Rehabdramatics and the development of challenged children in Nigeria: A study of Select applied theatre projects
The concept of the psychosocial and physical wellbeing of children and young adults appear critical to the actualization of holistic human development. However, the problem of this paper lies in the inadequate attention paid to the wellbeing of challenged children in Nigeria by families, agencies and government institutions. Hence, the paper aims at forging more inclusive modules for the learning and development of challenged children in Nigeria. It also includes engaging the concept of Rehab Dramatics to chart a new course in the already thriving area of theatre-driven education. The researcher’s engagement of Rehab Dramatics in the applied theatre projects evaluated, attempted not just to utilize Drama and performance based learning to educate and motivate right creative and social impulses in children, but also to include these and more in rehabilitating at-risk children and young adults who may have been exposed to debilitating experiences, practices andenvironmental constructs that may have in turn impaired healthy psychosocial, emotional and creative development. The study is anchored on The Transformative Learning theory. The mixed research method was adopted for the study. The primary data for the study were sourced through two Applied Theatre projects carried out in designated locations across Anambra. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, IPA as well as participant observations were also engaged during the course of research. The study finds that co-ordinated theatrical activities as expressed through Rehab Dramatics, possess unique qualities in fostering progressive psycho-social, attitudinal and communal change such that should promote a more qualitative life for challenged children in Nigeria.