I have just finished reading Boal, Bausch, Lecoq and Meyerhold editions in the Routledge Performance Practitioners series. Four different books. I think they are brilliant resources for the teacher and also any IBDP theatre student looking to be introduced to their ideas as well as simple exercises. They give a good overview to the context of for each practitioner and simple exercises that you could apply to your classroom. FIVE star from me.
Arts education and Creativity
Arts education provides a platform to develop and apply creativity. The
importance of creativity and creative thinking in education cannot be denied.
David Skorton (2009:para 2) states that the arts are “disciplines [which] nurture our
creative instincts”. Creativity requires divergent and convergent thinking. (Bronson
& Merryman: 2010: Para 2; Sternberg: 2006:87) These are the basic processes of the
creation of arts. Through creative activities, students transform ideas and combine
them to create new pieces of artistic work. An example from this International
School is in Grade Four, where small groups of students take a poem and transform
it into a piece of instrumental music that demonstrates mood.
Researchers (Craft: 2002 and Elliot: 1971 cited in Craft: 2003:118; Robinson: 2009:
57) view imagination and creativity as separate concepts. Robinson (Ibid) believes
imagination is an internal process and that underpins every unique human
achievement. It is this internal process which allows us to create. When observing
a Kindergarten class in ‘free play’ in kitchen space at school, the children exhibited
both imaginative and creative play. This relates to Egan’s theory, that we can only
construct worlds we already know. (quoted in Bergmann: 1998: 270) This is also
demonstrated in the role playing of children in Drama with Grade Five students
created an entire ‘news’ show based on their learning about weather and
the body system. There was a funny weather segment, an interview, a
nutrition specialist, commercial with healthy snacks that the students had
created. They role played the different parts.
(M. Ostiguy: Interview: 2010)
Why study the Arts
This is part of a paper I have written:
“The arts are not mere diversions from the important business of education; they are essential resources.” (Eisner quoted in PYP: 2007:128). The Arts provide the skill base and are an integral resource, which allows students to developing both imagination and creativity. Arts education provides a platform to develop these skills, which are a key component of 21st century development. (Pink: 2005; Robinson: 2009) Imagination and creativity within the arts are interlinked with the artistic process. This artistic process provides students with an opportunity to explore, transform and utilise higher order thinking skills. This discussion paper will examine the literature and the importance of the arts for young children within the context of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program in an international school.
Numerous scholars perceive the arts to be beneficial in developing young children’s’ creativity and imagination. With the revision of Bloom’s taxonomy (Anderson and Krathwohl: 2001), creation now features as the highest order thinking skill. The ability to create a new product or point of view is an inherent aspect of the arts. The theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner & Hatch: 1989) also impacts creativity in the arts in terms of its cultural manifestation. Studies (Burton, Horowitz & Abeles: 1999: 91; Kennedy: 2006: Para 2; Saubern: 2009: 12 & 13; Smith: 2009: Para 2; Smithrim & Upitis: 2005:120) indicate that students immersed in the arts achieved highly in terms of creativity, imagination and originality.
Drama/Theatre/Dance teacher for 30 years; Currently teaching at International School Manila.
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