Incite/Insight Winter 2018 Incite Insight Winter 2018 - Page 28

27 I n c i t e /I ns i ght Experiencing differentiation in drama classrooms, activating both the “imagination network” and the “attention network,” and utilizing the strengths of short axon connections for precise work and longer axon connections for broader work, students are supported in their strengths while developing in areas where they struggle. In theatre and drama classrooms, a combination of environmental structure, mindfulness practice, warm- up games, and improvisation will not only provide support and access for those students diagnosed with cognitive impairments, it also stimulates deeper learning for all students. These strategies of differentiated instruction in drama classrooms are certainly not exhaustive. Additional interdisciplinary lessons and activities for community engagement provide a host of new and meaningful learning experiences. Engaging in this work with students and colleagues is not simply recommended, but necessary to ensure the students’ success. “As inclusion becomes more of a reality in classrooms and school districts across the country, finding positive ways to openly discuss and successfully accommodate a range of abilities is vital”. 8 By stimulating creativity and engaging different networks in the brain through differentiated instruction, theatre educators and 8 Grady 135 W i n te r 201 8 teaching artists provide deeper learning experiences for their students, prompting greater reading comprehension, problem solving, and social cognition. Through the learning experiences and inclusive community provided in drama education, these students gain confidence and skills that serve them in their future academic and personal pursuits. RUTH TAYLOR teaches drama, technical theatre, and speech competition at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where she also serves as chair of the Fine Arts Department. She received her Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Theatre Studies from Wellesley College and holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado. After seven years teaching drama to young people, Taylor has witnessed time and again the transformative power of theatre and hopes to increase its benefits for the students at her school through increased drama integration across curricula. Interested in writing an article for Incite/Insight? Want to be a part of the team? Email communication@aate.com for more information! 28 In c it e / In sig h t W int e r 2 018 AATE Events and Happenings March 1, 2018 New York City TIOS March 3, 2018 South Carolina TIOS May 5, 2018 Washington DC TIOS August 1, 2018—August 5, 2018 Rise Up! 2018 AATE National Conference Minneapolis, Minnesota Want to learn more about these events? Visit http://www.aate.com/programs-and-events