When you only listen you forget what you think you have understood. When you participate you remember and understand. Those who are deeply involved in the environmental movement see with the eyes of love. They move beyond intellectual ideas about saving the planet or being guilt-ridden, responsible guardians to becoming kaitiaki.
The problem in education is that teachers imagine that others hear what they think they are saying. Yet when we look back on our lives it is the passion of great teachers which we remember, not their words. They open our eyes to the things they have come to love. Great teachers transform our lives because no one can take away what they have enabled us to see. We notice frogs for the first time when we meet someone who loves frogs, and then we notice with dismay that there are not any frogs any more.
Love leads to action. Intellectual discourse leads too often only to debate.
Education is but a frail attempt to take us through a thousand years of experience and understanding. Teachers need to be creative. Understanding the water cycle begins with turning off the tap. It begins with gathering your own water and giving thanks that you are not in Dafur. Through doing this we begin to understand how others feel and have felt over the centuries. A drop of water becomes the miracle it is.
Theatre and role playing are valuable tools in education because they allow us to experiment with our feelings and emotions and to take on other personas with complete freedom from our own fears and inhibitions. We become a kereru and suddenly the tree which was chopped down has a new meaning. The seeds have gone. We will die.
The world is but a theatre and everyone is an actor. We play out roles which are sometimes of our choosing, and are sometime thrust upon us. When students realise all this they need to confront a difficult choice. Should they play a role in someone else's game or should they take control of both the game and their own destiny? If they are writing the play and calling the tune then they take on all the responsibility which is entailed. Work-shopping a play is much more than just experimenting. It is an exploration of what might be.
Our wonderful planet is dying simply because so many people are playing someone else's game. When children act out an environmental drama they experience doubts, hopes and challenges in very real ways. Theatre makes for maturity. Rather than blaming someone else you can put yourself in their shoes. Nothing is quite the way you thought it was.All these things are explored by Deniece Gannaway through enviro theatre.Her productions move beyond the classroom to involve the whole community, and the DVDs take the productions beyond the community to a much wider circle.
Any support given to her will be multiplied by the enthusiasm of all those who participate in her productions. The benefit to the environment will be far reaching. Rather than seeking to control she allows students to be free. Everyone is invited to be a rebel with a cause. She is a quiet revolutionary drawing out the unrecognised potential of everyone involved.
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