Training Workshop for Early Childhood Educators “Dramatisation of Children’s Stories: Basics in Theatre”
On Saturday and Sunday, 17th and 18th August, 2019, the Educational Research and Development Programme at A.M. Qattan Foundation organised a training workshop within the Professional Development Programme for Early Childhood Educators entitled “Dramatisation of Children’s Stories: Basics in Theare”. The workshop was led by actress and theatre director Fida Zeidan and attended by 30 educators at the Foundation’s headquarters in al-Tireh, Ramallah.
Why do we need school theatre? What tools can educators employ in theatre? The workshop was initiated to address these questions through actual practice and experience. Theatre does not necessarily require a large platform as a corner in a classroom with actors and viewers can be employed, while the need for theatre in children’s education is essential to enable them to navigate the world through listening and building a sense of themselves as people and beings. Theatre is an important tool for a child to builds confidence and social relations among colleagues, as well as highlight issues of interest.
During the workshop, educators were introduced to different theatre instruments and performing exercises related to the body, sound and space; as tools to create harmony between body and space, actors and the various ways to employ props.
Participants also read a story entitled ‘Faksousa’ by the author Salman Natour, analysed it’s elements and worked in groups to build scenes of the story as well as exhibit them sequentially. This was followed by an integrated reading process where the story morphed into a play in which all the participants performed different roles.
“In our kindergarten, there is always a missing or untapped angle, which is theatre. Today I learnt how to employ this angle and how to link the story and theatre as a unit” commented Sahar Jahan, educator at Al Nokhba Kindergarten in Hebron.
“Theatre is present in every picture, story and event in our daily lives, and we must bring it forward in front of our children to see it clearly, and then present it to an audience to send that message.” added Fatima Badha from Al Baraem Kindergarten in Deir Ammar.
“It is important for educators to have the right tools to incorporate theatre and “art in education” strategies in their classrooms, however only a good educator can utilise these tools in the most effective and meaningful way regardless of how large or small the toolkit is” commented Programme Director, Malek Rimawi. The educator’s role is vital, and to be a good educator one must experiment, search and explore and add their own style. This workshop provided each group of educators new tools that will help them expand their skills.
“A.M. Qattan Foundation was and still is a cultural platform in support of Palestinian identity and existence, and we need this space to be our theatre, where we find ourselves and offer others, in return, what was given to us.” commented Zeidan.