The tricks of effective learning
Thursday, Jan 19, 2017 06:00 am
A playful group is coming back to Cochrane to give students at Elizabeth Barrett Elementary an alternative way to learn.
Trickster, created in 1980, is a Calgary-based company of interactive theatre that teaches students through clowning, physical theatre, improv and dance.
“The process engages kids and we really have diverse learners – this gives a voice to every child,” said Susan Parker, Principal at École Elizabeth Barrett Elementary School.
With each residency, Trickster teachers work with students to create an original 90-minute performance for up to 500 actors. For the past couple of years, the performances have incorporated the student’s curriculum showcasing Ukrainian culture and the life cycle of a fish – to name a few, but this year the school wants to showcase the community.
With Canada celebrating its 150th birthday this year, Elizabeth Barrett students will be celebrating Cochrane and the things that make the community special.
“Teaching in the 21st century, you want to create life-long leaner’s and that goes beyond the classroom – we owe it to the children to teach them risks,” Parker said.
Giving children an alternative way to learn with the physical aspect was important, the principal explained.
“As learning has changed and evolved, students and teachers are creating celebrations, they are working with staff elbow-to-elbow, focusing on student leadership so it is as much about the process as the end result,” Parker explained.
Typically the Trickster professionals teach the students the routine but with each residency, Elizabeth Barrett teachers have been learning ways to implement the ‘tricks’ into the classroom.
“We wanted to make it sustainable and it really is getting the kids engaged,” Parker said.
This will be the third year the group will be coming to Elizabeth Barrett, working with grades 1 to 4.
“It is very fun and exciting,” said Jamie O’Neal, nine-year-old student at Elizabeth Barrett.
“It is different because we get to stand up and do movements – everyone joins in and no one feels left out.”
Teachers at the local school have praised the program saying it is a great way to bring students out of their shell and boost their confidence.
O’Neal said he would recommend the theatre to other students.
“You can show what you learned and inspired other kids. I think it is fun, you can be a leader and it is fun to have students run the show,” the nine-year-old said.
The Trickster residency in Elizabeth Barrett is made possible through Alberta Arts Grants and fundraising from the parent-school council.
This year’s performance, in the works, will be debuted on June 1 and 2. School staff members are open to partnering with local businesses and community organizations for the performance.
For more information got to trickstertheatre.com or barrett.rockyview.ab.ca