Gaza: Child Centre – Gaza concludes activities of the Drama in a Learning Context programme for Autumn 2018 cycle
Gaza – (A. M. Qattan Foundation):
The Child Centre – Gaza (CCG) / A. M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF) has recently concluded activities of the Drama in a Learning Context programme. Launched in September 2018 in the context of the Autumn 2018 cycle, the programme brought together 25 female students from the Al-Zaityoun Mixed School A.
The programme worked with the students, using methods and approaches that were open to possibilities and experiences, which captured their ideas and engaged them in a typical exploratory, reflective learning experience. Imaginary positions were created with a view to exploring real life experiences. In this context, world and local stories were present in these encounters, providing an enabling environment to explore and employ many human issues to build drama structures and achieve the learning objective. Among many stories on attitudes, Little Red Riding Hood and The Philosopher's Shoe deserve a special mention.
These encounters furnished an opportunity to participants to engage in a new development context. Students demonstrated a new potential after they were placed in learning contexts, which they did not experience before. Through the drama activities presented to them, students managed to live with dramatic action and draw a link between different areas of experience by combing imagination and reality. This helped the students see the traditional, the familiar, and the realities they composed in a new, but different, way. Accordingly, Little Red Riding Hood, her grandmother, and the wolf were called into question in the students’ narratives. The dialogue exposed the three characters on the stage in front of the audience. Each character began to defend herself or himself and state the reasons for her or his behaviour. Importantly, all three characters showed the human aspect inside them.
The Philosopher’s Shoe, which is also part of the school curriculum, reflected a subjective experience which participants went through. In this activity, the trainer paid attention to assisting students to explore their own concepts of the meanings of good and evil, mind and wisdom, and unselfishness. In addition to raising questions, explicit and implicit answers helped students review their perceptions of these concepts.
In role plays and criticism of actions, it was important to use the mantle of the expert as a drama technique to come up with a common vision and change some attitudes. Cleanliness, including all its forms, provided a rich subject that students worked on. This activity invested student’s enthusiasm and ability to put themselves in a position of responsibility. This way, they had to change society and shoulder the responsibility for assuming this role.
On her participation in the programme, Eman al-Zughbi said: “After I participated in the programme, I have been able to express my ideas and feelings in new ways. It also helped me understand some school subjects by drama performance.”
Teacher Reem al-‘Awour believed that the AMQF Drama in Learning Context programme promoted and enriched many concepts, which were difficult to introduce to students by traditional methods, most notably concepts relating to attitudes. Drama also presents lessons in a creative, flexible, and untraditional ways.
Ghassan Abu Libdeh, Drama in a Learning Context trainer at the CCG, stated that participants and their compassion for work provided a fertile ground. Students experimented many ideas with their bodies, imaginations, and feelings, enabling them to produce drama performances in this experience, which took place over a period of two months. Students presented these performances to their parents in the presence, and with participation, of the school management.