The methodology builds on well-established Theatre-in-Education (TIE) techniques, which provide a firm but flexible foundation for the engagement of pupils and teachers with the stimulus materials, through a three-stage process:
- Interactive theatre
- Follow-up work
A TIE company typically provides guidance material for stages 1 and 3 and visits the school for stage 2.
This shall be augmented in five ways:
- A DVD will be made so that other companies can continue the dissemination after this project. This will both introduce the biographical case studies and socio-historical material and prepare pupils and teachers for making their own work – raising issues of interpretation and representation.
- Two sorts of performance-making will be developed in the schools: the regular sort of TIE theatre piece (T) and a participatory process to make a cross-arts installation (I).
- Children will work with their teachers after the visit – with mentoring from the project team – not simply to discuss but also to make T and I work of their own.
- Schools will be encouraged to experiment as they wish with making virtual or mixed-reality T and I work using social networking platforms.
- The project website, with a link to the online work and the schools’ own documentation of their live work, will join the DVD as a resource to stimulate and guide further work by others beyond the project.
Impact on Schools and Learning
The project is designed to produce and document important methodological lessons that can be used to develop curriculum materials in the short, medium and long term. These curriculum materials will support a critical pedagogy, and the National Curriculum’s aims to promote ‘Equalities, diversity and inclusion’ and ‘Community cohesion’. Likely points for delivery are (a) Enrichment Activity (Years 7-11; usually done as half-year half-days); (b) Personal, Social and Health Education (Years 7-11).
The work will develop in collaboration with key stakeholders including disabled performers and activists. This is important to meet a key aim of the project which is to recognise disabled people as social actors with the ability ‘speak for themselves’. Further, by employing disabled performers to engage with school children, the project aims to contribute to the development of positive relationships between disabled and non-disabled children and young people.