Jerash: A.M. Qattan Foundation concludes the 13th round of the Drama in Education Summer School
Ramallah – (A.M. Qattan Foundation):
The Drama in Education Summer School, organised by the Educational Research and Development Programme (ERDP) concluded its thirteenth round in the Jordanian city of Jerash, with the participation of 96 teachers from Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Sudan.
The School, led by instructors from Palestine and the United Kingdom, included 300 training hours divided into five cumulative courses within three educational levels; two courses for first-year students, two courses for second-year students and one course for graduates.
This year, Drosos Foundation contributed part of the funding within the framework of a long-term future cooperation with the AMQF, while the Madrasti Initiative and the Amman National School (from Jordan) partially covered the cost of their teachers’ participation in the Summer School.
The School activities began on the 3rd of July 2019, and included - in addition to the morning training programme which focusses on Drama in Education- an extensive evening programme which featured a screening of the Iranian film “Children of Heaven”, an artist talk with Jihad al-Ameri about his artistic experience, and several workshops led by AMQF staff; “The Story as a Lanscape and a Surrounding Environment” was led by AMQF researcher Ra’fat As’ad, and “From Novel to Script” was presented by Dima Saqfalhait, Senior Coordinator in the Arts in Education Track, in addition to a workshop on mask making. Richard Kieran, Head teacher of Woodrow First School and Nursery and one of the School’s instructors also spoke to the teachers about his experience working in an elementary school that employs the drama in education approach in all grades.
This year’s Summer School stood out for its distinguished multiculturalism and the nationalities of the participants in the first two levels. Iman Hamed, a participating teacher from Egypt said, ‘I believe my experience at the Summer School has been different from any other training I have previously received. It has been primarily a human experience, in addition to being an opportunity for knowing, learning and practicing.’
Her first-level colleague, Nihal Alsayyed Mohammed Ben Mohammed from Egypt, added: “Drama gives us an opportunity to review, critique and discuss all what is taken for granted as immutable facts.”
Hamza al-Oweini, a first-year Tunisian participant, commented on his understanding of the Drama in Education approach after his participation in the Summer School, “It’s an artistic medium that challenges the stereotypes around teachers and students which portray their relationship as hierarchal that does not allow students to create, innovate and explore,’
He added, ‘What attracted me the most in this experience is that drama gives equal opportunity to all children to take part in activities. It is one of the most effective pedagogies for helping shy and introverted children who have educational difficulties to overcome these obstacles through creating a sense of responsibility and determination.”
Reflecting on his experience, Jamal Nasser, a second-year participant from Jerusalem said: “I always said that my first experience in the Drama in Education Summer School was like the half sandwich my mum put in my bag every morning, which always made me crave for more. However, in my second year, I understood that the second half of this experience was me, my thoughts, experiences and beliefs which complement the first half to create a new painting I did not realise existed in my life.”
The concluding ceremony included a speech by Wasim Kurdi, Academic Director of the Summer School who spoke about the experience of the school in its thirteenth year. Kurdi said: “All thanks and appreciation to all participants and to the team that is trying to share and shape those gifts with you, this team is our gift to you. As for our gifts from you, we do not want them ordinary or simple; we want precious gifts, valuable and priceless. Those will be the sparks we see in the eyes of your children, which is more than enough for us.”
The certificates were given to 22 third-year graduates of the summer school and a short video of the graduates speaking about their experience was screened.
The participating teachers expressed their enthusiasm for returning to their schools to implement what they have learned in the courses.
The teaching staff for this round included Wasim Kurdi, Malik Rimawi, Moatasem Atrash, Vivien Tannous and Ra’fat As’ad from Palestine; Richard Kieran, Maggie Hilson and Ian Yeoman from the United Kingdom.