Recently I received a request from a teacher to answer some questions relating to giftedness to help her develop a persona doll for an assignment she was doing.
She supplied this information about persona dolls and the doll she intended to create.
“A persona doll is a doll developed by a practitioner/educator to enable children to gain an awareness and understanding of the richness and diversity of different backgrounds and lifestyles as well as to help children learn strategies for dealing with unfairness against themselves and others.
The dolls are given personalities, family and cultural backgrounds, likes and dislikes and the stories that are created around them enable children to explore positive and negative emotions.
To be able to develop one, I need to research and consult with children and their families to develop the persona doll identity and story. This is to avoid stereotypes and to provide an authentic representation of the children and their challenges.
I believe that developing a persona doll about giftedness can also be a way to advocate because children, families and educators where it will be shared will be cognizant of the current realities and difficulties faced by children that are gifted.”
She then asked a large number of detailed questions about ethnic, socio-economic and cultural conditions and everyday life matters to help her build a unique and authentic persona for her doll.
She would have liked to ask the questions to my youngest child also, hoping to hear a child’s voice expressed. Our youngest is now in his late twenties; so was not able to provide the child voice.
After replying that gifted children can be found in every ethnic, socio-economic and religion group so she could choose whatever background she felt most comfortable to use; I answered the giftedness related questions and some of the everyday life issues questions using my twice exceptional blog character, Sprite, to personalise the answers.
I have written a separate blog post about my answers for a post on Sprite’s Site and will include the link here
I have enjoyed searching the Internet for information about Persona Dolls.
Here are some of the interesting and helpful sites I found.
I began to consider the idea of buying a persona doll here http://www.persona-doll-training.org/ukresources.html
or here http://www.amazeworks.org/store/p_pdoll.html
and dressing it as my Sprite (I already have all the mini versions of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes and a mini plaster cast); or of sewing one myself.
I found sewing instructions here
This is what I imagine a Sprite 2E twice exceptional persona doll would look like.