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Drama: narrative pedagogy and socially challenged children
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:40 authored by Melanie Peter
Melanie Peter, Senior Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood at Anglia Ruskin University, argues that the ability to engage in narrative stems from early interactive play formats and is essential for perceiving patterns and sequences in life – the fabric of social understanding. Developing themes set out in her earlier work, this article presents a rationale and developmental model for drama as narrative pedagogy. Whether narrative impairment is a cause or consequence of their difficulties, hard-to-reach or socially challenged children – exemplified by those with autism – characteristically show a limited spontaneous play repertoire, which necessarily hampers their development. However, through a play-tutoring approach in drama, especially by the teacher-in-role, significant gains may be noted. Melanie Peter uses case studies to illustrate an emerging triad of competencies that contribute to enhancing social understanding: more effective communication, greater sensitivity in interaction and creative problem-solving. The generative pedagogical dimensions support a developmental framework for using drama to explore cultural values and issues embedded in stories, towards greater narrative identity and more effective participation in a social world.
Publication titleBritish Journal of Special Education