A Dramatic Intervention

McCarthy, Kate (2008) A Dramatic Intervention. [Conference Proceedings]


In this presentation, I will discuss the challenges of teaching Drama to the first year students of Early Childhood Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). The BA in Early Childhood Studies is now in its third year. Drama is an elective module chosen by students in the second semester. The broad aims of the Drama module are to develop the creative imagination of the students and to explore the uses of Drama, through practical workshops and group work, for the early childhood setting.I am an advocate of practice-as-research being equal to the more traditional writing practices that exist at third-level institutions; therefore, my research in semester two was primarily, practice based. I knew I needed a ‘real’ experience within which I could try out the Drama games I was teaching at third-level and had assumed would work in any setting. Thus, I picked up my workshop box, leaving the comfort of the Drama studio, and headed out into a local crèche facility to try out Drama games and exercises. I facilitated workshops for two to three year olds and three to four year olds over a period of six weeks, an experience that was hugely beneficial and enjoyable for me as a practitioner.In my presentation, I will review the planning and facilitation of the workshops with the Drama students at WIT before I commenced the workshops in the crèche, illustrating my discussion with some photographic evidence and workshop artefacts. I will share the challenges I faced in the crèche and my own learning as a result of the experience. I will also outline the various changes in my facilitation and in the Drama students as I integrated my research findings into the third-level classroom.

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