Articles

Creative learning through dramaA question of difference: understanding conflict management through applied drama

While conflict can be a constructive force for change, it can also degenerate into a destructive force that often creates misunderstanding, disputes, hostility, crises and violence. Likewise, difference may also have positive connotations such as unity in diversity, mutual disagreement and peaceful co-existence but it can also assume the mantle of binary oppositions such as self and other, us and them, centre and margin, superior and inferior that create foundations for conflict. This article argues that it is the binary dimension of difference that acts as a major source of destructive conflicts. By playing with different models of human conflict, the article examines how applied drama can help in the process of conflict management.

Kennedy Chinyowa

Creative learning through dramaCreative learning through drama

The article is based on a study, Creative Learning through Drama, carried out by the authors in 2007-2009 on creative learning through drama. The authors looked into the place of drama as an art form and drama in education in primary, secondary and upper secondary schools in Iceland. The main research question was: Can drama affect students’ ability to learn? To answer the research question, mixed methods were used. A total of 16 teachers were interviewed and 22 students, three participation observations were done, and curricula for Art both in secondary and upper secondary schools were examined and compared. At the same time the project aimed to raise the educational profile of drama. The findings of the study showed that drama is particularly useful for students with learning disabilities and for immigrant students.

Ása Helga Ragnarsdóttir and Rannveig Björk Þorkelsdóttir

Devising monologues on domestic violence for the development of inter-professional training and community support services.Devising monologues on domestic violence for the development of inter-professional training and community support services

The exploration of devised theatre towards producing case study scenarios is at the core of current drama practice as a powerful means of both giving voice to vulnerable community groups and contributing to inter-professional education training purposes. The focus of the paper is on collaboration with colleagues working on ‘Daphne’, a European Union research project exploring social justice and human rights. The paper considers the value of these drama practices and explores a teaching method of devising monologues based on transcripts with a group of drama students in Higher Education. It presents an approach to the devising process, the practical work and procedure as introduced to the students and an example of devised monologue followed by reflections from professionals. The major findings of this work are:

1) drama gives voice to individuals who are not properly respected and

2) devised drama can be an effective tool in the field of social work.

Dr. Persephone Sextou

From St Petersburg to Brixton: How Bakhtin’s concept of ‘Speech Genres’ informs the spoken language of role in the first years of schooling.From St Petersburg to Brixton: How Bakhtin’s concept of ‘Speech Genres’ informs the spoken language of role in the first years of schooling.

In this article:

  • I use the drama theorist/practitioner, O’Neill’s (1995) term process drama to describe a means of actively exploring children’s picture storybooks in role
  • I draw on fieldwork carried out with a reception class (children who were four years of age) to illustrate how spoken language in drama is shaped by the social demands associated with dramatic contexts and roles
  • I discuss how drama has been viewed as a means of spoken language development, and examine this in relation to Bakhtin’s (1986) idea of speech genres
  • Iexplain how process drama in the first years of schooling may develop children’s understanding of spoken language in dramatic social settings, thereby preparing them for the complex demands of communication in the real world
  • I speculate on the origins of language observed in the speech genres of process drama
  • I argue for a formal recognition of speech genres in school assessments not only in the complex verbal structures observed in process drama in the first years of schooling, but also in the partial utterances made by children with emergent English as an additional language
  • In conclusion, I consider how spoken language of drama might be assessed firstly by using Bakhtin’s understanding of the influences that shape spoken language, and secondly by drawing on aspects of Gee’s (1999) model of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA).

Dr David Montgomerie

Integrating 10th grade curriculum through Drama: the Greek traditional practice of XystaIntegrating 10th grade curriculum through Drama: the Greek traditional practice of Xysta

In this paper we present the design and implementation of a cross-curriculum project that was carried out among grade 10 students in a public school in Athens. The project concerned the tradition of designing Xysta, which are geometric patterns on façades of village houses in the island on Chios. Drama in Education techniques were used as a unifying framework, introducing notions from diverse cognitive areas. The objective of the project was both research and instruction. Regarding research, the main purpose was exploring the way Drama in Education techniques affect the instructional classroom practices. Regarding instruction, the main objective was teaching and retention of the geometrical notions as well as the use of the Greek language in special circumstances. Our research offered considerable evidence of the effectiveness of the use of Drama techniques in combination with Interdisciplinarity as an alternative approach in the teaching of different subjects of the curriculum.

Dr. Charoula Stathopoulou, Panayota Kotarinou and Gkoufas Konstantinos

Recognising the Drama Classroom as a Site for Critical Social InquiryRecognising the Drama Classroom as a Site for Critical Social Inquiry

The author argues that developing students’ ability to think autonomously and critically should be regarded as an educational priority. He explores the relationship between drama and critical thinking and relates his findings to ongoing arguments over the nature and purpose of drama education in England. The author goes on to propose a pedagogic model for the Key Stage 3 drama classroom that looks to support students in establishing a critical stance towards the social world.

Peter Bannister

‘Superteachers’, saints and solitaires: an investigation into Advanced Skills Teachers of Drama‘Superteachers’, saints and solitaires: an investigation into Advanced Skills Teachers of Drama

Since the Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) grade was introduced over 4000 have been registered. However, there is no central record of the subject specialism of ASTs. This paper reports on an investigation which sought to identify drama specialists with AST status. The concepts of the ‘expert’ and ‘veteran’ teacher are reviewed by way of establishing a lens through which to explore the professional profile of ASTs. The skills ASTs felt were needed to execute their role effectively, and what aspects of the job they perceived as most worthwhile and enjoyable are discussed as is the way ASTs are regarded by colleagues, what support they are afforded, and what tensions they have experienced while trying to satisfy their own and others’ perceptions of what the role entails. The paper concludes that, in order to utilise their considerable knowledge and skills base to the full, more needs to be done by way of supporting ASTs in drama.

Andy Kempe

Publisher: National Drama Publications

ISSN 2040-2228

©2013 National Drama - Drama Research: international journal of drama in education

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