of 8-14-year old’s to create the original devised production, The Unknown. Tegan is currently working as Teaching Artist for Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘School Drama’. This is a Teachers Professional Development Program designed to improve teaching and learning by modelling the use of drama-based strategies with quality children's literature.