Large multi-lingual, multi-cultural classes of undergraduate students, the preponderance of which lack the 4 basic English Language Arts Skills—Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking—are the most critical challenges facing 21st Century teacher–trainers and publishers. Not only do our teacher candidates need to have strong reading and writing skills, but a comprehensive understanding of scientific concepts and how to apply pedagogical skills to teach content-area material (e.g. science requisites) in the Quebec Ministry of Education’s mandatory Education Reform Program. Compounding this serious issue is the lack of library science research, public speaking / presentation experience, along with a marked insufficiency of training in evolutionary biology and very little idea of how to teach it. A case in point is my English Language Arts class of 90, half of whom have Mother tongues other than English. Further, many of these teachers-to-be admitted to having little or no previous formal training in Dramatic Arts, Readers’ Theatre, and in how to deal with eInformation Overload. Inasmuch as the QEP (2001) cites Darwin with reference to ‘Essential Knowledge and Competencies’, evolution is a controversial, difficult topic teachers do not understand. The formal teaching and learning of evolution appears to be absent at the elementary education levels. An advanced Language Arts approach, LaDaRT-PupEEEs, was the product of a painstakingly cooperative effort of all 90 freshmen undergraduates but, more specifically, the end result of the “Command Performances of Scripts” that were carefully edited—starring 24 hand-made puppets by 24 ‘first-time authors’. These future teachers were then able to transfer their ‘hands on’ experience to teach elementary school children. I felt it was incumbent upon me to show my charges exactly how a book is formed, then how to verify facts for publication, write original scripts, how to prepare a storyboard, how to use Readers’ Theatre and create a puppet and . . . those basic dramatic arts: articulation, voice projection, dress rehearsals, then the constructive critiques and finally, the democratic selection process for the 4 best. As mentor and facilitator, my challenge was HOW to get all of this done in one 13-week semester. This paper is a template, fully delineated in an upcoming book, entitled LaDaRT-PupEEEs, A Manual for Language Arts, Dramatic Arts, Readers ‘Theatre—Puppetry for Elementary Evolution Education Systems, and serves the dual purpose of preparing undergraduates HOW to write and publish an original script.
|Keywords:||English Language Arts, eResearch, Teaching Readers’ Theatre, Original Script-Writing, Copyright /ePlagiarism /ePiracy, Story Boards /Storytelling, Puppetry, Editing, eReading, Elementary Evolutionary Biology, LaDa-RT-PupEEEs Template, Knowledge Acquisition Skills, EInformation Overload|
Associate Professor, Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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