1 University of Education (GERMANY)
2 Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Page: 1689 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
What is the stage potential of the woods? In a classroom or theatre students´minds are captured by traditional ways of stage interpretations. Dealing with authors like Shakespeare is a challenge due to their remoteness e.g. considering language which at the same time may become its very attraction. With the communicative turn foreign language teaching also changed its methods concerning literature in the classroom. In the last couple of years innovative approaches like CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and forest education both based on cooperative and autonomous learning were developed. These approaches deal with the problem of learners´ barriers. With the focus on the integration of language and content in CLIL students can use the language as a tool for communication and can easily access language; forest education focuses on releasing new access to sustainability experiencing topics dealt with in biology or politics. In this paper we would like to discuss to what extent these new approaches can be integrated and outline a theory-based workshop on Shakespeares play “A Midsummer Night´s Dream” conducted in the woods. The workshop is based on the interrelations between the competences of forest education, CLIL and performative pedagogy. The students task is to stage a Shakespearean performance at the end of the workshop. This does not necessarily mean a performance of the play but could also be an own approach to e.g. the play, language, topic. The Shakespeare play is taught with interactive methods by Rex Gibson. The students are also offered an educational programme on trees and animals in the woods paying tribute to flora and fauna mentioned in the play. The intention is to create an educational landscape which is open and inspiring according to Richard Louv´s associative pedagogy in the woods which is based on projects and autonomous learning. In contrast to a classroom setting students can find loose parts such as roots, leaves, twigs in the woods to construct their environments. The Shakespeare part and the forest education programme are held in English. Thus according to CLIL principles the foreign language is used as a vehicle for understanding and the content is not taught in but with and through the foreign language. The content conveyed refers to drama and biology. The language chosen for this example is English because of the Shakespeare play, but this could be also carried out with other languages using translations of the play. Integrating the didactic approaches mentioned students can experience the play “A Midsummer Night´s Dream” in the very setting of the woods. The woods, where individuality and creativity is released, function as a counterworld to didactic arrangements found in institutions such as schools or theatres. Following Louv´s constructivist pedagogical approach thus a learner-oriented environment can be established. The learners in this setting are not guided by teaching material such as biology or English textbooks, but are confronted with the material itself: the play and nature.
Forest education, theatre, CLIL, interdisciplinary, cooperative learning.