New training on wok with young parents: STEREOTYPES

20 December 2005

"A really thought provoking training event – clearly based on the real world"

Many of you may have seen Loud Mouth Educational Theatre Company perform at conferences or study days and seen the way they use drama to bring research findings to life. The company who are celebrating their 12th anniversary this year have just completed 19 successful sessions of a new training programme which continues their tradition of championing young fathers’ issues. The training examines stereotypes that professionals have of young parents and that young parents have of professionals with a particular focus on the views and perceptions of young fathers.

STEREOTYPES was well evaluated with professionals from many different backgrounds able to spend time reflecting on their own practice and share ideas and experiences. One participant said, ‘The drama kept us in touch with individuals – it was very powerful in the presentation of certain stereotypes we have’ with many, many comments on how it brought the lack of provision for young fathers to the fore, ‘I think before today I thought more about how the mum has to cope but not a lot about the dad’.

As with all Loud Mouth’s work this programme was developed through research with young mums and dads and uses short pieces of drama to highlight key findings. The participants view the drama and interact with the characters and discussions but to their great relief do not do any role-play. The research and evaluation reports for this programme are available Loud Mouth’s website (www.loudmouth.co.uk) along with details on their other training for professionals and theatre in education work with young people. Father’s Direct are in talks to work on a joint training venture with Loud Mouth on working with young dads so watch this space for further details.

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