Teaching emotional intelligence through drama: A report of the Uniben Consultancy Primary II Pupils Project
This study examines the possibility of using creative drama activities to instill emotional intelligence into Primary IV Pupils (of ages six – eight years) of University of Benin Consultancy Primary school, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. A comprehensive education ought to affect the child’s whole development according to Bloom taxonomy: however, the affective aspect of learning is often time underemphasized in Nigerian primary school curriculum. Whereas, creative drama has the intrinsic value of hands-on learning, involving the whole person in the learning process. The primary foundation of emotional intelligence is the ability to identify emotions and to manage these emotions in oneself and others, in a respectful manner. Creative drama provides a background that involves the participant holistically and generates situations through the dramatization of story material, poetry or role-play in which the participant can apply and experience emotional decision making. To achieve the goals of this study: the elements of emotional intelligence; the elements of creative drama were investigated and three creative drama lessons as carried out with the Primary II Pupils were analyzed to assess the success of the project. The practical research study confirms that creative drama lends itself well to the experience and identification of emotions in particular, in order to form the basis of emotional management. However, to make a life-changing impact on the participants, a long-term investment of exposure to emotional intelligence through drama and whole-community involvement is recommended. This study therefore recommends creative drama as a veritable tool for teaching emotional intelligence and that teachers should be retrained for this purpose and should always resort to it as viable classroom instructional method.
Keywords: Emotional Intelligence Creative Drama Child’s Development