When I decided to take the plunge and to bring my first ethnodrama to students, I wanted them to have as much ownership as possible in their learning. So I brought a host of physical copies of ethnodramas and let them hold them and browse through them and told them what they were about and asked them which one they would like to read together.
The answer? None. As I had feared, the post-conflict topics were too real and too intense to consider.
I went home that day deflated, marveling once again at the highs and lows of being a teacher. When all the planning works well, it’s the best profession ever. When all the planning falls flat, it’s hard to feel like a success.
But I listened to the obvious in what they were teaching me instead of my fear of failure, and I took another stab at it.
I went through every ethnodrama and pulled out powerful passages and put them onto a handout.
When I went in the next day, I let them perform the different passages. Then I asked them again – which one would you like to read together?
To my delight, they got into a good discussion about which best aligned with their collective interests. They picked one, and our journey into ethnodrama began.
Sarah Hobson, Ph.D. specializes in supporting teams, departments and schools, businesses, and government agencies in building inclusive innovative change-making communities who understand how to connect well with and join diverse populations in providing needed sustainable resources for all youth and families.