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Abstract Educational Drama: a discipline for all in the regular curriculum Drama is education: language teaching can be enhanced by good educational practice English language: the big E of EDUCATION through a language rather than the small e of just teaching a language as a system Educational drama: a means to developing true communication using role play and improvisation as the nearest form of real-life human interaction
Drama as EducationQuestions for Today What is a teacher? What is education? What is drama? What is theatre?
Education The moment whereby all theunderstanding you had before is sharpened into a new juxtaposition.
Teacher One who creates learningsituations for others. A person whose energies and skills are at the service, during the professional situation, of the pupils.
DramaAnything which involves people in active role-takingsituations in which attitudes, not characters, are the chiefconcern, lived at life-rate (that is discovery at thismoment, not memory-based) and obeying the naturallaws of the medium: · a willing suspension of disbelief · agreement to pretence · employing all past experiences · employing any conjecture of imaginationto create a living, moving picture of life which aims atsurprise and discovery for the participants rather than forany onlookers.
Theatre The work of writing, producingand acting in plays where specialistactors rehearse a script for a given period of time, following thedirector’s instructions with the aim of pleasing and entertaining or educating an audience. It is a pure art form.
Quotes from Dorothy Heathcote“So we need to train our teachers to structure for a learning situation to happen rather than a sharing of information in a ‘final’ way to take place. We have to train them to withhold their expertise to give their students opportunity for struggling with problems, before they come to the teacher’s knowledge, and to reach an answer because of the work they do rather than the listening they have done”
“We have mistaken casualness for the ability to get on with people. Casualness gets you nowhere in teaching….unselective casualness is death to the teacher” “I really think it’s a shame that we’ve set up our schools so that children don’t feel they can take power”
“One of the most rejuvenating things is to give everyone a fresh start each morning. The ability to do this is part of the condition of innocence. I think innocence has a chance of bringing with it enormous gaiety and trust, so that you walk into the classroom clean every morning, however mucky you are at the end of the day.”
“The child laws passed to save children from exploitation in mines, sweat shops and up chimneys, have reaped a whirlwind which any adolescent recognizes at least by instinct if not by cognition, that we have successfully also ‘protected’ our young from influencing society in any way which seems to matter. We have made them toys of society when small, and exploited them shamelessly as consumers when large.”
Questions I consider1. The skill2. My voice3. My knowledge4. Authenticity5. Divisions6. Symbols7. Group Talk8. Back Seat Teaching
Types of Drama Roles: where a person is the challengen Mantle of the expert: where the class is set upon a task in such a way that they function as expertsn Analogy: where one problem, a real one, is revealed by an exact parallel to it.n Text: where interpretation of someone else’s work is the means of learningn Dance forms: where emphasis on non-verbal signals, experiences, and explanations are the means of discovery.n Simulation: where the simulation of life is made.n Games: where the rules lead and control the play
THEATRE VERSUS DRAMA FRAGMENTATION VERSUS HOLISM THEATRE DRAMACentred on the script Centred on the studentWords of the playwright Student’s own languageDirected by the teacher Directed by the groupRepeated rehearsals Spontaneous/improvisedChosen by the teacher Negotiated by the groupRelated to art Related to life itselfEmphasizes the product Emphasizes the processExternally directed Internally directedInactive except for the performers Active for allExternal meaning Internal meaningTeacher as interpreter Active construction from knowledgeCompetitive EgalitarianFixed parameters Based on experience/experimentationFixed timetable Natural timetable/rhythm
QUALITY EDUCATION Brings three things together:1. The matter of the mind of the people3. The matter of the being of the people5. The matter of the doing of the people
Life Skills Key: “…………..” means “drama is education because”1) People have to work out the lives they are pretending to live in a together way. So……… drama depends on co-operation.2) People have to employ what they already know, about the life they are trying to live So……… drama puts life experience to use. So……… drama makes factual experiences (information) come into active employment.
3) People have to be able to live in two worlds at once and notget them mixed up So……… drama uses fiction and fantasy but makespeople more aware of reality.4) People have to agree to sustain a common understanding ofwhat they are making together no matter how separately theymay appear to be thinking. Footballers have to do this too –they don’t end up all playing different games either! So……… drama stresses agreeing to all trying to sustain mutual support for each other while allowing people a chance to work differently – to bring personal ideas to a whole.
5) People have to express thinking, feeling, actions to eachother. If they don’t then no one in the group knows what isgoing on. So……… drama makes people find precision incommunication6) Drama uses objects but often in a symbolic way. Chairs haveto become thrones, but also these ‘thrones’ become the symbolof the king when he is absent. So ……… drama stresses the use of reflection. Symbols become ordinary, but the ordinary also is seen to besymbolic.
7) People have to interpret the actions of others but often in unfamiliar circumstances. You don’t meet dragons everyday; you don’t have to be skilled goldsmiths; you don’t have to battle with kings – or hospital matrons! You don’t have to argue with warlocks; you don-t have to face the rigours of great journeys nor cope with enemies who seek to take your life. So ……… drama introduces you to living out crisis in a testing kind of way. It tests your attitudes and your present capacities.
What is the ‘new’ trunk of the Tree of Knowledge1. A personal monitoring system.2. The ability to see there are many faces to ‘truth’.3. The understanding of the difference between the outer form and inner form of things so we are not fooled.
1. The understanding of the 4 faces of time i. Clock time which rules us in a community ii. The great time that is our feeling of time iii. How the world is speeding up time iv. Body time2. The skill of observation – to look, to read, to understand what you see.3. Perceptual skill – how you learn.4. Responsibility.5. Energy and understanding of your own energy rhythm.
Creative Practice in Teaching Requisites: • The drive to want to do it • The feedback to satisfy the having done it • The content of the doing of it • Signals to communicate the doing • The rituals of going about it Considerations: • Social Learning • Factual Learning • Reflective Learning • Curriculum Pressures
I Pledge Myself to:1. Avoid withholding information in order to ‘spin out’ my knowledge.2. Allow students to take decisions and to test them in action.3. Allow students to prove to themselves that they understand the nature of their own functioning as teachers, thus starting a lifelong process.4. Allow the students to prove to me and themselves that they will still be, however experienced, student of teaching.5. Constantly review my own priorities in teaching.
1. Prove that my ideas are open to review by the students.2. Give evidence of my ability and readiness to listen.3. Give evidence of having patience, positive and unfailing, so long as students give evidence of working.4. Be honest at all levels of praising and criticizing work – my own and others.5. Be a ‘restless spirit’, understanding when to move forward, press for more effort, or be content with present achievement, yet give each moment of achievement its due.
1. Be interesting.2. To be professional always. By this I mean to remember why I am doing the job; to be task-oriented, not coming between the student and the task in false self-interested ways.3. Never to permit myself to be bored.4. Ensure that the students understand that I am concerned with training to teach in school – with realistic knowledge of the problems of teaching in ordinary school circumstances. D. Heathcote, “Training Needs for the future”, 1972
dy stu m ma re at es wr tu he dra di na m itin tu at ls ic g cia s so Fre hi ing t. ry nch sto Li ead ist ry h r lis emco ngmp E ch sp ut ell er bio ce i s scien ng log y The school building The teacher The family The child
WISDOM The high quality culture at the top of this tree contains what we know illuminated from below by what we are 1. how I observe and use what is 1. what kind of worker am I? kindled by observation 2. the many faces of truth THE 2. perception and imagination 3. outer romantic form and inner SUPPORT 3. attitudes to responsibility classic form SYSTEM 4. energy to carry through things 4. the four faces of time (THE TRUNK) begun *how we accept*attitudes from and are acceptedculture and family by others *trying and failing *skills of reading, *the way we look at *how we care *quality of and succeeding numbering already people and things, about what we do already established started, well or ill our perceptions what we do THE ROOT SYSTEM
Drama is Life Life is DramaEnglish is becoming Life