On the 12th of February, 2017 the renowned educational puppeteer from the United States of America Carol Sterling stated that puppetry should be included in the curriculum for schools across India. Sterling felt that this move should enhance the level of emotional, social, creative and intellectual skills of the children, especially for differently abled children.
This art form is being made use of by many countries, which include the United States and countries in the Middle East, as a means to improve communication with school children and have them be more involved in the process of learning. Sterling spoke about this opinion in her statement on the 12th which was made at the International Conference which was on the ‘Recent Trends in Special Education for Young Persons With Special Needs’, albeit on the side-lines of the same.
Why it should be included
Sterling went on to say that the art of Puppetry should be viewed as a critical tool in education to improve grasping skills among children, and especially those having special needs to enhance their skillsets. Considering the fact that this tool helps children enhance creativity and social skills, it should definitely be included as a part of the school curriculum in India, Sterling stated.
The seventy-nine-year-old educational expert noted that puppetry was by far one of the best and most successful methods to grab a student’s attention. She also talked of how it was a crucial was of having more personal involvement when it comes to students who are differently abled. This tool enables both educators and students to ask questions, greet each other and make effective communication in a positive and improved way with these children who have special needs and above all else, it brings a smile to the face of everyone involved, and in education that can be a very positive thing indeed. Sterling made this connection as in her view a person smiling, is a person who opens their heart up to the course of learning, which is more than what traditional methods of education can achieve today.
More than books and papers, pencils and pens, puppetry can act as a power teaching aide for students with special educational needs in that they grab their undivided attention above all else. In doing so, the educator can always use this attention to teach the children something fresh and new and thus bring them a happier lot in life. Sterling who is a globe trotter in her evangelical quest for education also said that the making of these educational puppets was in no way an expensive ordeal. In fact, her puppets are made mostly out of newspapers, rags, scraps of cloth, plastics and other materials that have been recycled, which makes them very economical as well as environmental.
There is, in fact, a lesson for the children behind what goes into the puppets themselves in that it isn’t what they’re made of that makes them unique and powerful, but what they are capable of that defines them. The fact that they’re made out of inexpensive components and are such a powerful medium to communicate with a wide range of students, is their true worth.