ERIC Number: ED305999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr-27
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Comprehension of Live Theatre.
Klein, Jeanne; Fitch, Marguerite
Two studies investigate the way in which children make sense of a play and the visual, aural, and psychological components of theatre which contribute to this comprehension. In the first study, 32 fifth graders saw "Don Quixote of La Mancha." In the second study, 45 third graders saw "Monkey, Monkey" (about the Chinese Monkey King). The day after play attendance 15-minute interviews were conducted with the children. The children: (1) rated the difficulty in understanding the plays; (2) told what they remembered best and what they learned; (3) sequenced central actions of plots; (4) inferred the plays' main ideas and the protagonists' intentions and emotions; (5) recalled specific dialogue; and (6) reported their preference between theatre and television. The findings indicated that visual cues, primarily dramatic actions, are most easily recalled and assist children in making inferences about main ideas and protagonists' intentions. Moreover, children's attention to dialogue and aural cues further enhances comprehension and ease of understanding plays. In other words, children do listen to plays, as long as the dialogue informs and reinforces visualized dramatic actions throughout the performance. In addition, the findings indicate that the given stimulus determines the nature of how it is processed. (RJC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).