Author Katja Joronen, Häkämies Annukka
Affiliation University of Tampere, Finland
Article Language English

APA Citation

Jorenen, K., Annukka, H. (2012). School-based drama program to enhance social and emotional wellbeing at elementary school. The Journal of Drama and Theatre Education in Asia, 3, 141-144.

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The drama program was designed by the experienced drama expert and educator Annukka Häkämies and Katja Joronen with the teachers in Southern Finland. The program premised upon the drama theories of e.g. Owens and Barber (1998) and social cognitive theory of Bandura (1986). Program focused on improving social competence and social and emotional wellbeing in the classroom which may also reduce bullying. Participants were elementary school children in grades 4–5 (mean age of 10.4 years). The aim was to improve the following functions of the students: empathy, social competence, student–teacher interaction, child–parent interaction, recognition on of values and emotions. Pretexts of the drama sessions were related to friendship, loss of a friend, bullying, support to the bullied classmate, tolerance and child abuse (Owens & Barber, 1998; Owens, Airaksinen, & Korhonen, 2002). No exact manual was used but the teachers implemented the drama sessions based on two distributed drama handbooks. Home activities included interactional tasks between parent(s) and child. For instance, the child interviewed his or her parent about the school life and bullying when the parent was a school child. Parents’ evenings were based on themes which emerged from parents’ and teachers’ written suggestions. Themes were bullying, family–school cooperation, parental monitoring and common rules at school. Parents’ evenings were tutored by a drama teacher (Annukka Häkämies) who used drama methods to enhance interaction between parents and teachers.

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