Play Up Diversity Learning Through Playwright Exploration

By:
Dr. Martine Harvey
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This workshop will explore diversity through playwrights and enhance learning in your students to demonstrate the value of a teaching/learning style which emphasizes that: Learning is fundamentally social; Cracking the whip stifles learning; Learning needs an environment that supports it; Learning crosses hierarchical bounds; Self-directed learning fuels the fire, and; Learning by doing is more powerful than memorizing.

By engaging in and reflecting on diversity playwrights, participants will develop skills and abilities to use processes that contribute to their intercultural awareness and enhance active learning in their students.

At the beginning of the workshop, the presenter will present some basic principles of intercultural awareness and learn that business has discovered:

· People who live and/or work in heterogeneous settings develop stronger interpersonal skills

· Organizations which are multi-cultural in their makeup and outlook are more successful in providing their services or producing their product

· Teams composed of persons with varied backgrounds out-perform teams composed of persons with similar backgrounds, making fewer mistakes, seeing a broader view, and turning out better quality products.

· When people feel included and valued at their workplace, their satisfaction level rises along with the level of their work performance.

· When people’s job satisfaction is high there is less turnover.

Following this 5 minute introductory presentation/discussion, participants will have the opportunity to actually experience for themselves the teaching/learning style described above through a short excerpt of a diversity playwright called “Scrape Off the Black” by Tunde Ikoli, and 2 monologues titled “My Ancestor’s House” by Bina Shariff. and “Girl with the Long, Blond Hair” by Whoopi Goldberg. The first play by Ikoli deals with biracial issues in an British household; the second play by Shariff show what it might be like to be an oppressed woman in Pakistan, and the third one by Goldberg is a depiction of how our media and society are damaging our children by pushing images of white perfection and model beauty. In the next 35 minutes, participants will be asked to participate in a tangible activity and break up into sub-groups (depending of the number of participants): Four groups will read Ikoli’s playwright, four others will get a copy of Goldberg’s monologue and the others will read Shariff’s monologue. Each group will be asked to add a character and rework the dialogue in an attempt to dismantle stereotypes and prejudices.

The final 20 minutes will challenge the participants to put it all together in a mini mock scene of their own making. At the conclusion of this activity, participants will have the opportunity to debrief with one another and assess their level of engagement with this type of engaging learning style, and will take away a teaching strategy to explore diversity and intercultural awareness through plays.


Keywords: Intercultural Communication, Active Learning
Stream: Teaching and Learning, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity, Immigration, Refugees, Race, Nation, Other or Stream Unspecified
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English, French
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Martine Harvey

Associate Professor, Department of Speech Communication, Minnesota State University,Mankato, Minnesota, USA
Mankato, Minnesota, USA

Martine Harvey, a French Canadian native, has a Master of Sciences in Communication and a Doctorate in Communication from the University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She taught intercultural communication classes at Johannes Kepler University in Austria, and traveled extensively through U.S., Canada, Europe, Norway, Sweden, Egypt, Greece, Finland, and Estonia. She is an associate professor at the Speech Communication Department, Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota. Dr. Harvey has presented numerous conferences and workshops in Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, U.S. and Canada. Her research and teaching interests include intercultural communication, diversity in education, and organizational communication.

Ref: H06P0547