Learning is a clear reflection of the facilitation
Drama allows for imitation; drama mirrors society. This was evident even in case of our UDL specialist Kathryn Doshi as she conducted two days of Using Drama for Learning workshop at Shishuvan School, Mumbai.
Kathryn, one of our UDL specialists, while working with a group of teachers is mindful of her body language and her impulses to consistently illustrate how a facilitator should conduct themselves in a given class of learners to inspire the creation of the most engaging learning environment.
Kathryn’s optimum level physical readiness and her active listening skills bring in more focus from the participants by keeping them on their toes with ascending level of interest in the activities. She chooses to side coach only when absolutely necessary thus carefully placing the silences that allow for constructive and engaging working time. This in turn gives the learner a space where they can actually do the task instead of merely talking about it.
Most importantly, it is the facilitation choices that Kathryn makes enables the learners to be more observant and thus empathetic of their peers. For instance, during the workshop, for a Math UDL activity, the teachers were divided into two groups. One of the groups got excited and eventually noisy as they figured out the drama activity with numbers. Their celebratory energy obviously resulted in distracting the other group which was still struggling to crack the game. Interestingly enough, instead of running towards the excited group and asking them to be calmer and quieter, Kathryn continued side coaching the other group and helped them to focus on their task. This immediately changed the energy in the room as the first group realised that they needed to contain their excitement and let the other group figure things for themselves in their own time.
Towards the end of the two day UDL workshop, this group of teachers at Shishuvan School displayed a positive change in their demeanor. They were physically more active, more present, more accepting of themselves and of others; the group dynamics had certainly evolved to be more engaging and fun. This was to me a clear reflection of how our specialist Kathryn conducted herself during her facilitation around them and they eventually mirrored her relaxed but alert attitude in their learning environment.