Posted by: theatrecapital | July 11, 2007

Teacher Training Workshop

Script Peoples Theatre in association with Christ College, Bangalore is conducting a 3 day workshop in using theatre as a training methodology in the classroom on 16, 17 & 18 August. This workshop is open to any teacher who is interested in including theatre as one of the teaching tools in the arsenal. Trainers working with people, and anybody else who is interested in working children or adults can be a part of this workshop. The workshop will concentrate on an introduction to theatre as a training tool and will cover various theatre methodologies which participants will be guided in developing. It will culminate with a short play that participants will enact on the final day.

This is a residential workshop and is priced at Rs.3,000/= only (inclusive of food & stay).  The workshop will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m on the above mentioned days. On successful completion of the workshop, Christ College will be giving certificates to the participants.

Posted by: theatrecapital | June 22, 2007

Sciencing all the way for Pre-University students

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My long lost friend Rebecca suddenly called me and said she would like to use theatre for teaching Physics. I needed to be truthful to myself. I’m not one who excelled or was interested in science, but innovation, theatre etc are words that turn me on.

As I sat to listen to her my thoughts were racing. How can science and theatre go together? What will impress the science in me? As I continued listening to her and her science co-ordinator Deepa, one word caught my attention. Deepa was trying to explain that the new buzzword in the science world is Sciencing. I realized I had found the missing link to my scientific theatre temperament. We decided to work on a presentation called Sciencing all the way.

Now that I was hooked on – my next logical question was – What do you want me to do? I was told by Rebecca and Deepa that the Pre-University science students (more than 900 in number) needed to be awakened to the magic of science with a 10-minute presentation during the inauguration of the scheduled Science forum.

As a first step we identified 60 students who were willing to join in this scientific and dramatic journey. During the first discussion itself we decided that it would be interesting to inspire the students with the life and stories of Indian scientists. We did a Google search and came out with five names of Indian scientists. Next we got all the 60 students to think on how would they approach this concept dramatically. We were flooded with ideas and the spark of science was lit for these 60 assembled students.

From then on the ideas flowed from concept to execution. My colleagues Arif, Umesh and Geetha grasped the concept with open arms. A Kalam actor emerged to voice the scientific temperament of the nation. Ramanujam came to life as numbers falling from the roof of the stage. Homi J Bhaba’s story was portrayed as a story told by students as sub-atomic particles. Sir C V Raman came colourfully with students creating the effect of an 8 feet prism dispersing white light into its magical seven colours.

Subrahmanyam Chandrashekar’s story was narrated by twinkling stars created by girls with starry gloves. Vikram Sarabhai was elevated as a rocket scientist as students formed a human pyramid with an Indian flag. The Kalam actor exhorted the audience to take up the challenge of Vision 2020. 15 minutes of stage time whisked by.

Mr N Mukunda eminent scientist from IISc – the chief guest for the occasion was pleasantly surprised by the presentation. 900 students watched the presentation amidst claps of awe. The scientific temperament of the gathering was awakened.

A special song written by Rajesh P I for the occasion brought the curtains down. I suppose all readers can try giving a tune to the same song and enhance their musical ability the sciencing way.

We are sciencing
Living, Breathing, Sharing, Dreaming
Fluids, Compounds, Mixtures
Space, Time and Relativity
The Cell, Nucleus and Membranes
From Pi to infinity
We are sciencing all the way.

A fallen flower, a broken branch
The rising sun
The enveloping monsoon,
Home made chocolates
And lots of fun
We are sciencing all the way.

In a sciencing world
Where India is finally poised
Globally recognised
Our I.T is king
In Health care we’re emerging
In steel second to none
Our infrastructure booming
Our skylines changing
This is our century – the great Indian century
We are sciencing all the way.

- Sibu Vaz

Posted by: theatrecapital | June 19, 2007

Theatre-in-Education in Rajkot

We were invited by the management of St. Mary’s Public School, Rajkot to introduce teachers to new & innovative teaching methodologies. The Principal, Fr. James, hoped that the teachers would start implementing these methodologies and make the classroom very exciting for the students.

The teachers comprised newcomers to people who had about a decade’s experience in teaching. They were an extremely warm and friendly bunch and eager to learn. Three of us, Sibu Vaz, C.N.Soundarya and Rajesh.P.I conducted the sessions. We guided the teachers with a couple of introductory theatre games that were focused in getting them to shed their inhibitions and build a level of mutual trust with their fellow participants. Then we moved onto teaching methodology specific exercises.

 Teachers experienced the exercises first hand and then worked together in groups to see how they could implement them in their classroom. The results were very encouraging. We could see that there was considerable progress in their thinking. Various material were given to them to aid them in the classroom. This was followed by a demonstration session where they were asked to demonstrate the new methodologies vis-a-vis their subject in the classroom. Constructive feedback was given to enable them to learn from their experience and to be more effective in the classroom.

Posted by: theatrecapital | June 4, 2007

Using Theatre to teach Maths & Science

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As part of an ongoing teacher training workshop, we conducted a 3-hour theatre intervention for Science & Maths High School teachers recently. For the teachers, it was a unique exercise. Their objective was to see how they could make their classes interesting and facilitate greater learning for the students.

During the course of the session the teachers were guided in preparing one chapter on Cells and the other on Factorization, using theatre techniques. All in all, for the teachers it was an opportunity to see the benefits of Theatre-in-Education in a nutshell.

- Rajesh.P.I

Posted by: theatrecapital | May 25, 2007

When the teachers got their act together

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           The greatest block to innovation teaching is the teacher. The attempt of the teacher-training program was to reveal this truth and then lay the path for exploration. When the TIE teacher-training program was conceived a few years back it was meant to show the actual value of it in the educational system. Participants had to come once a month, get inputs and try it out in their area of teaching. The results of what worked and what didn’t work are then brought back to the training table to be discussed. This follow up and presentation were monitored every month for a six-month period.  The program culminates with a teaching practice and performance by teachers and students.

 

          The TIE fast track program was an evolution of this concept especially for participants who are not able to devote the time. It was also an opportunity for people from outside Bangalore to come and grasp TIE methods for teaching and training.

           

            The 16 participants of the May 2007 batch were a mix of teachers from Rajkot, trainers from the corporate sector, a banker interested in acting and a pre-university lecturer. Within the Rajkot fraternity there were primary section, middle school, high school, computer and physical education teachers. The aim of the first session was to understand and grasp the diversity and level of expectation from the group. With aids like song, post-it paper and individual voicing the course started falling in-track. Each TIE program is different because of the nature of expectations and the mix of participants. With these factors it is also necessary to finish the set syllabus within the limited time frame.

  

             One thing that came to the forefront in this batch was the need for outstation participants to go and explore Bangalore!. While the school management had an agenda for sending the teachers (to get trained), the need was also to address the teacher’s personal agenda. If the said need was not addressed there might have been a frustrated bunch of teachers who would cerebrally go through the course, but emotionally have their learning doors closed.

 

The program was done on the following lines

           

                Day 1

a)      Structural model for TIE

b)     Experiential introduction of a session and              

c)      One-dimensional methods

Day 2

a)     Reflection and learning outcomes

b)     Model TIE experience through a spectrum of current topics

c)      Three-dimensional learning patterns

d)     Lesson plan

e)     Management, Fractions and 1857 – The TIE way

f)        A common theatre experience from an audience perspective.

Day 3

a)     Micro teaching sessions and evaluation

b)     How we would take a TIE session in 30 minutes- the student, facilitator ratio

c)      The dynamics of the stage

d)     Creating a theatre presentation on Maths, Physical Education and History

          

         All participants were expected to give the day’s report for day one. On day two they were asked to write a TIE lesson plan and on day three a compilation was done. Umesh P N, Mohammed Arif, Rajesh P I, Lata Satagopan, Geetha Kudtharkar and Sibu Vaz facilitated the training sessions. The certification was done by the first teacher co-ordinator of TIE Mrs Arati. 

                                                                                                                                   Sibu B Vaz

Posted by: theatrecapital | May 23, 2007

I am the Lorax! I speak for the trees!

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            Mr. Raju, of Petra Park apartments, was on the lookout for a workshop for the children of his apartment complex. He happened to watch Vision 2020 at Christ College and then knew he didn’t have to look far to find the people for the job.

 

            So Arif and I found us in a small chapel-converted-to-an-auditorium with 15 screaming kids, and I am happy to say, in a familiar and comfortable situation. Quantas of energy were flying around the room, and it took exercises like cartwheels and somersaults to calm those bolts of energy. Some fun games later, we arrived at the question of the play that we would present at the end of the weeklong workshop. I asked a question – “If you were a tree, what tree would you be and where would you live?” Answers came flying thick and fast, “an apple tree in Jammu”, “a redwood in California”, “a pine tree in the Himalayas” and the punch line – “ a mango tree in Petra Park” and a quick riposte “Hey, there are no more trees in Petra Park, certainly no more in Bangalore.” I then knew which play we just had to do.

            We chose The Lorax, Dr. Seuss’s rhyme filled with utterly nonsensical words, but superbly sensible message about saving the trees. We read the play, but decided that the ideas had to come from the children. Therefore we made them create Tableaus – still pictures. The topics were simple in the beginning, like “standing in the rain”. They got the hang of it and the topics got tougher. Topics became, A Ferrari car, Stuck in a Lift, At the Dentist and Any topic of your choice. The results were astounding. They had no problems handling the topics, and were often more creative than so called “mature” adults. The tableaus gave us the key to creating the play.

            The play was then divided into twenty scenes, each scene starting with a still picture. Every single boy and girl played the lead role in the play. At times the whole group would be a tree, or a shop or a telephone. There was the energy of group work. The children had a blast.   

            Saturday morning show time arrived with curious parents wondering what their children would do. By the end of the show they had no doubts whatsoever. The group, they called themselves Star Sixteen, came out in flying colors. The play was thoroughly professional and tight and all, the kids did a serious job of it. The parents went home with their shoulders a little straighter, and the children walked ten feet tall. As for Arif and I, well, we just shrugged our shoulders and spake the truth – “We always knew that they would be great…”

Umesh

Posted by: theatrecapital | May 21, 2007

Hello world!

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Welcome to an exciting world of classrooms where students as well as teachers have a tremendous amount of fun and where learning is a fantastic process. At Script Peoples Theatre we are practicing what the world is preaching. Can we use theatre tools to teach mathematics? Definitely. Biology? Yes. Chemistry? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Theatre is a powerful tool that can ally itself with any subject and make teaching a pleasurable thing to do. It is a very very exciting process and facilitates better learning for the student.

Theatre-In-Education workshops are conducted in Bangalore at Christ College which has been voted among the top ten colleges in India. More information on workshops can be had here. Alternately you could mail us at theatreineducation@gmail.com

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