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 engages young people in contemporary social issues. Tegan has also collaborated and performed with award-winning theatre company PuppetSoup to deliver puppetry workshops and tour their new bilingual show, ‘Arthur the Bear King’, to rural and socially deprived areas of Wales. Tegan is currently working with The Blue Datto Foundation as a Project Coordinator to expand and develop their interactive road safety education program to young people and communities throughout New South Wales, Australia.