The Use Of Dramatization Method In Teaching Auditory Impaired Learners
Background to the Study
Research indicates that using dramatization in the classroom as a means of teaching helps students learn academically, socially, and developmentally. The use of dramatization as a tool for teaching is not new. Historically, both drama and theatre have long been recognized as potent means of education and indoctrination. The ways they are used today, however, are new, and they differ in a number of respects from the ways they have been used in the past (Kirui, 2015). Arts advocates and educators have recently started to explore the use of dramatization method as an integrated way of learning drama. McCaslin (2011) strongly believes that the arts should be employed in every classroom. It can reach students who otherwise couldn’t be reached, and challenge students who have already grasped the concepts. Dramatization provides a fun means of learning. It brings the affective back into the classroom, an institute where emotions and learning are categorically divided. Recent brain research proves that emotions are linked with learning. When we connect to the concept emotionally, we will have a better understanding of it. When we teach using the art, we are linking prior experiences with new stimuli. Teaching using drama activities bring emotion and learning together. Most important of all, using drama to teach in the senior secondary classroom gets students involved and gives them the power to have a key role in their education. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm (1998) who wrote the article, “Drama is Imagining to Learn: Inquiry, Ethics, and Integration through Drama,” writes that through dramatization, students became a part of the learning process rather than mere observers or inactive receptacles of the rich experience of learning; in this way, their learning was deeper, more sustained, and infinitely more complex .Through research of the arts, dramatization in particular, and a close look at how people learn, one can attest that teaching using drama can enrich the classroom environment.
Using dramatization and drama activities has clear advantages for learning drama. It encourages students to speak; it gives them the chance to communicate, even with limited language, using non-verbal communication, such as body movements and facial expression: this gives them an experience that they can recall anytime and it will last for a long time. There are also a number of other factors which makes dramatization method a very powerful tool in the classroom. According to Desiatova (2009) drama is an appealing teaching strategy which promotes cooperation, collaboration, self-control, goal-oriented learning as well as emotional intelligence skills. Drama bridges the gap between course-book dialogues and natural usage, and can also help to bridge a similar gap between the classroom and real life situations by providing insights into how to handle tricky situations. Dramatization strengthens the bond between thought and expression, provides practice of suprasegmental and Para-language, and offers good listening practice. If dramatization is considered as a teaching method in the sense of being part of the eclectic approach to language teaching, then it can become a main aid in the acquisition of communicative competence.
One of the greatest advantages to be gained from the use of dramatization is that t draws upon students’ natural abilities to imitate and express themselves, and if well-handled should arouse interest and imagination. Drama encourages adaptability, fluency, and communicative competence. It puts language into context, and by giving learners experience of success in real life situations it should arm them with confidence for tackling the world outside the classroom.
Lawson, (2001) observes that: It is clear that emotions are linked to learning. Hands-on learning is a more effective means of learning, being involved in the learning is powerful, and we learn best by connecting new ideas with old. Each of these ideas can be emphatically proven through recent and extensive brain research. A depiction as to exactly what process the brain goes through when we learn would clarify why drama would help one learn. (p.32)
The brain undergoes an electrochemical process in which information is transferred from one neuron to the next. The brain is made up of billions of these nerve cells called neurons. Neuron connections are flexible, webbed, overlapping, and redundant. Internal and external stimuli collaborate in the formation of pathways and patterns of excited neurons. The more frequently pathways or patterns of neurons are used the stronger the pathways and patterns become (Lawson 2001). It is important that these pathways and patterns become stronger because as they do it becomes more probable that they will be created again. “Simultaneous excitation of multiple pathways and patterns create growth of new neuron connections, thus increasing the potential of the brain to learn” (Lawson, 2001, p.32). This is a simplified description of the physiology of the brain and how it learns. It is important when teaching to connect the new material with student’s past experiences because it is this “simultaneous excitation” that helps us learn.
There are many reasons in favour of using dramatization method in the drama classroom. First of all, it is entertaining and fun, and can provide motivation to learn. It can provide varied opportunities for different uses and because it engages feelings it can provide rich experience for the participants. Maley (2005). Dramatization method provides lots of immediate resources and are fun for teachers and students alike. Dramatization method and drama activities in this case are tools which can be used to intensify learning at interactive level. Interaction in the use of drama techniques could be at the level of student to student and teacher to student.
Drama is a teaching method, which would allow students to explore the curriculum using several of Gardner’s multiple intelligences. Students are fully involved in learning with drama. They are immersed into the subject. Their bodies, minds, and emotions are extremely active when they become engrossed in the drama. A common misconception is that the brain is like a storage unit, which can store and retrieve information at any given time; the brain is an exceptionally complex system of making connections and creating new information. “The human brain is the most complex system on earth, yet it is too often used in schools primarily as a simple device for storage and retrieval of information (Dickinson 2002). Teachers who orally lecture students, loading them with facts and figures, and then test them on what they remember, are not teaching with the brain in mind. During drama activities, the student’s schema or prior knowledge of the subject is activated to really come to a complete understanding. Essentially, when we learn, we are synthesizing. We are merging our prior knowledge with the fresh information and creating something new in our minds. “Each brain is unique. Genetic and environmental factors influence learning and the connections between cells are created by an individual’s unique experiences” (Lawson, 2001, p.32). What this implies is that if drama is used as a tool of learning, it provides a holistic intellectual and affective student involvement. This is based on psychological observation of learning that a student could learn more from what they practically do than what they simply hear and see.
In the light of the above discussion, this study seeks to investigate the use of dramatization method in teaching auditory impaired learners in selected senior secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Statement of the Problem
Drama is supposed to be entertaining and mind catching and therefore, students are supposed to be eager and interested to learn, however, the reverse is the case. In recent times, researchers like Adagba (2018) have lamented over the poor performance of students in literature, especially in drama. This poor performance could be attributed to the teaching methods used in drama lessons. Teaching method has the ability to mar or build the interest of the student therefore, enhancing his academic performance as a result. When students perform poorly in drama, the education stakeholders are blamed for a variety of reasons. However, attention is hardly given to teaching method as a factor for poor academic performance in drama. It is this problem that has ignited the interests of the researchers to investigate the use of dramatization method in teaching auditory impaired learners with the aim of proffering a lasting solution.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of dramatization method in teaching auditory impaired learners in selected senior secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. Other specific objectives of the study are:
- To determine the mean scores of auditory impaired learners using dramatization method.
- To find out the mean score performance of auditory impaired learners using conventional method like lecture method.
- To compare the performance of auditory impaired learners with dramatization method and those taught with lecture method.
In order for the research to have a sense of direction, the researchers have formulated the following research questions which will be answered at the end of the research work:
- What is the total mean score of auditory impaired learners using dramatization method?
- What is the total mean score performance of auditory impaired learners using conventional method like lecture method?
- What is the difference in the performance of auditory impaired learners with dramatization method and those taught with lecture method?
Significance of the Study
The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized as it will be of benefit to many education stakeholders which include teachers, government, curriculum planners and students. The study will be of benefit teachers of literature as they will come to know the importance of using dramatization method to teach drama as a genre of literature.
Curriculum planners will advocate for the use of dramatization method in teaching are learning of drama, especially in areas that need to be taught with drama activities.
The government on their part will benefit from this study because after being sensitize with the importance of using dramatization method in teaching drama, they will sponsor workshops for teachers to encourage them to use this method to enhance the teaching and learning of drama. The students who are at the centre of this research have a lot to benefit. The recommendations of work, if properly utilized by the government, curriculum planners and teachers, will go a long way in motivating them to learn drama therefore, their academic performance will be enhanced as well. Finally, the research will also be a source of reference material for future researchers who wish to carry out research in similar field.
Scope / Delimitation of the Study
The study covers the use of dramatization method in teaching auditory impaired learners. It is restricted to two selected senior secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. However, it is important to note that despite the fact that the study is limited to the selected secondary schools and local government area, its findings can be generalized to other parts of the state and country at large.
Operational Definition of Terms
It is a genre of literature that deals with dialogue, stage presentation and characters representation.
From an educational viewpoint, dramatization can be defined as method to develop skills through the performance of activities in situations that simulate real life. It is possible to simulate, for instance, a job interview, a police interrogation, a product sale, an exhibition, a speech on contraceptive method.
Are teaching activities. Activities can include role-play, drama games, improvisation, group discussion and individual or pair work such as role playing and emulation.
Means the teacher’s potentiality to teach drama. The Constituent of this potentiality is the ability to design Classroom activities in view of the processes of teaching.
It is a means of introducing into the classroom the experience learner may meet in life without any element of danger which might be involved in real life.
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