Living up to Dewey: an examination of drama education in Calgary classrooms
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AbstractPilot work on justified student risk-taking in drama classrooms provided a focus and determined the method of research used in this study. This study is an ethnographic examination of eight junior high school drama teachers, in their classrooms, who worked as co-researchers and co-learners. It is grounded in those drama education influences which could be discerned in Alberta. Each of these influences were critiqued by comparing them to the foundational work of John Dewey's philosophies and principles of procedure. The conceptual framework relies on two areas of Dewey's opus, namely, Art and Education and Experience and Education. Although the data from the ethnographic work initially was analyzed with reference to the foundation, it became apparent that more specific themes emerged from the data. The work found that constraints of teacher education and knowledge of program, and demands on administration, had a limiting effect on the quality of drama work. Most highly triangulated was the absence of attention to the drama as an art form; that is, to aesthetic education. Common vocabularies about teaching and learning and about drama were difficult to find and proved to be a divisive force:-between the teachers and between teachers and students, as teachers attempted to offer quality programs in very dedicated ways.
Bibliography: p. 308-312