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CHILDREN’S THEATRE AND THE POTENTIALS FOR IMPROVING SOCIAL ETIQUETTE
TABLE OF CONTENT
Significant of study
Scope of the study
Table of content
List of table
- definition of drama and education
1.1 major areas of drama for children
1.2 the importance of drama in education
1.3 advantages and disadvantages of drama
1.4 importance of child’s education
2.0 origin of drama in education
2.1 drama and education
2.2 nature and instinct of children
3.3 research instrument
- presentation of data
4.1 analysis and interpretation of data
- discussion of results
5.1 summary of findings
5.4 suggestion for further study
The problem of low standard of education in primary school in the country has been of serious concern to the Government. Several attempts are being made to improve the standard of primary education.
This project is geared towards presenting the facts that would be of great help in improving the standard of primary education.
Chapter one of this project covers the Definition of Drama and education, Major Areas of Drama for children, the important Role of Drama in Education, Advantages and Disadvantages of Drama, the Importance of Child’s Education. While chapter two covers, origin of Drama in Education, Drama and education, nature and instincts of Children.
Chapter three deals with the Methodology, Population, Sample, research Instrument and procedure. Chapter four covers, Presentation of Data, Analysis of interpretation of Data. While chapter five is the Discussion of Results, a summary of findings, Conclusion, recommendation and Suggestion for further study.
This project would serve as a springboard for more research non children’s theatre and Education.
The education of man’s marks the major difference between man and animal. Man is said to be social animal because he undergoes the process of education. This is why education is given to appropriately all over the world by Government for human development.
The falling standard of education in The World countries (underdeveloped countries) has been a bane in the society. Different educational systems has been introduced in these countries, particularly Nigeria by Government in order to raise the standard of education, but there is still much room to be desired in this regard.
To address the problem of low standard of education in the country, there is need to go down to the basics which focus on primary education as the foundation for human education. The educational form of drama has all these years been neglected. The people are mostly interested in the entertainment form of drama.
In recent times, experts and Governments have come to recognize the important role of drama in education. This as a result of many studies that have been done regarding the vital role of drama in human education and development.
Unfortunately, of all the studies have been done on drama an education, the teaching of drama as a subject in primary school has been ignored by all concerned.
It is to this end that this research work is very important and requires immediate attention. This work is aimed at furnishing all the facts that would support the justification for the teaching of drama in Rivers state primary schools.
- DEFINITION OF DRAMA AND EDUCATION
Drama derived from Greek word ‘’Dramenon’’ meaning ‘’Doing’’ can be defined as an enactment of a life experience by performance on a stage for appreciation by the audience. This definition is centred onstage performances which is in line with the dictionary meaning, stating drama as ‘’play for the theatre, radio or television; composition, presentation and performance of such (A.S. Horby; 1974: p.263).
These definitions tends to ignore the educational aspect of drama as playwriting and other forms of drama like dance-drama and pantomimic dramatization. Also in the African context, Ben Ejiofor in his Dramatic Literature note, defined drama as ‘’a story in dialogue form of human conflicts, projected by means of speech on stage to an audience (EJiofor: 1989). Ejiofor in his definition, just like others, excluded or rather ignored dance drama and pantomimic dramatization. In African Drma, there is no conflict or resolution of conflict. Perhaps Ejjiofor’s mind was focused on English drama, as defined in chambers Dictionary; thus ‘’a story actors (Macdonald 1980; p392).
Education covers spheres of human existence in life, this resulting to many different definition of education encompassing all human endeavour. The Oxford Advanced Leaners defines education thus;
Systematic training and instruction (especially of the young in the school college etc.). ‘’ (1974; p.276)
The New Encyclopaedia Britanica, (Vol. 4) defined education As the discipline that is concerned in this context, mainly with the methods of teaching and learning in schools or school-like environments as opposed to various informal means of socialization’’
According to Encyclopaedia American vol. 9, education is ‘’the name given to that science or branch of study that deals historically and contemporaneously with the principles and practice of teaching and learning’’.
Herbert Read in his elaborate definition of education tires to give the relationship between education and drama, drama and theatre in education. The definition runs thus;
Education is the teaching of children and adults to make sounds images movements tools and utensils.
A man who can make such thing is well educated man. If he can make good sounds, he is a good speaker or a good musician; he can make good images, he is good designer, if he make good movements a good dancer.
1.1 MAJOR AREAS OF DRAMA FOR CHILDREN
Drama for the young peoples is classified into four major areas. These four areas involves children dramatic activities and each of the different forms has its own methodology. The forms are as follows:
- Creative dramatics: it is an activity that is concerned with the child’s imaginative and creative development, through the use of various physical and improvise drama exercise; creative dramatic aspires to promote the child’s ability at self expression.
- Children’s Theatre: This area of drama is an organized theatre for children, in which adults or adult and children perform for children’s audience. In children’s theatre, an audience is always required whereby children enact stories learnt through rehearsal with a script, co-ordinated by a leader.
- Recreational Drama: Recreational drama like children’s theatre is performed for an audience, but unlike children’s theatre it involves children performing for their fellow children and adult audience emphasis is on both the process and their product. The actors in recreational drama know that there is an audience to please.
- Educational Drama: Also known as curricular drama is designed around educational institution, which is in two dimension.
- Drama as a method: Is creative dramatics, being the use of drama as a method to stimulate education or knowledge.
- Drama as a curriculum subject or discipline: This dimension of drama is considered as a discipline (curriculum subject) of its own, with its own academic content to be student like other subjects.
1.2 THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF DRAMA IN EDUCATION
Education is classified into two basic modes; which are formal and informal, and drama plays a part in both. Informal education takes place accidentally (that is before school starts, outside the influence of school and when schooling has been completed); while formal education takes place in the school (that is the curricular education).
Drama is rooted in play is the most important element for a very young child, the mother plays with child and child plays alone. Psychologist has agreed that play exposes the child to the exploration of things through touching, testing, smelling, looking, listening and manipulating. Thus the child learns the nature of the material world, like developing physical skills, crawling, walking, running, jumping, dancing. The children learn to develop the ability to understand and use language through listening to stories, talking to themselves, their parents and toys etc.
Children are very imitative and playful, and learn a lot through play and imitation at home and elsewhere. These two aspects of children are prominently expressed in drama. When children are playing, they assumed certain roles as parents teachers, learners etc. and through these role they learn a lot, it has been established that children assimilate more through drama, than through other formal ways of teaching, because the dramatic approach is more concrete, immediate, economical and have a way of arresting the sense of touch, taste, hearing, smelling and sight. Drama also exposes the children to such values honesty, hard work, respect for elders and parents, obedience.
Peter Slade clearly portrays play as an inborn and vital part of young life in his book Child Drama. He categorized play into ‘’personal’’ and ‘’projected’’ paly. In personal play, children begin to learn their future roles by watching and imitating parents and other people they come in contact with, for example assuming the role of mother, father, king. In ‘projected’ play, they use objects and symbols, for example a pebble becomes a motorcar, a stick becomes gun.
1.3 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DRAMA
The following advantages are derivable from drama:
- Skill Development: for skill development, creative dramatic is the aspect of drama that is mostly used. Creative dramatics is one of the best methods of child’s education. It helps the child to acquire such skills for problem solving, increases awareness, concentration, imaginative impulses, and it also develops the control of the physical self. Creative dramatics involves play making, which is acting out stories and seen without a script.
With the teaching of drama in primary school, which involves creative dramatics, the child at an early age develops the skill for acting, and from this, the child’s talent in acting would thereby be discovered.
Many people may argue why bother about a child’s talent in acting at primary school, it is better at the tertiary (University) level where the main things are taught. This may be true, but when the problem of parents dictating a child’s career in life and ignoring the child’s intellectual ability, and the resulted effect in the society is considered, then drama (acting) would be appreciated the more.
Apart from this, in adult theatre, which also involves children, the children to be used can be selected from the primary school and this can only be possible if drama is taught. This will also reduce or criminate selecting of children for adult theatre an exclusive reserve of the rich and wealthy parents, whom their children attend private school or live abroad. Financial gain that can accrue from dramatic activities of children (like recreational drama) in primary school would also assist thee parents in their children’s education. Children talented in acting can also gain scholarship from Government, private establishment or governmental bodies.
(b) Role of Drama in Teaching: The teaching of children is a very difficult task, because of their less mental development. As a result of this, many avenues are explored in teaching the children and one of these is drama.
For the teacher, drama helps to make the children understand what is being taught, which is dramatization. Dramatization (drama) is also applied as method of having one or more children act out human situations or stories in the presence of the class in order to vivify the subject studied. Drama on its own helps to develop the children’s imaginative ability enabling them to have concentration to understand other subjects they are taught in school.
According to the international Encyclopaedia of Education (Drama and Education) if drama is taken in tis widest sense as action, it will include all forms of imitation which find expressed by means of action. Thus a large proportion of the educational development of animals and human beings which springs fro mthe ‘’play’’ impulse is cognate to the drama.
The little child who satisfies the ‘’make believe’’ desire is continuously in the domain of the drama. The action of games of the Kindergarten are profoundly dramatic. All the imitative worlds of gesture and assumed speech, and accordingly all recitation and declamation, verges on the dramatic and easily passes over it. Many forms of music, dancing, dress and decoration, implying imitation through actions, assume elemental qualities of the drama (Cosmo Edition: 1990; p. 361)
The disadvantages associated with drama are as follow:
(a). Acquisition of Bad Habit: Due to the imitative nature of drama, children tend to imitate bad habits through drama. In recognition of this ugly side of drama the International Encyclopaedia of Education Refers to plato’s fear of the influence of drama on children. It state thus:
The boys were, as plato feared in the Republic likely to become vulgarized by the realism of their dramatic methods. He was keen to the educational value of the drama. He realizes that the boy gradually becomes the thing he imitates, for better or worse, and he therefore insists that in all artistic pursuits the boy must only be given free scope for that which is calculated to draw out the best in human nature.
(b) Wrong views of Drama: Many people are against drama due to the misconception that drama is a field that encourages immoralities and there by viewing it with scepticism that its practitioners are not serious people. In the country, many still have the wrong impression of actors having the character they portray in drama. They prefer to watch others act rather than have their own children or close relatives.
These disadvantage of drama be it as it may, are problems attributed to drama which solutions are being proffered, in order to enhance its educational function.
The international Encyclopedia of Education thus:
Imitation in which impression is involved where the reader, and still more the actor identifies himself with the character represented, that is precisely what is meant by dramatic, for plato it is also so vivid a form of experience that it must be restricted to such subject matter, and such types of characters as make for the betterment of human souls. It is this extremely vivid appreciation of the educative aspect of drama that gave extremely vivid appreciation of the educative aspect of drama that gave rise to the function of the much-challenged censor. Thus, drama was this recognized as having an absorbingly important educational aspect in classical Greece Cosmo Edition: 1962: p, 361)
1.4 IMPORTANCE OF CHILD’S EDUCATION
The importance of child’s education cannot be over emphasized as all adult have passed through this stage (child hood) to become adults, and for any person to be a matured adult, education in one form or the other is necessary. With the dawn of modern civilization in the world now, the society has come to realise that to equip the children for their independent adult hood is to give them sound education.
Children are the future of the society, and as they work grow up to fill the positions that the old people (their parents) would be vacating, incapacitated by old age which is inevitable. To this end the children need education which is the best the society at large can offer them in preparation for their future position in life.
Thus International Encyclopaedia of Education clearly points out the importance of children’s education, thus;
‘’the necessity of education rest upon of few facts. These are the difference of level between the mature and immature members of the society and the facts of birth and death. Since it is certain that all the mature members of a society will die; it is obvious that rearing the new born members in such a way that will appropriate its functions and sustain it value. ‘’ (Cosmo Edition: 1990; p. 398).
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