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Evaluation of the Theatre in Education Trust (THETA) Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme
 

Evaluation of the Theatre in Education Trust (THETA) Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme

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In 2011 WERDS conducted an evaluation of the Dunedin based Theatre in Health Education Trust (THETA) Drama in Education programme Sexwise, which is being delivered in secondary schools throughout New ...

In 2011 WERDS conducted an evaluation of the Dunedin based Theatre in Health Education Trust (THETA) Drama in Education programme Sexwise, which is being delivered in secondary schools throughout New Zealand. This programme is moving from a mainly performance drama to a highly engaging process drama programme, focusing on workshops with students. The executive summary is available for downloading. For further information visit the THETA website

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    Evaluation of the Theatre in Education Trust (THETA) Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme Evaluation of the Theatre in Education Trust (THETA) Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme Document Transcript

    • Evaluation of the Theatre in HealthEducation Trust (THETA) sexual andreproductive health programmeAugust 2011Submitted by:Dr. Chris HollandLisa DysonMatt GillardWork & EducationResearch & Development Servicesin collaboration withImpact Research NZNewmarket Page 1 of 9
    • Work & Education Research & Development Services / Impact Research NZ April 2011 ContentsExecutive Summary ....................................................................................................... 51.0 Introduction ............................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 1.1 Sexual and Reproductive Health in schools ..... Error! Bookmark not defined. 1.2 The Theatre in Health Education Trust programmeError! Bookmark not defined. 1.3 What is Applied Theatre and Theatre in Education?Error! Bookmark not defined. 1.3.1 Emotional safety ............................................ Error! Bookmark not defined. 1.3.2 Empowerment ............................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 1.3.3 Fun and empathy .......................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.2.0 Evaluating Theatre in Health Education: MethodologyError! Bookmark notdefined. 2.1 The Ministry of Health: Five aims for evaluators:Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.1.1 Sexwise and Students ................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.1.2 Sexwise and Schools .................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.1.3 Sexwise and the Community ......................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.1.4 Sexwise and Adults ....................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.1.5 Cultural competency ...................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.2.2 Planning.................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.2.3 Settings and Participants .......................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.2.4 Data Collection ......................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.4.1 Literature and Document Review .................. Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.4.2 Observations ................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.4.3 Interviews and Focus Groups ........................ Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.4.4 Surveys ......................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.2.5 Ethics ........................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined. 2.5.1 Consent......................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Page 2 of 9
    • Work & Education Research & Development Services / Impact Research NZ April 2011 2.5.2 Confidentiality and security of data ................ Error! Bookmark not defined.2.6 Analysis .................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.2.7 Participants ............................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.0 Results...................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.1 THETA contact with schools and agencies ............... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.2 Description of the performance and the workshop .... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.3. The performance...................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.3.1. Relationship development ............................ Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.3.2 Delay and abstinence .................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.3.3 Sexually Transmitted Infections ..................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.3.4 Diverse sexuality ........................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.4 The workshop ........................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.4.1 The donut ...................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.4.2 The hot seat .................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined. 3.4.3 The advice circle ........................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.5 Sexwise and Students .............................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.3.6 The survey ................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.3.7 Sexwise and Schools ................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.3.8 Sexwise and the Community ..................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.9 Sexwise and Adults................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.3.10 Sexwise and cultural competency ........................... Error! Bookmark not defined.4.0 Strengthening the Sexwise programme .................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 4.1 Shift to an Applied Theatre approach ............... Error! Bookmark not defined. 4.2 Managing discussion on sexual health issues .. Error! Bookmark not defined. 4.3 Length of performance and workshop .............. Error! Bookmark not defined.5.0 Summary and conclusions ........................................ Error! Bookmark not defined. 5.1 Students‟ knowledge, attitudes and skills ......... Error! Bookmark not defined. 5.2 Teachers and schools ...................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 5.3 Stakeholders .................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. 5.4 Sexwise and cultural competency .................... Error! Bookmark not defined.7.0 References ............................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Page 3 of 9
    • Work & Education Research & Development Services / Impact Research NZ April 2011 List of Tables PageTable 1 Student demographics Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 2 Student knowledge before and after THETA Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 3 Do you think you know more about sexual and relationship issues after the drama programme? Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 4 Where students would go for sexual and relationship information: before THETA Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 5 Where students would go for sexual and relationship information: after THETA Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 6 Where students would go for sexual and relationship information Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 7 Thinking changed by the THETA programme Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 8 Actions changed by the THETA programme Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 9 Student demographics by ethnicity Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 10 Do you think you know more about sexual and relationship topics after the drama programme? Error! Bookmark not defined.Table 11 Maori and Pacific student reaction to the THETA programme Error! Bookmark not defined. Page 4 of 9
    • Work & Education Research & Development Services / Impact Research NZ April 2011Executive SummaryThe New Zealand Health Curriculum states that the purpose of sexuality education is toprovide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to develop positiveattitudes towards sexuality, to take care of their sexual health and to enhanceinterpersonal relationships (Ministry of Education, 1999). According to the EducationalReview office (2007), these outcomes have not so far been effectively achieved in themajority of health classrooms, in particular for Maori, Pacific Islands students andstudents of diverse sexual orientations.This evaluation, using qualitative and quantitative research techniques, explores howwell THETA‟s Sexwise programme meets the specifications of its funder, the Ministry ofHealth. These specifications are to:  build students‟ knowledge, understanding and attitudes  fit in with and add value to the school curriculum, to engage with national and local agencies  impact positively on teacher and parent knowledge  demonstrate cultural competency.The Theatre in Education Trust (THETA) draws on an Applied Theatre approach todeliver sexuality education programmes to secondary students in New Zealand. It is thisapproach which is seen as the „value added‟ component and the point of differencebetween it and other programmes in health education offered to schools.The results showed that students engaged enthusiastically in the programme andreported changes in thinking about their behaviour and future actions in each of theareas specified. Students felt they had learned from the programme. It is clear thatstudents brought their own knowledge, understanding and skills to the programme andthat skilful performances and well planned workshops provided a safe forum in whichstudents could ask difficult questions and offer advice to the characters (and thereforeto each other). The limitations of these findings are that since sexual health was beingtaught in some schools prior to or at the time of the Sexwise programme, gains inknowledge, understanding and/or attitudes during the period of the evaluation may notbe attributable soley to the Sexwise programme. Page 5 of 9
    • Work & Education Research & Development Services / Impact Research NZ April 2011The research found that sexuality education was a difficult area for teachers and thatthis to some extent explained their willingness to support the external programme.Teachers viewed the Sexwise programme as a complement to and reinforcement of thesexuality themes taught in classrooms as part of the health curriculum. Some teachersrecognised that the use of drama allowed their students to identify with the charactersand reflect on the scenarios while providing the emotional distance to discuss sensitiveissues of relationships and sexuality.For most teachers, arranging and supporting it in the school proved problematic despitetheir willingness to accommodate the programme. Costs were minimised for THETA ifthe company could work with a school over two or more consecutive days in order toreach all targeted students. Yet this disrupted school timetables. An issue for actorswas that some teachers had difficulty meeting their obligation to stay with the studentsduring the performance (possibly due to in-school pressures).Stakeholders included local and national agencies concerned with sexuality educationand support. They felt that Sexwise offered a valuable contribution to sexualityeducation and that it was a powerful vehicle for student engagement. They believedSexwise should stay as it is: fun, humourous and interactive and did not want theprogramme to change to incorporate too much factual information. They did, however,believe the workshops could become even stronger by going into more depth with theissues. The main drawback stakeholders saw was the need for follow up after Sexwisevisits a school.Maori and Pacific students account for nearly three quarters of THETA Sexwiseprogramme participants in the research. All teachers and stakeholders agreed that theprogramme was culturally “very appropriate” for these students. They appeared to befully engaged with the programme. Their responses were closely in line with those ofnon-Maori and Pacific students. High numbers of Maori and Pacific students reportedknowing more about sexual and relationship topics after the THETA Sexwiseprogramme than they had done before the programme. This closely reflects theresponses of non-Maori and Pacific students. In terms of accessing information onsexual and relationship topics, the preferences of Maori and Pacific students shiftedfocus after the Sexwise programme from traditional sources like friends and whanau toorganised clinical services like Sexual Health Clinic (SHC), School Nurse, GP, School Page 6 of 9
    • Work & Education Research & Development Services / Impact Research NZ April 2011Counselor and Family Planning. Some of these students are accessing information viathese new avenues.As THETA had advised, there was evidence that the programme was in a transitionalphase, part way through this significant shift in approach from a simple entertainmentand information focus, to an Applied Theatre approach. The deeper approach focusesmore on engaging the active and affective participation and contribution of students inan environment of emotional safety. For actors used to theatre as performance only,this new approach brings great challenges. Already a respected programme in schools,the programme has the potential to become a powerful vehicle for change in students‟knowledge, attitudes and skills in relation to sexual health.The following are recommendations taken from research findings.Recommendation 1:That Sexwise and sexual health agencies work together to develop a student cardcontaining local and national sexual health agency contact details, to be handed out tostudents after the Sexwise workshop.Recommendation 2:That local and national agencies work with Sexwise to co-ordinate their work so thateach intervention becomes complementary across schools and across the school year.Recommendation 3:That THETA works with friendly schools to explore different models. e.g. a) Introducing a performance that is 15 -20 minutes long and a workshop that is ninety minutes long, or longer. b) Ensuring the performance takes place in each classroom for 15 minutes and is then workshopped with that class.Recommendation 4:That THETA do not confirm the programme in a school until the school can guaranteethat workshops will be held in classrooms.Recommendation 5:Consider wider community previews hosted by a local agency, as an alternative topreviews held mainly for parents. Page 7 of 9
    • Work & Education Research & Development Services / Impact Research NZ April 2011Recommendation 6:That further training is provided for the actors, focusing more on Applied Theatretechniques and classroom management.Recommendation 7:That fewer schools are offered the programme so that more funds can be invested intraining.Recommendation 8:That remuneration for actors is increased to extend the employment actors to thosewith a wider range of skills. e.g. teacher/actorsRecommendation 9:That a different combination of conventions is explored for this student group. Forinstance, the donut could be replaced by more opportunities for hot seating and for thestudents to hot seat as the characters.Recommendation 10:That more actors are used in each team. For instance, instead of three, perhaps fourper team.Recommendation 11:That redundant scenes are eliminated (such as the Romeo and Juliet scenes), thussharpening the clarity of the performance. Page 8 of 9
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