Why puppets? Why not a video or some other “easier” to use teaching tool?
Puppets are effective teaching tools because they can be humorous, playful, non-confronting actors who may be more straightforward in communicating difficult messages than almost any other tool in the teaching kit.
This is possible because they act as proxies–objects that allow some physical and emotional distance between the subject matter and the person receiving the message.
When actively using puppets, students engage more than one learning modality: kinesetic, visual, and oral. Studies shows that teaching with multiple learning methods often increases student learning. Most students learn better when they are happily and actively engaged in the learning process.
Puppets are particularly useful in conveying information through a story that entertains. They can also be used to discipline, to get attention, to teach a concept, to provide a group learning experience, and to role play solutions to real life situations.
It is usually the teacher, not the student, who is intimidated by the idea of using puppets in a classroom setting. But with minimal training, a willing teacher can quickly learn how to incorporate these versatile and useful tools in their teaching repertoire.
Studies in India have shown that conveying information through an entertaining puppet performance is one of the most effective methods of teaching concepts.
They have been used for thousands of years to communicate effectively in a variety of settings. Puppets can be just one more useful, proven tool in a teacher’s bag of tricks.