"I Teach Better with the Puppet" - Use of Puppet as a Mediating Tool in Kindergarten Education – an Evaluation
Ronit Remer, David Tzuriel
American Journal of Educational Research
A focus of interest among researchers and educators is to find teaching methods adjusted to developmental aspects in early childhood. Teaching that generates significant learning and creates motivation, interest and enjoyment in young children is a real challenge in contemporary education. The effectiveness of using puppets in early childhood has been demonstrated in clinical areas as having the potential to create communication, increase involvement and change attitudes. However, there is
... ed research literature relating to the use of puppets as a teaching method, and therefore a methodology based on measurement and evaluation is lacking in this field. This article presents partial results of a broader study that examined the influence of an intervention program integrating a puppet as a mediation tool on learning motivation, and enhancing literacy achievements in regular and special kindergarten children. One of the aims of this research was to evaluate, from mediators' perspectives, the use of puppets as a mediation tool for kindergarten children. This evaluation was carried out by means of personal interviews with each of the mediators at the end of the intervention program. From the interviews it became apparent that the mediators considered the puppets to be an effective tool for young children's developmental aspects, by means of which they could relate to cognitive, emotional, and social realms. Mediation using puppets facilitated learning processes, while using puppets, children's cooperation level increased, as did interest, attention span and their involvement in learning interaction was evident. The puppets contributed to the mediators' self-confidence and to their sense of professionalism. During the puppets mediation, the mediators felt that they were teaching in a clear manner, and they felt they were being interesting and. interactive. By using puppets, they succeeded in creating a close personal connection with the children. These findings have an applicable contribution in presenting the effectiveness of the puppet as a mediation tool for use in kindergarten and with special needs children.