The PETA Pedagogy

After more than four decades of educational work, three areas have surfaced as the focus of PETA’s educational work: Theater for Artistic Development, Theater For Development and Theater In Education. The three-pronged thrust is seen as a means to allow the PETA pedagogy to permeate the initiatives of artists, educators and development workers.

The PETA pedagogy reflects the orientational-artistic-organizational framework of PETA through the years. It is rooted in our culture and grounded in reality. It strengthens cultural identity and the Filipino perspective. It lemniscates process and product, form, content and context. It is creative, interactive, integrative, participatory and dynamic. The pedagogy may be applied to different streams of concern such as development work, education, artistic enhancement and cultural action. Its process is transformative, liberating and empowering. It upholds the ‘gold mine theory’ that believes that every individual has a gold reserve within waiting to be tapped. At the core of the PETA’s pedagogy is the full actualization of the human person toward social transformation. This pedagogy is embodied in all of PETA’s various curricular offerings.

Theater for Artistic Development(TAD)

These are specialized courses intended to cultivate excellence in the artist’s craft as an actor, singer, musician, mover, dancer, choreographer, designer, writer, director, technician and other creative role in an artistic production.

The TAD curriculum is backed up by creative research, including exposure trips and fieldwork. It is grounded in Filipino culture but is open as well to international influences. Its production process is holistic and organic, collaborative, experimental, innovative and may even be eclectic in form and content. Its modules are designed to facilitate self expression leading to community expression. The integrated theater arts as a general approach allow for improvisation, experimentation and creation of new works.

These courses are designed not only for those pursuing arts as a career but for ordinary people who wish to learn about art for community events. The content of these courses is derived from various sources and influences which include theater games, theater aesthetics, lessons in creative writing and playwriting, acting, movement, dance and other experiences in Philippine theater and interactive workshops and collaborations with other Asian theater practitioners.

Theater in Education (TIE)

These are courses which uphold the use of the arts for a holistic approach to learning within the classroom context.

PETA has defined this particular thrust as one that has to do with formal education or educational institutions. Originally just focused on the youth through secondary school drama clubs and their mentors, PETA has extended itself to training teachers in the use of creative pedagogy as an approach in classroom teaching as well as engaging with the Department of Education to influence their basic education curriculum design.

PETA’s TIE curriculum draws its philosophy and practice from the coalescence of various influences, educational models and other cultural movements. In the classroom situation, the TIE curriculum is creative and participatory in nature, interactive and integrative, grounded in the experiences of people and places. A curriculum that is high in imaginative thinking, it has been found to develop the critical faculties of learners; allowing multiple intelligences to flourish, and contributing to the total development of the learners.

Theater for Development (TFD)

PETA’s TFD thrust is a response to the needs articulated by specific sectors of partner organizations such as those working with marginalized children, youth, women, rural communities and so on.

An important feature of the PETA pedagogy in development work is the need to operate within a partnership program that is context and culture-based, with focused attention on a set of agenda in addressing people with special needs. Geared towards equipping people for self-determination, the PETA pedagogy is a strategy for advocacy, cultural organizing and social action. Its approach to education is based on a clear recognition of specific sectors’ ways of learning and developing creativity. The principles of the pedagogy are informed by theories, knowledge and discourses in development work, e.g. the children’s rights framework, feminism, human rights framework, Sikolohiyang Pilipino etc.