Evaluation Report of MakeBelieve Arts Helicopter Technique of Storytelling and Storyacting

Cremin, Teresa; Swann, Joan; Flewitt, Rosie; Faulkner, Dorothy and Kucirkova, Natalia (2013). Evaluation Report of MakeBelieve Arts Helicopter Technique of Storytelling and Storyacting. MakeBelieveArts/The Open University.

URL: http://www.makebelievearts.co.uk/Helicopter


This research, commissioned by MakeBelieve Arts, a London-based theatre and education company, evaluated their educational programme for enhancing young children’s storytelling and story acting. The programme, called the ‘Helicopter Technique’, is based on the work of Gussin Paley’s work. Whilst this has received widespread recognition in the field of children’s play and narrative engagement , ther has been little empirical research into its benefits. The work encompassed examination of archival material and classroom based observations and documentation, as well as scrutiny of the children’s stories scribed in class story books,and interviews with staff involved in the pre prgramme taaining and in class coaching. The work aimed to investigate the value of this approach for children and early years practitioners, and to consider how programme could be improved and made more sustainable in early years classrooms. Overall, the Helicopter Technique was found to provide a rich framework for supporting young children’s learning across diverse curriculum areas, and was a motivating and valuable pedagogical tool for developing creative and reflective teaching. Diverse recommendatiosn were made regarding the future development of the technique.

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