An Ethnographic Study of the Use of Puppetry with a Children's Group

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Description

This study utilized an ethnographic methodology to examine and describe the various aspects and processes occurring in a children's group as the members created their own puppets and accompanying puppet plays. Individual and interactive behavior patterns were isolated and analyzed as a means of gaining an in depth understanding of the puppetry process. The puppetry process, in turn, was viewed in terms of information it provided regarding the individual members and the group process. The facilitative and non-facilitative aspects of the procedure were delineated. The adult leader met with a group of six boys, in grades four and five, for ... continued below

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v, 210 leaves: ill.

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Deniger, Marcy M. (Marcy Marble) August 1990.

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  • Deniger, Marcy M. (Marcy Marble)

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This study utilized an ethnographic methodology to examine and describe the various aspects and processes occurring in a children's group as the members created their own puppets and accompanying puppet plays. Individual and interactive behavior patterns were isolated and analyzed as a means of gaining an in depth understanding of the puppetry process. The puppetry process, in turn, was viewed in terms of information it provided regarding the individual members and the group process. The facilitative and non-facilitative aspects of the procedure were delineated. The adult leader met with a group of six boys, in grades four and five, for 12 one-hour sessions in which they made puppets and then created puppet plays around issues that they had articulated as problems. The group sessions were videotaped and transcribed. The transcriptions were coded in an effort to extensively analyze the puppetry process and the group process, and the ways in which the two processes interacted. An independent observer/rater was utilized in order to provide some validity for the researcher's reported results. The puppet-making task appeared to offer an opportunity for individuals to begin to come together in a common, but individual task. Characteristic styles and individual personality dynamics were evidenced. General response to the task was enthusiastic, with varying degrees of satisfaction expressed regarding their finished products. The play-creating and performing process met with less success than the puppet-making. While the group members appeared to be generally amenable to contributing ideas for the puppet plays, the process met with far more resistance in the cooperative task of putting their ideas into a finished product. The group discussion and interaction that occurred around these tasks provided a vehicle by which to view levels of interpersonal skills and the group's overall stage of development. The puppets the children created appeared to act as metaphors in expressing the group members' views of themselves and in enabling the symbolic representation of some of their central concerns. The plays they created paralleled the process that actually took place in the group. The subject matter and content of the puppets and plays provided information and evidence as to how each member approached and solved problems. The discrepancies in the ways in which the researcher and the independent observer/rater viewed the positive and negative social/emotional interactions of the group members, coupled with the small number of subjects included in this study preclude generalizing to other groups of children at this time. Further studies, with additional groups of children, utilizing parametric statistics are called for before any such generalizations can be made.

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v, 210 leaves: ill.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • August 1990

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • May 17, 2016, 9:18 a.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Deniger, Marcy M. (Marcy Marble). An Ethnographic Study of the Use of Puppetry with a Children's Group, dissertation, August 1990; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331542/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .