The Dolls and their stories help children develop emotional literacy and how it feels to be treated unfairly.
The stories help children appreciate that they are not alone – that others are in the same or similar situation, experiencing the same or similar painful feelings.
Although some Persona Doll stories deal with exclusion, name calling, teasing or physical confrontation others are about everyday happy experiences like going to the park, or playing at a friend’s house.
These story telling sessions provide lots of opportunities for children’s voices to be heard. Curriculum pressure may restrict the times when they can freely express their ideas opinions and feelings; talk about their own experiences; feel comfortable and included.
The sessions enable practitioners to find out what misinformation. Stereotypes children and prejudices the children may have in their heads.
Stories that give information can then be told to help them think about their ideas, and, crucially, make up their own minds about what they feel is fair.
Children are encouraged to participate as much as possible, but some may be reluctant to talk about their family and way of life.
For example, refugee parents who have come from repressive societies, and Gypsy/Traveller parents who fiercely protect their culture from the prying eyes of outsiders may have taught their children not to tell anybody anything about themselves or their families.