Vol 9 No.1: April 2018
Welcome to Issue 9 of Drama Research.
Many of the articles in this issue are concerned with the concept of transformation in different forms and by different methods. Transformation is by its nature an elusive concept to evaluate and measure; but, as it is so central to drama education – indeed, to all education - it is important that attempts are made by researchers to examine it and bring forward evidence of its occurrence. This is precisely what many researchers in this issue have set out to do.
What is apparent from their research into transformative practices is that such practices very often lead to drama educators coming into conflict with established ways of doing things in education which clearly requires both courage and integrity. What is also apparent is that it is not just an issue for education in the UK; the researchers from Hong Kong, Japan and Greece featured in this issue illustrate its international dimension.
Dr. Muriel Yuen-fun Law in her article, A Critical Analysis of Drama Curricular Practice as the Practice of Hope in Schools in Neoliberal Societies, in critiquing the concept of hope, identifies
..the significance and implications of the analysis of hope for critical drama educators to intervene into the dominant schooling practices in a transformative manner.
Her article examines two opposite meanings of hope, not just for school students in Hong Kong where she is based as an independent research scholar, but, as her title indicates, for all neoliberal societies. One concept which is generally accepted in such societies is that
Schools and school curricula have served to create and distribute hope for their school populations in terms of the promise of a good life, bright future, and upward social mobility.
On the surface these seem creditable aspirations. However, Dr. Law argues that
The task of critical educators and drama practitioners is to analyse what ideological contents of hope are distributed through school curricula, or, in other words, what kinds of hope schools encourage and what they discourage or dismiss.