Psychodrama in Teacher Education

Year: 2000

Author: DORRA, N

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Being tuned psychodramatically in a classroom context can be understood as having the ability to act empathetically on both emotional and cognitive terms. This paper reports on a research project in psychodrama currently underway in the M-teach program in Sydney University.

The process was designed in two parts for a group of students undertaking options in psychodrama as part of their course:
1. Practicing the basic tools of psychodrama.
2. Using psychodramatic methods in simulations of classroom conflict.

As a result of the experience, students reported significant improvement in reflecting and performing the variety of roles needed as a teacher. The workshops combine group and individual activities and emphasise Psychodramatic tools including Role reversal, Soliloquy, Double and Encounter. The students reported that the acquisition and application of Psychodramatic tools directly to the classroom context added a new dimension to teaching. Students in the research groups reported a bonding and deep interpersonal contacts created through action within the group, a reduction in anxiety toward their first practice teaching experience and a potential for a better teacher pupil rapport. In addition they anticipated they would teach more imaginatively.

Dexterity in the use of empathy in action in resolving conflict can widen the boundaries in teacher student relationships, bring both to a better understanding of their motivations and of spontaneous reactions and create alternatives of action and new insights.