A dream ticket for classrooms

16th July 2004 at 01:00
What a refreshing change it was to return from a dream conference in Copenhagen to see an article on the subject (TES Teacher magazine, July 2).

For five days I attended the International Association for the Study of Dreams with more than 200 other teachers, writers, therapists and sleep researchers.

The article was a treat because it highlights the significance of dreams in our lives, but it didn't go far enough. Of course, we can use a variety of sleep and dream-related themes across the curriculum but what about some of the trickier issues of relationships, bullying, refugees and asylum-seeking children?

We know that dreams and nightmares flood in after critical life experiences such as bereavement, separation and other forms of loss, yet we often fail to realise just what an impact these have on educational attainment. There are many ways to explore dreams in a safe, non-intrusive way which can provide the opportunity for children and young people to explore the feelings and ideas they address.

And just in case I hear the cry, "I'm a teacher, not a therapist", may I say, you don't have to be a therapist to work with dreams - you can be exactly what you are: a human being. All human beings dream and the only dreamless state is when we are dead.

Brenda Mallon 7 Didsbury Park Didsbury, Manchester

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