THE PUPPETRY PROGRAM
Puppetry is a comprehensive program seeking to develop children's emotional and social skills through a variety of techniques, aiming at bridging the gap between academic research and everyday teaching practice.
The project consists of a consultancy process as well as a series of workshops which are tailored to the needs of each group of children.
How it works
Far from a puppet theater or puppetry art, we use the puppet as a mediator between adults and children and all the activities are organized around the puppet- child interaction.
The puppet is an important tool to break down the barrier in the adult-child relationship. As opposed to the authority of an adult, children see the puppet as their equal, a friend they can trust and project their feelings onto. The puppet forms a special bond with the children and thus allows adults to approach children in a completely different way, opening up even those who would otherwise shy away from certain interactions. This is why, rather than an array of puppets, a single puppet is designated to each group of children whose main duty is to introduce activities and accompany them on their journey throughout the process.
The puppet enables quick and easy representation of abstract concepts and real-life situations and, this way, the project aims to provide children with a healthy self-esteem, a better understanding of themselves and the ability to talk about their feelings. The puppet is used to mirror and find solutions to problems within a group of children, ease tensions and promote cooperation.
The puppet is an important tool in the process of learning by doing and we help preschools and primary schools integrate its use into their daily programs and activities. We would like to collaborate with teachers and schools to explore all the ways puppets can benefit classroom teaching experience and the learning of children. Through the activities, we demonstrate that even though it requires little artistic skills, it is a very efficient and rewarding tool in the teaching and learning process.
The puppet might be the lead actor of the program, but it's not the only resource. We also use theatre pedagogy, storytelling, arts and play to enhance children's self-esteem and motivation to learn, teach them empathy, help them live a healthy social life and acquire non-violent communication skills.
The project is also able to help the integration and development of children with special educational needs, like the many children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, it pushes for inclusive education and it is also efficient in diminishing tensions and solving behavioral issues such as bullying.
As such, it offers techniques and practices to prepare children for the challenges of the ever more multicultural society of the 21st century by addressing cultural and individual differences and complex social issues like racism, discrimination, xenophobia (and others) at an early age.
One of Puppetry's innovations is that it offers an energizing program for both teachers and children at the same time. While we carry out activities with the children, we also collaborate with teachers' and educators' involving people with different expertise in the process. The idea is to broaden the spectrum of everyday teaching resources available in preschools and schools. At last but not least, we carry out all activities and work without putting an extra burden on teachers, educators and other professionals we're working with.
Puppetry can be integrated into schools’ curriculum or extracurricular activities. It can be introduced into any community or group of children outside schools as well, working together with volunteers and parents.