Dramatic Changes by Paula Ressler. Talking About Sexual Orientation
Dramatic Changes

Dramatic Changes

Talking About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with High School Students Through Drama

By Paula Ressler

Educator and activist Paula Ressler knows from experience that students who are marginalized because of sexual orientation, gender, or appearance spend much of their time in high school just trying to survive. The consequences of ignoring these issues can be devastating. In this book she demonstrates how the drama workshop can be a powerful tool to facilitate discussion about topics that have long been suppressed in traditional educational venues and mired in taboo and confusion. She offers an approach to teaching and learning in which participants acquire new knowledge based on experience, not...

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Full Description

Educator and activist Paula Ressler knows from experience that students who are marginalized because of sexual orientation, gender, or appearance spend much of their time in high school just trying to survive. The consequences of ignoring these issues can be devastating. In this book she demonstrates how the drama workshop can be a powerful tool to facilitate discussion about topics that have long been suppressed in traditional educational venues and mired in taboo and confusion. She offers an approach to teaching and learning in which participants acquire new knowledge based on experience, not simply transmission.

The book follows Dr. Ressler's practice since 1988, describing the innovative drama work she has done in various educational settings to address lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) issues. Her practice has integrated educational drama theory; feminist, multicultural, and liberatory theory and pedagogy; and progressive learning and language arts theory. Her particular strength is providing practical, effective, and stimulating strategies for incorporating drama across the curriculum, from English, social studies, art, music, and dance, to physical education, health, and guidance groups.

Teachers need no drama background or extensive knowledge about sexual orientation and gender identity to use this book. Each chapter provides an introduction to the type of drama presented—from simple role plays through complex and extended pieces—along with educational objectives, rationales, resources, and materials needed. Read Ressler and see how transformative drama can be—both academically challenging and personally rewarding for all participants, whether they are teaching or learning about sexual orientation and gender diversity.

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Role–Plays
2. Scripted Dramas
3. Multifaceted and Extended Dramas
4. Socially Critical Drama Approaches
Afterword
Appendices
Peer Observation as Collaborative Classroom Inquiry
Deborah Minter
Assignments and Sample Observation Materials
"Youth Bring Gay Rights Movement to School," by David Buckel, Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
PFLAG Fact Sheet, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Gay/Straight Alliance Flier
"Batty Boys in Babylon: Can Gay West Indians Survive the ’Boom Bye Bye’ Posses?" by Peter Noel with Robert Marriott—The Village Voice
"the Names on the Board: An Ohio Teacher Dares Students to Envision a New Community," by Jamie Rhein—Teaching Tolerance, SPLC
"Educators Protest Limits on Multicultural Mandate," by Paula Ressler—LEARN
"The Anniversary Song," by Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin
"We Kiss in a Shadow," by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Bibliography