Vol 10 No.1: April 2019
Welcome to Issue 10 of Drama Research.
This issue of Drama Research has a distinctive international flavour as it contains three articles that report on research studies in countries other than the UK: in USA, Greece and China. Nevertheless, they each draw on reference to work originally developed in the UK.
One of the ‘frames’ that Dorothy Heathcote would commonly use to allow her learners to reflect on and engage with a drama experience, often in a Mantle of the Expert project, was that of the Museum. Learners would be engaged in all the activities appropriate to such venues: creating, arranging and labelling of artefacts and texts developed from the drama; researching and collecting photographs and other evidence; bringing effigies ‘to life’ via teacher-in-role; preparing ‘video clips’ of significant events; organising ‘visits’ to the museum with learners in role as curators and guides, and so on. It is a powerful and engaging frame for learners to work in and from which to develop insights about their work in drama.
In their article, Museum Experience Through Inquiry Drama, Agni Karagianni and Simos Papadopoulos explore the situation in reverse. Centring their study in a real museum, that of the Historical Museum of Alexandroupoli in Northern Greece, they describe a project where the real artefacts, exhibitions and experiences of life that the museum contains are investigated and illustrated through Inquiry Drama. It is an illuminating and fascinating mirror image of the Heathcote model and highlights what both spheres have in common: the making of meanings.
Meaning-making in education is a significant issue to consider: research into cultural and intercultural meanings in drama education is a challenging process as it is also in museum education, taking into account the global cultural dimension of museum experience (Falk et al. 2013: 66) and multicultural museum experience (Filippoupoliti et al. 2015).
In fact, the authors note that the theoretical underpinning of ‘free choice museum learning’ bears fruitful comparison to Heathcote’s method:
Heathcote’s approach in which students take responsibility for constructing their own knowledge and behave as adults taking responsibility for the consequences of their decisions (Booth 2012: 102) meets Falk and Dierking’s approach to free choice museum learning, interactive museum experience and visitors’ responsibility for meaning making, personal and interpersonal plane of development through museums (Falk et al. 2013).