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Kneading narratives, communities and culture : recipes, reflections and revelations Michals, Lisa 2000

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Kneading Narratives, Communities and Culture: Recipes, Reflections and Revelations by Lisa Michals B.Ed. University of British Columbia, 1985 M.Ed. University of British Columbia, 1991 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF EDUCATION (Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this major paper as conforming to the required standard The University of British Columbia Apr i l , 2000 ©LisaMicha l s , 2000 In p resen t ing this thesis in partial fu l f i lment of the requ i rements for an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e at the Univers i ty o f Brit ish C o l u m b i a , I agree that the Library shall m a k e it f reely avai lable for re fe rence and study. I further agree that p e r m i s s i o n for ex tens ive c o p y i n g of th is thes is fo r scho lar ly p u r p o s e s may b e g ranted by the h e a d of m y d e p a r t m e n t o r by his o r her representat ives . It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f this thesis fo r f inancia l ga in shall n o t b e a l l o w e d w i t h o u t m y w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t T h e Un ivers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a D E - 6 (2788) Abstract Kneading Narratives, Communities and Culture: Recipes, Reflections and Revelations This dissertation examines the impact of narrative, culture, community, and drama on self and other. If reading the local papers and talking to parents is any indication, Education, it seems, is asked to play a greater role in the upbringing of our students. The schools are responsible for ensuring that the students are well fed and adequately supervised not just during school hours, but before and after as well. Schools are expected to keep up with the rigors of ensuring that the students are practiced in the almighty disciplines of reading, writing, arithmetic and now, technology skills. This will somehow propel them into the economic demands of the new millenium. But the impact of the culture and the community from which the students come - the histories of their experiences as individuals and as a group- are seldom explored. L Intuitively, I am drawn to my own stories when trying to make sense of the stories that swirl and swish amongst the myriad of moments that collectively comprise each experience. The influence our narratives have on the way we understand and learn is explored in this paper. Sandwiched in between the stories is a study of how using Drama as an instructional technique can be used to explore our narratives and expand on our ways of knowing and understanding, particularly how it is experienced by the English as a Second Language (ESL) learner. . Twenty-six grade five and six students from a multi-cultural, suburban community were observed. The students participated in a two-month, tri-weekly unit on basic drama methods, which culminated in a final class narrative performance. Four ways of data collection were employed. A static camera (i.e. a video camera that remained in a fixed position on a tripod in one of the classroom corners) was used throughout each lesson to record the events and to supply another view to the multi-perspective data collection. Student journals as well as a personal narrative from each participant (a video portrait) were collected. The classroom teacher also kept a journal and made observations about her students throughout the unit period. This dissertation was not limited to the stories of the students in the classroom as this journey precipitated a desire, indeed a need, to tell my own stories of daughter, mother, sister, student, teacher and friend. Since our physical experiences, our stories and our ways of understanding are integrally intertwined, this (re) search honored narrative as a way of including these aspects in the dissertation. TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgments... fX Abstract ii Table of Contents. iii Section A: My Story, Their Stories, Our Stories ONE: READING THE RECIPES - Breaking Bread 1.1 Mother Teresa 1* 1.2 Recipes 5 1.3 Breaking the Hollywood Mold 7 1.4 The Panacea to All Education's Evils 8 1.5 Mamma's Essence 9 1.6 On Basketball and Breaking Bread 9 1.7 What Lies Ahead 11 TWO: DIRECTIONS 2.1 Chevron Station 12 2.2 Another Turn to Chevron 14 2.3 Right at the Chevron 15 2.4 Allow Me to Explain 18 2.5 The Stories 19 2.6 The Places They Came From 19 2.7 The Stories They Told 20 iii 2.8 How the Stories Were Told 20 2.9 Video Narratives , 20 2.10 Classroom Videotaping 21 2.11 Reflection Journals .....21 2.12 The Journey's Map 22 THREE: KNEADING COMMUNITIES 3.1 Kneading •• 24 3.2 Communities 25 3.3 Using Drama to Form Communities 28 3.4 Politically Speaking 30 3.5 What Is Drama? 31 3.6 As an Instructional Method - Drama in Education 32 3.7 Recipes • 36 3.8 Reflection 38 3.9 Revelations • 39 Section B: From Where I Stand FOUR: THROUGH THE EYES OF THE VIDEO LENS: HEADACHES, HANDS AND HEARTS 4.1 Introduction 41 4.2 Headaches 41 4.3 Definition of Ethnography 43 4.4 The Ultimate in Storytelling 44 4.5 Hands 45 iv 4.6 Video: Valid and Valuable ...47 4.7 Validating and Valuing Video 48 4.8 Validity of Quantitative Research 49 4.9 Culture and Constructions 50 4.10 What Is Good? .52 4.11 Heart 54 4.12 Feminist Influences 56 4.13 How Is Video Ethnography Assessed? 57 4.14 Conclusion 58 FIVE: HOPE, FAITH AND LOVE WITHIN THE PRACTICE 5.1 Intentions, Actions and Beliefs 62 5.2 Actions 63 5.3 Intentions 65 5.4 It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It 65 5.5 Beliefs : 67 5.6 Baby Joy, Baby Johnny ...67 5.7 Transmission Perspective ..71 5.8 Nurturing Perspective 72 5.9 Social Reform Perspective... 73 5.10 Apprenticeship Perspective 76 5.11 Developmental Perspective 78 5.12 Another Perspective 82 5.131s That It? 82 5.14 Shifting Concrete 83 SIX: CURRICULUM AND EM(BODY)MENT— FEMININE WAYS OF KNOWING 6.1 Purpose 86 6.2 The Dining Room Table 87 6.3 My Dining Room table 89 6.4 Conception ....91 6.5 Twenty Something Years Later .92 6.6 Reproduction in Curriculum -93 6.7 Contradiction 94 6.8 Separation 97, 6.9 Curriculum-The Race to Define it 99 6.10 Body Knowledge 101 6.11 Words and Actions 104 6.12 The Drama Curriculum 106 6.13 Hope 107 6.14 Grace 111 Section C: Our Voices in Story SEVEN: THEIR VOICES 7.1 Where the Voice Came From 113 7.2 The Community 113 7.3 The School 114 7.4 Student Logbook Journal Entries 115 • vi 7.5 On Working With Others 116 7.6 On the Activities 117 7.7 Personal Space 118 7.8 Describing Self 119 7.9 ESL Learners Z. 120 7.10 Students With Learning Dis/Abilites 121 7.11 Narratives... 121 7.12 Video Narratives •• 123 7.13 On the Performance 124 7.14 Quality and Quantity of Writing 127 7.15 Gratitude 127 7.16 Classroom Video Data 128 EIGHT: BELLA 8.1 The Student 129 8.2 Journal Entry 131 8.3 Video Narrative , • 131 8.4 Observations : 132 8.5 Conclusion .....133 NINE: ALBERT 9.1 The Student. -137 9.2 Video 138 9.3 Conclusion 138 vii CHAPTER TEN: COMMUNITY OF TEACHERS 10.1 Leadership 139 10.2 March 140 10.3 Annie •. 142 10.4 Her Classroom Journals 144 Section D: Understanding Our Stories ELEVEN: UNDERSTANDING OUR STORIES 11.1 Introduction 147 11.2 Crackers 147 11.3 Classroom Stories 150 11.4 Disciplined • 152 11.5 Celebration 153 11.6 Time 154 11.7 Using Drama as a Teaching Method 154 11.8 Revelations ,156 11.9 Bully Beware 157 11.10 Family Stories • 159 11.11 Conclusion 160 CHAPTER TWELVE: THE PHYSICAL DISCIPLINES THAT TEACH US 12.1 The Mountain 163 12.2 The Marathon 164 viii 12.3 Let's Try This Again 167 CHAPTER THIRTEEN: BACK TO BREAD 13.1 Swimming Against the Current 171 13.2 It Doesn't Count 172 13.3 It Does So Count 175 BIBLIOGRAPHY 178 APPENDIX A Review of Literature 186 APPENDIX B Glossary of Terms 200 C APPENDIX C Letter of Consent 201 APPENDIX D Unit Overview 203 APPENDIX E Journal Samples- Reflections 207 APPENDIX F Bella's Journal Samples 211 ix Acknowledgements In memory of my Zia Julianna whose life and faith in action continue to inspire me. Behind every good meal, lie the stories and hands of many. My gratitude is sprinkled in every hand mentioned below: God: (both the vanilla and the rocky road kind) for unwavering support and patience. My womb mate: For her gifts of time, tenacity, brutal honesty, and her savvy ability to delete all my commas. The Dream Team: Carl Leggo, Inge Andreen and Patrick Verriour. For supporting and almost insisting on great risks and more stories. Thank you for your wings. Linda Darling: Thank you so much for your input. For sharing in both the joy and challenge of raising our children: Rich, Grandma and Grandpa Michals, Manuel and Margrit, Mamma and Pappa. To Maysi, Edith and all those who sit at the cracker table. Thank you for your teaching, your writing and your selves: Marv Westrom, Madeline Grumet, Ricki Goldman-Segall, John Willinsky and of course, Dan Pratt. To Pappa: For the egg yolk and your company in the car ride. To Mamma: You are the best teacher I have ever had. Thank you for your stories. I think they are the best ones. Ti voi cusi ben. To Johnny and Alexandra: for the privilege to write while watching you grow. Bread 2 packages of active dry yeast 3/4 cup of warm water 2 2/3 cups warm water Vi cup sugar 1 tablespoon salt 3 tablespoons shortening 9 to 10 cups all-purpose flour soft butter or margarine DIRECTIONS: Dissolve yeast in 3A cup warm water. Stir in 2 2/3 cups warm water, the sugar, salt, shortening and 5 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place n greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. (Dough is ready if impression remains.) Punch down dough; divide in half. Roll each half into rectangle, 18x9 inches. Roll up, beginning at short side. Roll up beginning with short side. Fold ends under loaf. With side of hand, press each side down I greased loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches. Brush loaves lightly with butter. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. Heat oven to 425°. Place loaves on low rack so that tops of pans are in center of oven. Pans should not touch other or sides of oven. Bake 30-35 minutes or until deep golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped. CHAPTER ONE: READING THE RECIPES Mother Teresa You can not do great things. Only small things with great love. Mother Teresa On my way up the escalator to my sister's apartment, I notice the above quote on a sign that was posted and I am taken aback because I am sure that somehow, this too, is a sign. Mother Teresa, a diminutive, soft-spoken nun is the founder of the Sisters of Charity. This is a Catholic organisation devoted to helping the 'poorest of the poor' as Mother Teresa herself points out. Although she came from an affluent background, she traded her abundance for a more simple and powerful version of prosperity where she welcomes her brothers and sisters who call the streets their home with a simplicity and clarity that awes me and all those who have witnessed her actions. With a steely will that belied her stature, she prayed and worked towards establishing a group of women to work with the most marginalized. The Roman Catholic order of nuns is now an international charity with chapters from New York to India. No matter what your faith, Mother Teresa has become one of the greatest ambassadors for Catholicism and for God. So I find it more than just a little curious that this Nobel Peace Prize award winner who gave up so much and achieved extraordinary accomplishments feels that 'you cannot do great things' when she has achieved a greatness and world wide respect that knows no comparison in this age. Mother Tereasa believed that her work was hot particularly remarkable and that anyone could do it. lb I have gone to see Mother Teresa speak twice, both times with my father. I was taken aback first at how tiny she was, and then by all her stories. Both times she walked to the microphone that always had to be lowered for her and told the audience stories. Her voice, quiet and uneven, would capture the audience hot with rehearsed arid vibrant speeches or liturgies but with stories. They were recounted simply and matter-of-factly with not even a hint of Hollywood histrionics. She made her point by simply telling the audience what she did and why it was so important to her. How wonderful. More than twenty years later, I still remember this experience and carry its memory in my own work. Telling stories is a powerful teaching tool that has the ability to transcend borders and barriers. It is not just the telling of the story that impacts the listener; father, it is the Way in Which the story is told and physicalized that creates the lasting impression. How the listener anchors the story in their own realm of awareness is what is gleaned from the experience of hearing Mother Teresa tell and live her stories. This paper is a story of many stories that is carried through with great love—•• a microcosm of Mother Teresa's quote from above. Let this be viewed as a framework or a starting point lest your stomach churn at the gall of my making comparisons with Mother Teresa. The power of story and the vital need for doing things with great love is what I take from the experience of hearing Mother Teresa speak and the experience of reading her words posted inside an elevator. Experience and action are at the heart of this study. Stories are just our recollections and a recounting of the experiences that we encounter, submit to, resist, tempt, play with, come to terms with, endure, curse, enjoy, treasure, cling to and attempt 2 to lay to rest. Where would education and its discourse be without these experiences and their stories? These are the required elements needed to bring together the researchers that claim impartiality, dominance, superiority and omnipotence with the learners who sit in the confining desks allegedly designed for writing and listening but destined to perpetuate the myth that learning must be uncomfortable and harsh. No writing can be completely objective, detached or impersonal. In fact, I would argue that writing with heart should not even attempt such a misnomer. Instead, an understanding of the vantage point from which one writes is necessary in order to understand any work. In some ways, research is like taking pictures. It is the taking of snapshots of people, places, and numbers that represent various aspects of humanity. If I were to take a picture of a person from a height of fifty feet, twenty feet Or ten inches, or if I were to take pictures from many different sides at various distances, each picture would look quite different from the rest. One could make different assumptions about that person based on, among other things, when the pictures were taken, and at which stage of action. The list of variables and possibilities for interpreting each picture or collection of pictures is endless. How these pictures are interpreted and which tools are used to examine them encompass the methodology or the 'how' of the study. This study takes several 'pictures' and tells many stories including those of the author. The stories provide the reader with a vantage point from where the study takes the pictures. The student journals, their video portraits and their own stories are more pictures that tell partial stories that in some ways, yield an understanding of the impact of using 3 Drama as a teaching method in the classroom. It is a teaching method that abandons those confining desks and utilises space and physical skills to their fullest potential. Finally, this study relies on both traditional forms for the gleaning of information as well as some non-traditional methods. It is generally understood and promoted within academia that research needs to be grounded in the theory authored by researchers with long publication track records. There is a hierarchy involved here. The words from a published, high-ranking journal are more significant than the words from a doctoral dissertation, which are more valuable than words from a Master of Arts thesis, which precedes a Master of Education thesis. Information cited from the World Wide Web, class notes and video references occupy the murky middle ground of suitable reference selections. Al l choices are valued in varying degrees depending on their notoriety, Whether other academia-ranked worthy individuals have referenced them, or who or what Organisation has produced them. My mother's words, Mother Teresa, conversations with friends, experiences and the words of children may be allowed as anecdotal points of reference; however, their impact on the credibility of the research will not be of great importance. In fact, they may even be perceived as detrimental to the weighty task of conducting doctoral work. This research attempts to include and even embrace these anecdotal points of reference as critical to the understanding not only of the researcher's vantage point, but also to the hearts and the stories of the researched as well. Within the mandated double spaced, one and a half inch margins and twelve point, Times New Roman font lies a myriad of stories left untold and songs left only half sung. Meanwhile, a hopeful rebel lays 4 half-waiting, half-baiting the day when she will experience the moment these research vantage points collide and tumble before their eventual partnership. Hence, recipes, Mamma and teaching little Johnny how to ride a bike create reference points from which the works of Grurhet, Noddings, Pratt, and Goldman-Segall can come to life. What follows is a brief overview of the study and how it manifests itself along with a rationale for choosing the format that is used. Recipes Historically food has welcomed a wide variety of implications and impressions. Apart from providing nourishment, food has been used to delineate class, gender, racial, social, economic and religious boundaries. It can signify comfort, love, joy, hate, appreciation, and sadly enough, even punishment. Food has the uncanny ability to bring groups together. School staffs in particular seem to always welcome food. In Italy where food is taken very seriously, business hours are affected as meal times command a respectful two hours. Eating on the run, in the car or at a business meeting would be unthinkable and up until a few years ago, sandwiches were not widely consumed because their quick fare did not appeal to the Italian philosophy. Meals were meant to be enjoyed and savoured— much like this paper. The recipes and food analogies are predominantly used as tools for humour, interest and a place to provide connections for the reader. It also pays homage to my parents and the homeland they left years ago in hopes of a better life. In a way, the food metaphor is ironic as it represents for me and I suspect many others, a great passion and an even greater nemesis. Sadly, there is such a thing as too 5 much of a good thing and it amplifies itself in the cottage cheese curds that surround my thighs and soft pillowy protrusion that extends from my abdomen. Gone are the days where this body type was lauded and sought after. Also gone are the restricting clothes and rules of comportment for the women who lived through them. You just can't have it all. And yet that is what I desire. This schizophrenic opposition of being torn between fitting into the impossible size four jeans and the family size Aero bar has been wreaking havoc in my wardrobe. And yet, I choose to celebrate and laugh with my nemesis because I believe that this is a place where everybody can relate in some way. It is the one place where we can come as close to a communal point of view as I can imagine. Not just breaking bread together, but pasta, meat and that all-important dessert. Wasn't it Jesus who said that man could not live on bread alone? Who's going to argue with God? As a metaphor and a reality, food is connected to so many things— community, culture, rituals, tradition, nourishment, image and imagining. This is the scope of the study and the heart and soul that lies behind the people sharing it. This study hopes to accommodate, challenge, extend and interest the reader in ways that would not have been possible in a more conservative approach to research. The metaphor of recipes is also applicable to the teaching world. Lesson plans are often referred to as recipes as they describe specific steps in order to achieve the intended outcomes. Missing from the procedural step by step formulas are the 'sum and substance' that each educator brings to each lesson. This is important because even though the identical lesson plans are used, no two teachers will use it in an identical format. 6 Furthermore, even when the same teacher uses a lesson plan twice, there is no guarantee that the lesson will turn out the same way twice. Students, emotions, time of day, time of year, point of view, intention and environment are a small sampling of the many variables that affect the outcome of a lesson. Breaking the Hollywood Mold The Drama classroom is unique. Gone are the traditional physical and behavioural settings. In fact, one of the first lessons in a Drama class involves eliminating the prevalent parameters of the classroom, namely desks and chairs, and creating as much space in the classroom in a quick and orderly manner. The students are required to be vocal, participatory and creative. As a result, the classes are often noisy and bustling as students negotiate, pitch, discuss, lead, listen, laugh and argue in their groups which are often scattered around the school in hallways, cloakrooms and classrooms. This can potentially produce anxiety or discomfort with some teachers and administrators because there are still many that would embrace the widely held notion that good teaching has a specific appearance. The classroom is filled with bright shiny faced students quietly hanging On to the immaculately (even provocatively) dressed teacher's every word while furiously writing in their notebooks. This destructive stereotypical scene is often the underlying setting in Hollywood movies or television sitcoms. Even movies that attempt to depict alternate teaching in schools from urban, low status communities {Dangerous Minds, Dead Poet's Society, Lean On Me, and To Sir With Love) follow this model. Ironically, a performance methodology such as Drama transcends the dominant conventions and reveals a student's untapped strengths. It introduces students to real life 7 situations and protocol. It also simulates conditions for a variety of experiences to occur, thereby allowing students to practice potential life skills. This also leads to greater self-esteem and self-efficacy (Wagner, 1976; Verriour, 1994). The greater the realm of experiences and exposure to life skills, the greater the capacity to make connections with new materials. However, how Drama affects student behaviour and self-perceptions has yet to be fully explored. Therefore, in addition to utilising personal experiences and stories as a methodology, one of the aims of this analysis was to observe, reveal and reflect upon the ways in which using Drama as an instructional method affects students. The Panacea to all Education's Evils Everyone has a story to tell. Drama often draws from these rich and fertile accounts that often lie latent within each student and weaves them into a collective tapestry where no one story overwhelms the other and instead advances the calibre of the collective piece. Herein lies one of the magical characteristics of this teaching method. It is in producing this unique tapestry where all the transformations take place. Students who fear getting up in front of a group become more confident and skilled at addressing others. Those who have great difficulty controlling inappropriate behaviour demonstrate a greater sense of ease and control. And this is just the beginning. The parameters of this teaching method seem to produce a group of students that are more at ease, confident and genuinely more caring and concerned about others. It is secretly hoped that by the end of this journey the reader, also, may be tempted to adopt this maxim. 8 Mamma's Essence Instinctively, I am drawn to my mother's story because I believe it is the key to my own story and by extension, to the story of those that read and share in the experience. How I view education, how I see the world, how I teach and how I write - all of these "Fs" are all framed by my mother's actions and words. Mamma, my sister and my own children have influenced this work as much as the academics quoted in brackets. This is nbt unlike Gail Anderson's experience of making oatcakes from her mother's recipe recounted in A Cure For Death by Lightning. Anderson writes: This recipe was in her handwriting: Melt butter, sugar, and treacle, and add essence. Take off the fire, add oats... 'Add essence.' By this she meant 'add almond extract,' but when she made oatcakes she did add essence, her own essence. When I made oatcakes, they didn't taste anything like my mother's although I followed the recipe to the letter. They tasted good enough, but they tasted of my essence, not my mothers. There are no two cooks that can make the same dish; you'll find that essence in one and not the other. Or the essence in each is just different. I don't know. But you'll know. It was there in my mother's cooking. My father knew it. He'd eat the oatcakes my mother made, but not the oatcakes I made. (1996, p. 26) In many ways, I have attempted to replicate the same recipe my mother used in her home for creating an environment where students feel safe and loved in the classroom. So much potential talent and so many intelligences are released under these conditions. On Basketball and Breaking Bread As a teaching method, Drama avoids the overriding premise of performance and focuses on the skills required for the performance. Using the game of basketball as an analogy, Drama would equal the skills required for the game of basketball: dribbling, passing, sportsmanship, strategizing, and fitness. Some of the skills necessary for Drama 9 are control, self-esteem, creativity, listening, sharing, vocalisation, spatial and status awareness, observation, trust, honest, confidence and spontaneity. The performance (the basketball game) is not the sole focus or intent of the strategy. Drama affects students in powerful ways. It reaches many students who are uncomfortable of wary of the present system as well as those who have mastered it. Like basketball or any other team sport where achieving a communal goal is shared, Drama yields a sense of community arid bonding that underlines its strengths. This familial sense of bonding is an element that is highly valued and sought after as it leads to greater risk-taking, confidence, and ultimately a higher quality of work. Achieving a connection, a bond, a sense of community or family, is often an implicit goal for educators in the Drama classroom. Although these relationships of interdependence are rarely affirmed or discussed in overt ways, they are valued intrinsically and almost instinctively by the niany Outstanding professionals I am privileged to work with. Ironically, the concept of team building has increasingly gained popularity among teaching staff. Unfortunately, after being subjected to a few too many of these sanitised and politicised workshops that have more relevance to achieving enviable notoriety within the school district than to accomplishing community goals, teachers end up warily opting out of these cliches and return their focus to obtaining pragmatic information that they can readily use in the classroom the next day. Belonging to a team where your membership is genuinely valued and respected is an awesome and mighty responsibility as well as a heady privilege. When using Drama as a teaching method, the skills necessary for creating this sense of community are honed. 10 Some of these skills include respect for self, respect for others, listening, valuing all contributions, risk-taking, trust, gratitude, and tolerance. These talents, then, become the cornerstones of the projects that the students accomplish. Eating together, breaking bread, is often the catalyst for creating a welcoming environment. Just as each ingredient in a recipe contributes to the final product, so does each component in a teaching method. A teaspoon of yeast may not seem like much, but try tasting or even cutting bread that is baked without this leavening agent. Substituting real butter for margarine makes a remarkable difference to a chocolate chip cookie. Correspondingly, group work without respect or listening skills or class work devoid of joy and gratitude would be equally distasteful. Every member or component of the community adds his or her own different ingredient to the final recipe. Every community that we belong to contributes to our narratives. In turn, these narratives return to benefit the very communities from which our stories were constructed. What Lies Ahead This chapter introduces the intention and the rationale for the journey that constitutes this dissertation. The paper was divided into four sections. The first section, Recipes, Kneading and Directions, provides the scope and overview of the journey. The second section, From Where I Stand, provides the vantage point from which the pictures of the study were taken. Included in this chapter are many of the stories that inform me and propel me here. The third section, Their Voices, recounts the stories and the writing of the teachers and the students who participated in the study. The fourth section, Understanding Our Stories, focuses on examining and understanding the voices and the 11 stories that were shared during the journey. Since a variety of methods were used to gather the stories, a variety of ways to represent them were employed. This included two abbreviated case studies, an overview of the community from which the stories were represented and an account of the community of teachers as seen by the author. A review of the video data was also examined and presented in the form of a video With the same title as the paper. The Literature Review of the study is located in the appendix. It covers research on language acquisition, linguistics, learning, Drama, video ethnography, ethnography and curriculum to form an abridged overview of the issues this dissertation touches. It was not the intent of the research to cover exhaustively every detail. What was needed was an Overview of the issues surrounding the exploration and how they influenced the understanding of the stories. 12 CHAPTER TWO: DIRECTIONS Chevron Station I ease my tired body into the parking spot the corner Chevron Station for coffee good and hot I greedily await the taste of the vanilla nut cream brew only to discover that the thermos spits and spews it refuses to give me any more of my favourite goo I'll try another kind even though deep down inside I'm starting to u n W i n d the taste buds angrily demand the expected^ familiar— consumed with expectations that haven't yet been met so it's irish cream today it's really not that bad so then I take the next best thing . and rush to wait in line the teller takes one look at me and waves his gracious hand this time the coffee's on the house good morning, good day. good deed. I hope he sees the gratitude his kindness brought to me a simple gesture changed my day long after weariness disappeared Another Turn to Chevron My sister writes: I have a terrible sense of direction. Having lived in many parts of the city, I am still hopelessly lost when attempting to find a new location. I have berated my sister for moving to her seaside cottage in Shangri-La, i.e. White Rock, where I am still forced to bring directions and watch carefully every time I drive to her house. "Make a left at the Chevron Station on 128th" she says, "Keep going straight till you hit 18th. You can't miss it!" Yeah, sure, I think, as I tour through downtown White Rock. Once, I remember being so frustrated, that I stopped at a McDonald's. I figured a large diet coke, a killer for my health, would help calm my nerves (1 know, you're thinking, who drinks something full of caffeine to calm their nerves? At times I make no sense.) "What took you so long?" she says, looking at me with her big sister - what am I going to do with this girl -look. You know, for someone who has the big four hours of extra existence On this planet, my twin sister at times appears decades older and I'm not talking about her additional strands of grey hair here. "I hate you for moving to this god forsaken place! It's in the middle of nowhere!" I retort. I am a little bloated and cranky from the drive and the drink. It's not that I have trouble paying attention, or that my mind wanders in transit or that I am absent minded or careless or anything like that, although I admit, I am guilty of all of the above descriptors. It's just that combined with the above classifications, my mind feels compelled to do the opposite of what it is supposed to do. I feel compelled to move left when the correct direction is to move right. In fact, I have at times correctly arrived at a designated location by simply moving the opposite of my natural inclination. My experiences and practice, particularly through dance, have improved my spatial awareness and my sense of direction tremendously, although I still think I am directionally challenged. Most of the time, it is an embarrassing feature of what I have decided is my natural self. It's not a big deal and I usually just end up having some good stories to tell. So, the other day I email my elderly twin, and I say, "Please pray for me.. .for my health and my direction in life." Of course, I mean Spiritual Direction not location direction. So she responds with: Health—and direction in life. Got it. Wait a minute, something's coming to me. It's... just a second... hang a left at the intersection and take all of the next rights until you hit the Chevron... No that's for something else. Ahhh I'll just reflect and wait on this one. Am always keeping you in my thoughts and prayers to be sure. Love you lots. Yes. Cheeky and sweet. Just like her. Right at the Chevron My response to her writing is consistent. Make a left at the Chevron station I say. Even though coffee is on my banned or at least "shouldn't" list, I steal myself inside the corner Chevron station for a cup of the evil liquid at least once a week on my way to work. It's not so much that the coffee is spectacular as much as the people who work there and call me by name. A community of sorts has evolved as Michi, Don, and Norm serve the customers much more than just coffee and gas. One day, I watched as a customer waited and virtually demanded and received a hug from the manager. It had been a bad week. And so when my sister asks for 'directions' to my place and I am so quick to quip and crack- "just take a right at the Chevron Station," it's really more than just a big joke for I have presented a safe place as a landmark. A place that would surely provide the directions should she ever ask; a receptive pit stop that would have gladly accommodated her requests. I could have told her to make a right at the video store or the four way stop. But that just wouldn't have been the same. Which brings me back to my womb mate... Although she looks and sounds much like me, I have failed to understand her completely or at all. A stranger with my voice and my wardrobe finally appears at my 15 door. I eye her large McDonald's cup with disapproval as my daughter who has been waiting not-so-patiently at the balcony for her favourite Zia to come quickly, checks out its contents. She runs to the kitchen to savour the bucket of forbidden coke flavoured ice. "What took you so long?" "I.. .took a little detour." I'm thinking that must have been some detour as the closest McDonald's was a good fifteen minutes out of the way from the direct route I had so carefully mapped out for her. "Oh yeah," I say as I notice her sheepish grin and sweaty appearance. I deduce she has been in the car driving and driving and driving. "You okay?" "Yes", she answers rather defensively. And I shake my head. For one who sees directions and life as innate entities rarely to be mused, I am never really sure of this contradiction standing across from me, only that I love her. Embarrassed by my simplistic view of life and never sure why hers was so darn complicated, my complaints of "You think too much!" and "Can't you just lighten UpV were always countered by "You see life through rose-colored glasses," and "Can't you take anything seriously?" I was sure that she was born a full four hours later than I because she was thinking too much. Her response has always been, "I Was just enjoying all that extra space and the peace and quiet." Yes, cheeky and sweet, just like her. My sister has always taken the long road— the windier, bumpier, full-of-fough-spots path. As her older, protective sister, I desperately wanted her to just take the damn 16 right at the corner Chevron because then she wouldn't have to sweat in a car, drive through the opposite side of town and land in the devilish pit of golden arches where the absence of a caring community was replaced by a well renowned McEnterprise. I don't want that for her because I take the responsibility of the older sister thing seriously. Where I once mistook her for a precious hummingbird flitting into the windows looking for fresh air, I now see a strong and resilient animal, all be it sheepish-looking, that I wasn't at all familiar with. And I am so glad that she has arrived. It is always good to see her. It's not her tardiness that irritates me as much as the fact that I am sorry that we now have less time to visit. The last ten years have done much to erode the stony reputation of my sister's rebelliousness. Her alternate and sometimes obstinate ways of viewing the world have given all of us in the family pause for reflection and fury. And I finally see that it is because of, not in spite of, her many pit stops and unplanned escapades that my sister, my womb mate, has wisdom and understanding that belie her age. It took me thirty-five years, but I think I have finally caught up to her. And I see that she has come into her own space. And the long windy journeys have given way to a resiliency and depth that continue to awe me and fascinate me. I am looking forward to the day when the fork in the road will connect and we will rediscover ourselves on the road less travelled. Directions matter. We all have this innate desire to know where we are going and what it will be like when we get there. The purpose of this dissertation reflects this devotion to direction. This chapter addresses this demand by providing a 'map' of the 17 study. The 'map' will specifically respond to the who, what, where, when, how and why questions of the journey to prevent both the author and the reader from getting lost or landing in a misguided whirlpool of aimless anecdotes and verbosity. Striking a balance between narrative, performance, private and public with research is challenging. Allow Me to Explain The impact of our culture and our personal and public histories play an important role in how we understand new information and how we understand, transfer and physicalize this new information. The purpose of this dissertation is to reflect, realise and reveal the many ways in which experiences, stories and Drama— a physical teaching method— affects individuals. English as a Second Language (ESL) students in the class were also specifically observed regarding how they interacted with their classmates. It was also hoped that this exploration was to contribute to a clearer understanding of why or how the process of storytelling and Drama affects students in the way(s) it does. The exploration further explored and detailed the nature of the language learning that occurred during a two-month integrative Language Arts unit with the topic of narrative. As part of the unit, a class of grade five and six students created and performed a collective drama performance based on each participant's chosen narrative. This study uniquely focuses on five different areas of interest. One, it relies heavily on the narratives and ruminations of the researcher and the researched. Two, rather than a separate subject area, Drama is used as an instructional method. Three, it specifically examines the effects of using this method with English as a Second Language students. Four, it utilises extensive journal and video data to inform the methodology and results of 18 the examination. Finally, the research included theoretical inquiry, personal narratives and practical fieldwork as three connected entities. The theory informed the practice and the practice heavily influenced the theory while the personal narrative provides the lens and the fulcrum from which all the information was processed. The Stories The students involved in this study were in grades five and six from a suburban community in a multi-cultural, public school district with a high population of English as Second Language (ESL) students. The school population was comprised primarily of students from a middle socio-economic background. There were also students on either end of the socio-economic spectrum attending the school. The students participated in a Language Arts unit on narrative, focusing on four levels of language acquisition (reading, Writing, speaking and listening) in March, April and May of the year 1999. The Places They Came From The examination took place in a growing multicultural urban city with a population of just under 200,000 residents. From 1991 to 1997, there was a 17.6 percent increase (22,000 people) which also created an influx in the school population. The city's economy supports over 100,000 jobs in various sectors although its proximity to a nearby metropolis makes it desirable as a bedroom community. A detailed statement of philosophy was formulated for the school district in which the study took place. It includes global sentiments such as a dedication to "providing opportunities for all students to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge that will enable them to enjoy a productive and satisfying life and to be positive, responsible 19 participants in our democratic society and the global community" (; 1999). The Stories They Told The students participated in a two-month unit on narrative using basic drama methods and activities. The unit consisted of three forty-five minute classes per week. At the end of the term, the students prepared a class poem titled, "I Am" which they prepared and performed at a school sharing assembly. A detailed unit plan has been included in the appendix. How the Stories Were Told Four types of observations were collected. A static camera (i.e. a video camera that remained in a fixed position on a tripod in one of the classroom corners) was used throughout each lesson to record the events and to supply another view to the multi-perspective data collection. Student logbooks that included the activities of the lesson, why they were used and a journal section, as well as pictorial representations of concepts Or skills, were collected. A personal narrative from each participant (a video portrait) was collected. The classroom teacher also kept a journal and made observations about her students throughout the unit period. The observations focused On the students. Video Narratives As part of the unit, all students produced a video narrative highlighting a moment or a specific story in their lives. The specific instructions were: "Think of a moment or a story in yOur life that meant something to you. For example, a time where you felt joy, sadness, anger, or satisfaction." ESL students were given the additional suggestion of 20 writing about their first impressions of their new surroundings or the experience of leaving their homeland. English as a First Language students were encouraged to talk about a pivotal or powerful experience in their lives. Each narrative was approximately three to five minutes in length. All the students told their story to a partner before writing it out and telling the video camera. Classroom Videotaping A stationary video camera was placed in the classroom capturing audio and visual images that occurred within its range. The video was placed in various corners of the room in order to collect video data from a greater range of perspectives in the room. There was one separate data tape collected from each lesson. Also, the final performance was also video taped for a total of sixteen video-data tapes. Reflection Journals After each class, the students were asked to reflect in their journals. This was done in two ways. They either wrote about each particular lesson or they drew a series of pictures on how they interpreted various activities or concepts from the lesson. Each journal entry contained the date, the journal entry number, a brief description of the lesson and a more detailed section of notes where students reflected on their experiences and feelings. ESL students were also given the choice of drawing pictures and labelling them to expand on their written contributions. One journal entry was produced for each lesson for a total of fifteen journal entries per student. In her dissertation (1999), Lyn Fels discusses the parallels between the research vehicles chosen and the researcher's lens. She writes: 21 The research methodology we embrace shapes our understanding of our journey— landscape(s), our questions, our ways of being, becomes. A research methodology is the lens through which we engage in our field of inquiry. Methodology betrays our communion with the world(s), opening us (and our world) to inspection and intraspection, expectation and interspection. To choose a research methodology is to throw Off our clothes and hang them on line, exposing passions, our imperfections, our expectations, our blind spots, our anticipations, our hopes, our failings, and yes, our quest. (Fels, 1999; p.28) The research methodology is discussed in greater detail in the following chapter. The main goal of this type of research was to transcend existing dominant teaching methods through the reconstruction of realities by reflection (student journals) followed by action (student performance narratives). I relied heavily on my fourteen years of teaching experience where drama and journals as praxis in the classroom were utilised and highly valued. There was also a phenomenological element included in the methodology as the structure and the essence of the experience of participating in the narrative unit using Drama as a teaching method was explored. The Journey's Map A drama program has the potential to foster empathy, self-esteem, social adjustment and friendship among students by providing a flexible, integrative and collaborative setting where students are able to socialise and to practice the art of socialising through role play and perspective-taking inherent in the dramatic activity. In addition, students are often able to share their skills and their talents on the same level of respect with others including adults as expertise is measured by practice and experience, not by age, class or status. 22 Although some ethnographic, phenomenological and video ethnography were used, this journey's aim was to understand a phenomenon by allowing the observations and the reflections of the observed and the observer to speak for themselves. This was achieved by relating the stories of the students and the author via video, journals and observations. Journal and video data was analysed for recurring patterns of significant changes in student behaviour, writing content, vocabulary, quantity and quality of student output. The student pictures were examined for use of colour, size and details. The patterns were then categorised and discussed. This dissertation seeks to (re)present a journey. The readers are invited to weave their own understanding of what it means to practice, to be, to tell stories, to imagine and to hypothesise. 23 CHAPTER THREE: KNEADING COMMUNITIES Kneading As a young child, I remember watching my mom make bread. Once a week she would bring out a large laminate board that my father had made. It would be the working surface that would protect the countertops and control some of the expected mess. Skilled hands would routinely measure the flour, water and yeast until suddenly a massive glob of dough would makes its debut onto the amply floured board. She would take what always appeared to me as her well-worn wedding ring off to protect it from the impending goo and plunge and fold her self, almost elbow deep, into the mass. I would watch as the sticky blob would be transformed into smooth, elastic dough. Rhythmic rolls and pushes, quarter turns, push and roll, quarter turn. It looked like fun to me. More like play-dough time than work. Occasionally she would stop and wipe her face with the back of her wrist. Sometimes, she would stop and ask me to roll up her sleeve. If I was really lucky, she would break off the tiniest piece of dough and let me help. My favourite part was when the dough had achieved cohesion and neatness. Or maybe it was when the soft dough would magically double in size with a little warmth and time. Wait a minute, I definitely think the best part of the process was when the whole house would fill with the heady aroma of what it meant to live in a first generation Italian household. Kneading is a physical, messy and laborious task that yields a wonderful, nourishing and sustaining product. It is an awful lot like using Drama as an instructional method in the classroom. Although much attention is given to the product, this 24 dissertation seeks to accent the process of a kinaesthetic, reflective and action-oriented method of teaching. Communities When I hear the word community, it brings to mind something that is good. A team, a sense of family is embedded in the word that is reminiscent of the smell of bread baking in the oven. I think of flour, water, hands, salt, and the physical labour of getting dirty and messy to arrive at a better place. I think of something that takes advantage of a variety of skills and talents, emotions, risk-taking, intelligences, and roles to create a work of art. Of course, this is not everybody's idea or ideal, but it is a concept that works well in the Drama fonim because this is also how I would begin to frame a working definition of Drama. The term 'community' is 'in vogue' in educational circles. 'Community of practice' and 'community of learners' are catchy phrases that have been bantered about inside academia's walls as well as in school staff rooms. The phrases sound admirable and I must admit, they suggest places that I am instinctively drawn to and want to be a part of, but what do they really mean? bell hooks [sic] (1991), a feminist education writer, reflects on the appeal of the concept of breaking bread: "I liked the combination of the notion of community which is about sharing and breaking bread together, of dialogue as well as mercy because mercy speaks to the need we have for compassion, acceptance, understanding, and empathy" (p. 2). For West, (1991) the appeal of this concept is in its hope and potential to encourage change: 25 There are tremendous impediments and obstacles, very difficult circumstances and conditions, but the breaking bread that could lead toward our critical understanding of the past and present and our transformation of the present into a better future seems to be so very important, and therefore this dialogical form of two intellectuals coming together, trying to take quite seriously the love ethic in its dialogical and intellectual form, is crucial. (West, p. 2) Although the term "love ethic" is never defined or expanded upon, I am curiously heartened by its inclusion in the discourse about community theory. Admittedly, the concept of love has always been a difficult and multifaceted idea that traditionally has been left out of the academic forum and predominantly relegated to poetry, prose, and self-help literature. Yet love, heart and soul are the essence of teaching, teachers and community. Hope for transforming our present into a better future underlies the word community and the great potential of using Drama as an instructional method. In Microsoft's reference CD, Bookshelf '95, community is defined as: "1. A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government, 2. A group of people having common interests and 3. Sharing, participation, and fellowship"(p. 138). PiotroWski defines community as "a group of people who share an awareness of their commonalties and participate in the process of meeting mutual needs" (p. 14). Although community is often used to define something that is good, beneficial or positive, it can also connote a negative behaviour. Community can also define a group Of people who devote their resources and efforts to promoting hatred, anarchy, the obliteration of one particular race or faith, or even a group of uninformed parents advocating a 'back to basics' traditional style of teaching or straight grades over split or combined classes. 26 Nicholson (1991) notes that most of the time the word 'community' refers to a group of people who share something in common, whether it be their habitat, interests, feelings, beliefs, possessions, ideals, or activities (p. 48). What's important to highlight is that sharing something is what defines community here. Sharing is an action, a verb that implies movement, responses, energy and behaviour. Here Drama capitalises on the act and the discipline of sharing. Respect and risk-taking, two standard requirements of this particular form of teaching, are dependent on each student's awareness and ability to share spaces, voices, personhood, time, resources and care in the classroom. Without this sense of shared responsibility, the learning becomes stifled, held hostage by the hoarders and gluttons of space, attention and time. What are the defining characteristics of community? A good response to this question was found in Nicholson's article where she highlighted Ernest Boyer's six principles that would establish the ideal educational community in his report on campus life. The six principles for a college campus community are: 1. a purposeful community where faculty and students share academic goals and work together to strengthen teaching and learning, 2. an open community where freedom of expression is protected, 3. a just place where diversity is pursued and personhood is honoured, 4. a disciplined place where individuals accept their obligations to the group, 5. a caring place where the well-being of each individual is supported and 6. a celebrative place in which the heritage of the institution is remembered and where rituals affirming both tradition and change are widely celebrated. (Nicholson, 1991; pp. 7-8) For me, a classroom that is purposeful, open, just, disciplined, caring and celebrative captures the ideal learning environment in which to learn, explore and grow. So I will use these terms to frame the concept of using Drama as an instructional method 27 in the classroom. Drama utilises the concepts of status and stereotype awareness to enhance and expand upon one's current worldview. The new awareness of status and stereotypes that exist within our own lives is the first step to making a change. As it stands now, most of the students and their extended communities that I currently work in are unaware of or aware of in a limited sense only, the disparity, discrepancies or inequities between their communities and others. Students from the study represented a multicultural blend of Filipino, Arabic, Hong-Kong, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, East Indian, Iranian and Canadian backgrounds. Still, the majority of the students live in isolated, ethnocentric settings. Many of these students speak a language other than English at home. They go to stores and restaurants that cater to their culture, read magazines and comics and even watch television programs in their own language. Their world continues to be in their native language and not in the culture of their new homeland. The process of Drama seeks to enable participants to move beyond their world and empathise and understand others' worlds. Using Drama to Form Communities As educators we are now permitted to question how cultural rituals are sanctioned and contested by those who live together in certain environments. We can look at the school not only as a place that disseminates culture to those who have no choice but to partake iri its rituals, but also as a place where cultures emerge and are created, layer upon layer. (Goldman-Segall, 1998; p. 10) You teach Drama? That must be such a FUN job! The number one response to the answer, "I teach Drama." Drama connotes a variety of different responses. Personally speaking, although the responses vary, respect, status, honour, esteern and reverence are 28 not inside the repertoire of responses. Drama suffers from a poor image. Part of the reason for this is tied to the fact that endeavours connected to games and fun are often relegated to the bottom of the curriculum and funding formula in schools. Drama is considered a frill, an extra. I have yet to read a newspaper article where parents are demanding more self-efficacy training, more leadership skills and Drama in the classroom (outside of the obligatory school plays or assemblies or as a mass reaction to a terrible event such as bullying or school violence). The opposite is true of the call for the basics— reading, writing and arithmetic. And we are back to the momentarily messy kitchen, kneading dough. Push, fold, punch, roll, turn, a little bit of flour, push, fold, punch, roll, turn. The song of the bread making is a little like the sOng of a classroom working together. The hands, the head, the fingers, the palms, the arms, the legs, the heart, the eyes all work together to yield that collective symphony. The practice is more valuable than the performance for every student is an invaluable piece in the collective learning process. For a variety of reasons, subjects understood as 'fun' or related to games have the potential to be considered superfluous or less important. This same phenomenon was noted in my previous studies around Physical Education and the use of educational computer games. The notion that academic and scholarly work is serious and devoid of the personal remains pervasive, although admittedly less so. Nevertheless, hope and tenacity remain requisites in the quest to challenge these parameters. 29 Politically Speaking I am a resource teacher. The majority of my responsibilities involve English as Second Language (ESL) students. Traditionally, ESL teachers have pulled their students out of their regular classes for specialised language instruction. This is referred to as a pullout program. A few years ago, I introduced Drama as a teaching method in a unit using the whole class instead of pulling out specific students. The high population of ESL students in a class, taking advantage of a native English language model, riot isolating the ESL student, the opportunity to work closely with classroom teachers— these were just a few of the benefits that presupposed the move. Physically, this required an alternate use of the classroom space. The students rrioved their desks and chairs to allow for maximum movement and freedorh. All students received instruction and practice in basic theatre stances, vocal production techniques, group work methods, empathy training, and spontaneity. Getting there also required a lot of talking. Twenty-eight students negotiating, laughing, and working through the activities would generate much more noise than if I were to pull eight of the students Out for a grammar lesson. Although highly valued by the classroom teachers, the administrator of the school challenged my presence in the classroom. The needs of the ESL students would best be met through a pullout program and besides, the idea of two teachers in the classroom was rich and potentially a waste of good taxpayer's money. Drama doesn't look neat and tidy. Chairs and desks piled to the sides. Groups of students sharing their ideas in sometimes heated, often excited, and almost always difficult ways, generates a lot of fanfare in a small area. Much like the puffs of flour that would 30 find their way around most of my mother's kitchen, the distracting noise would find its way around the school. And always the laughter— there were always students laughing! Nobody wants to hear that in the class next door when they're in the middle of a math worksheet. Three years later, I still utilise Drama as an instructional method in the classroom, only to a lesser extent. There is a terrific amount of support for the Drama unit by many colleagues and students. My administrator's anxieties were not isolated. When I excitedly told a different administrator of what I was doing, his eyes shot wide open. "You teach Drama in the classroom for ESL? Well, I can't tell you how to teach." That was the Director of Personnel for my district. What Is Drama? Theory ought not to be a fetish. It does not have magical powers of its own. On the other hand, theory is inescapable because it is an indispensable weapon in struggle, and it is an indispensable weapon in struggle because it provides certain kinds of understanding, certain kinds of illumination, certain kinds of insights that are requisite if we are to act effectively, (bell hooks, 1991; p. 35) The question, "What is Drama?," is a difficult one to answer. Although this term is often used to describe what I do, it connotes so many different responses and meanings that the need to define it and capture it is made critical. A discussion of the history of its origins in the educational context is where the definition begins. Drama comes from a Greek word meaning "to do," and thus Drama is usually associated with the idea of action. Often, Drama is thought of as a story about events in the lives of characters. Furthermore, the ideas of conflict, tension, contrast, and emotion 31 are usually associated with Drama (Encarta, 1995). Action, the business of movement, is crucial to this discussion as it weaves itself in every part of the practice arid the prose of the examination at hand. Drarna is also associated with performance. The rnore familiar version of performance often encompasses theatre and story. Some periods or cultures have emphasised dramatic literature of plays, while others have stressed aspects of theatrical production. The value of theatre varies from culture to culture. Although there are strong ties to storytelling, there are also connections to religion, demonstrations, politics and entertainment. Through much of history, theatre has existed on three levels simultaneously: as loosely organised popular entertainment, as a mainstream public activity, and as an elitist art form. It has been used as an extension of religious festivals, as a means for spreading political ideas or propagandising mass audierices, as entertainment, and as a form of art (Encarta, 95). The utilisation of these kinds of forums for theatre has carried over irito the educational context. The history of Drama and Theatre and its focus on fiiass entertainment has infiltrated how people perceive these enterprises as school subjects. Today, theatre is not just used as entertainment and art in the classrooms, the process by which the students arrive at the final outcome is educationally valid and has positive implications that are long term and beneficial. As an Instructional Method— Drama in Education In the beginning, there was Dorothy Heathcote, a British educator advancing the definition and the visibility of Drama as a valuable teaching tool. Heathcote does not define what she does as creative dramatics, role playing, psychodrama, or sociodrama, but 3 2 as a "conscious employment of the elements of Drama to educate— to literally bring out what children already know but don't yet know they know" (Wagner, 1976; p. 13). Heathcote's view of Drama as a forum to "bring out" a knowing that already exists in the learner continues to dramatically influence the use of Drama in the field of education. I was introduced to Heathcote's techniques as a university undergraduate. Her style has influenced but not dictated my own technique as a Drama educator. Like Heathcote (1984), I believe that students should not necessarily produce plays that are essentially other people's words and stories especially ones that are scripted. Instead I use Drama to "enable them to look at reality through fantasy, to see below the surface of actions to their meaning" (Heathcote, 1984; p. 15). Having used Drama for over nineteen years in a variety of settings, a different style of Drama emerged in my own practice. Although the intentions are similar, the practice and the methods for achieving this are quite different. Where Heathcote immerses herself in role Drama and spends little time focusing on developing each individual skill, I use activities that highlight specific skills prior to and in conjunction with specific activities and games. Skills and concepts such as control, neutral, spontaneity, trust, both verbal and non-verbal communication and teamwork are defined and practised. The specialisation of Drama as a separate subject area that largely focuses on the production of a scripted play or performance sometimes acts to separate this unique teaching method from the classroom teacher. The pressure of producing a high calibre performance piece and using alternate energetic, risk-taking activities prove initially daunting for many educators. Consequently, Drama becomes largely viewed as an area of 33 specialisation rather than a successive, viable method of assimilating and transferring information. Hence the term, "using Drama as a teaching method," gains significance as its presence constitutes a quest for promoting this method as a 'teacher friendly' physicalized mode of operating in the classroom rather than a specialised subject in and of itself. That Drama is primarily associated with the business of theatre and scripted plays is a widely held perception. That performance is exclusive to a formal stage and spectators is also a misrepresentation. A performance has only two essential elements: a performer and an audience. Life, then, is really one great big performance. The stage and audiences differ from moment to moment, but the notion that our daily language, actions and reactions induce intended and/Or contingent outcomes is an important one. Often the performer and the audience are one in the same. Drama is a physical tool that allows learning with a far greater impact. It is an opportunity to practice real life in a safe and reflective environment. It is creating the experience and reflecting on the experience. Essentially it is all about the 'doing' and all that is associated with the 'doing'— reflection, practice, collaboration, risk taking, experiencing, accomplishment, and failure. Therefore, all the benefits arid Outcomes associated with the 'doing' are gleaned from using Drama as an instructional method. For the purpose of this dissertation, the term Drama will refer to an examination Of the physical, social, cognitive and emotional processes of life— either experienced or imagined. This is achieved by utilising physical, written, verbal, aural, and creative intelligences. Critical skills that are covered in a typical Drama unit include: defining and utilising respect, trust, teamwork, control, neutral, status, self, other, risk taking, 34 observation, imitation, commitment, and role playing. It is the study of practice as well as the process of practice. It involves the six elements of community previously discussed: open, purposeful, disciplined, celebrative, caring and just. Just like teaching, it involves the individual nuances and the heart and the soul of the practitioners who use it. Educational Drama is a process. It is not to be confused with its product-oriented, performance-based sibling, Theatre. Cranston (1990) describes its appeal to the human condition "because it demands that we feel our way, search, explore, wonder, become confused, understand, and misunderstand" (p. 87). Since props, costumes and stages are riot needed, it depends less on external elements to suggest the dynamics of change and more on the process of living life out and interpreting the human condition. Space and how it is used is an essential factor of Educational Drarna. The teacher essentially facilitates the use of space and the understanding of how it is used in the student's lives. A teacher motivates concern and interest and involves the learners so that they will be able to think, feel, reflect and emote in the Drama experience. Although Drama is used as a teaching method in this investigation, it does not encircle nor dominate the reflective observations that constitute the majority of this dissertation. Instead, Drama is used to enable the students with the skills and the confidence required to produce work, behaviour or output that meets their full potential. Recipes The term recipe is often used as a metaphor for lesson plans. Both constitute a road map or a specific course of action for the intended outcome. To make the cookies or teach the gym lesson, you require certain ingredients, equipment, and tools. You also need 35 a particular set of skills to carry out the procedures. How you feel about the lesson or the cookies will also bias how you interpret the procedures. If a teacher detested being in the gym and playing games, their lesson, although identical in plan, would differ from a teacher who felt very comfortable in the gym and was introducing their favourite activity. This element is explored in greater detail in a later chapter examining the indicators of commitment: actions, intentions and beliefs as Pratt (1998) proposes. If you have ever watched a film of Dorothy Heathcote working you will most likely be awed by her talent and her craft, but you may not necessarily be inspired to introduce her work into your own classroom. There is no step by step program or 'How To' manual that accompanies her presentation. She has never written a book of lesson plans. Instead, she demonstrates, practices and asks her participants arid her observers to reflect on what they have just seen. Although I believe this practice is revolutionary and revelatory of an individual whose vision in education surpasses her time, it potentially alienates many educators from using her methods. For many, a recipe is a necessary starting point when introducing a new discipline. Like the banister on a staircase, beginning teachers require the guiding support of a lesson plan. How that lesson plan is articulated and performed is set within a very rigid set of criteria. You need instructional objectives, procedures, and closure. The lesson plan is almost always prescribed within a very specific framework and how well you are able to fit your lesson inside the dictated pattern will often determine your success iii a pre-service program. However, after you have used the same lesson plan twice or incorporated the experience of classroom teaching into your work repertoire, the banister no longer 36 becomes necessary and the classroom teacher is able to jump, skip or even dance down the stairs without so much as a glance at the prescribed railing. Lesson plans, although limiting, are a general guide for most educators— the motivation, implementation, emotion, communication and spirit of each lesson is established by the teacher and the students involved. This does not negate the importance of the fundamental planning skills necessary for teaching, but it does call for a wider spectrum of what that lesson plan will look like and how it will manifest itself. My brother would always tell me that the problem with my baking was that when I made something he really liked, there would never be a chance to taste the same thing twice. He was referring to the fact that I used recipes as a guide or suggestive framework rather than a list of rules that must be strictly followed. Rarely did I bother with 'official' measuring cups or teaspoons. Instead, like my mother, only more so, I would 'guesstimate' how much flour and liquid would be required. Invariably I would rummage through the fridge and the cupboards and add a dash of this and extra that so the end product would never be the same. Chocolate chip cookies were always loaded with twice the chocolate chips because that was the way God had intended them to be. When I started making bread, unlike my mom, I had no idea how many loaves I would make because I would just add water from the tap into the biggest roasting pail that we had in the house and then add flour until it looked ready. Some days it felt like I was baking in the kitchen all day. My mother would often pass through the kitchen with her now familiar, half-disapproving, what-am-I-gonna-do-with-my-daughter looks and exclaim, "You have enough bread to feed five thousand people here!" 37 "Don't worry mamma, the bread will turn out just fine!" Although this scenario might conjure up a 'Pippi Longstocking Bakes Bread' plot, the bread was always edible (at least for my brother) even though the batches were always different. This is analogous to how I teach Drama. I never know exactly what the end product will look like because the students add their creative individuality to each piece. The skills and activities used are all similar (they come from the recipe or the lesson plan), but how the bread will taste, rise, or even fall will always be an eagerly anticipated surprise. R e f l e c t i o n Experience in itself is neither productive nor unproductive; it is how you reflect on it that makes it significant or not. (Bolton, 1979; p. 126) Drama is both an experience and a reflection. The ability to look back on their experiences in the classroom is essential for the students as it allows them to make sense of their own experiences, make sense of other's experiences, and posit suppositions or hypotheses of their own. In order for this to happen, the element of time is also necessary as it Creates a distance from which to view the encounter with a new perspective. Reflecting is also a discipline. Although many are uncomfortable at first with the concept of reviewing and reflection, the process becomes much easier and richer as this required practice becomes accepted, first as a teacher expectation, and then as a student expectation. What the right hemisphere of the brain has pulled together, the left hemisphere analyses and codifies and stores. This process is the education of feeling. Feeling without reflection may simply be experienced and forgotten; with reflection it can become an insight, an understanding that 38 makes possible later modification of behaviour in the real world. One has learned something of the nature of feelings and the now predictable consequences of expressing these feelings. One has also learned how to transcend the personal feeling of, say, fear and think about fear itself. Stopping to reflect at the height of the action is possible in Drama but very difficult in real life. (Wagner, 1976; p.78) Reflection provides many opportunities for Drama participants. Reflection allows for the possibility to understand the nature of felt understandings and raise one's understanding to a greater level of complexity. This is achieved by generalising from the particular to conceptual abstraction and also from acknowledging the felt understandings as neither exceptional nor poor but as acceptable and valid. Further explorations are possible as students reflect on each other's responses. Reflection can be introduced at any point of the lesson. Orally, there are many opportunities for reflection during each lesson. At the end of each lesson, a written reflection in the form of a journal can be used to accommodate those who are more comfortable expressing themselves in a written format. Revelations Revelations are what the students reveal, communicate, unveil and disclose once their dark cloaks of discomfort, uncertainty, doubt and non-confidence are shed. The reflections and the connections that were made for each student were revealed either in their journals, their video taped interviews or their behaviour. This is what is meant by revelations. I use the term revelations because it seems to approximate the fantastic 'a-ha' moments of realisation that one is capable of something that was previously feared or could not previously imagine doing. 39 I am always awed by the metamorphosis that takes place in the students during the use of this teaching method. Sometimes, students, who are assumed to be difficult or non-compliant in a traditional setting thrive and excel in a Drama-based classroom. Teaching, just like mothering, often reveals more about the self than the other. I have amazed and disappointed myself on so many occasions while attempting either of the descriptors. Therefore, the revelations are not just unidirectional. They are a process of reciprocity as is the process of Drama. It is never just the outpouring of an abundance of wisdom from orie authorised body of knowledge to the subordinate. Rather, it is the relationship of mixed leaderships and authorities that makes this method both risky and rich. One of the underlying goals of this study is to acknowledge the students' revelations and make them public so that others can appreciate and understand this method as a valuable and essential part of every program. Ultimately, it is hoped that others will take the risk of trying some of these recipes and personalising them with their own unique approaches. 40 CHAPTER FOUR: THROUGH THE EYES OF THE VIDEO LENS: HEADACHES, HANDS AND HEARTS Introduction Whatever I write is written from a viewpoint within the culture and subculture to which I belong. I do not, no one can, write from an objective God's eye view. No one sees the world as it is. We see the world our communities teach us how to see, and the world we make, always a bit uniquely, within and sometimes just a bit beyond what we have been taught. (Lemke, 1995; p. 4) Data can be manipulated in a great variety of ways. Regardless Of the medium— numbers, words, video or otherwise— data can be interpreted or selected in a wide variety of ways. How information is interpreted or represented reveals the bias of the author as much as it reveals details and facts about what is being studied. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the prevalent issues that currently pertain to the use of ethnography in general and more specifically, the use of video data in this particular study. The issues that will be investigated are 1) value, validity and predicaments of quantitative reporting, and 2) value, validity and predicaments of video reporting. Critical ethnography and feminist influences will also be discussed in a latter section as I explore its relevancy in my own study. Headaches In 1997,1 took a course on video ethnography. I was interested in using this form of data collection for my own pending study. I was sure that it would be the answer to capturing the real value of a very physical teaching technique and representing the subjects 41 in a fair, honest and objective way. What better way to preach the gospel of Drama than by catching its powerful benefits on video? Theoretically, the class examined the philosophies, assumptions arid the practice of using video as a means of collecting data. Practically, the class required two separate edited video assignments. Although the theory was dense and sometimes complicated, the academic requirements were the least problematic. Videotaping and more specifically, editing, proved to be much more complex than anticipated. As a rookie videographer, I was overwhelmed by the sea of decisions required for each minutia of data collection. Where do we film the subjects? How? From what angle? Under what light? Should a microphone be used? What about a tripod? At what range? Should the video camera be held at the hip, on the shoulder, or on the knee, pointing up? Is it even ethical to film subjects? Are subjects apt to perform for the camera thus tainting the data? Which video clips should be included in the final edited product? What decisions/ priorities/ implications can be noted from your final product? Each decision rrieant another view was being overlooked and therefore underrepresented. Add to that the discipline, no, the ordeal, of working with an outdated editing machine that refused to co-operate and required inordinate amounts of precious time only to yield an arriateur three minute product of which I was disproportionately proud (Hey, wanna see this video I made?), only to be disheartened by my friend's and family's polite but uncensored, "Is that if!" faces. I finished the course determined to avoid collecting video data at all costs. Clearly, this was not the collection vehicle for me. So I spent an entire year redefining the ihethodology and the parameters of the study— toying with the idea of using coloured 42 self-portraits, teacher and student journals. Yet I still couldn't stifle the nagging doubt that plagued me. If this dissertation was all about the merit of the experience, the doing, the action, and risk-taking, then why was I allowing my fear of video ethnography to take over? What better medium to capture the subtle tell-all gestures and expressions of the students? If a picture was worth a thousand words, then just think of the billions of words that a video could capture! And so I returned to my nemesis and decided to redefine its greatness. Dr. Ricki Goldman-Segall (1998), who had just published a book on video ethnography, taught this class. It is her book Points of Viewing that I use to frame the essence of video ethnography. In it she offers a survey of how young people think inside a computer-based learning environment. More significant to this paper, she describes how the practice of ethnography is evolving using networked media. She uses the analogy of a double helix where the learning strand is intertwined with the ethnography strand to "tell ari emergent story about partnerships with technology" (1998; p.v). Instead of technology, I connect to telling an emergent story about partnerships with the physical and practical technique of Drama. Instead of using digital media as a focus and a dominant tool, fuse video to capture details and observations that I might otherwise not have been privy to and to record the countless human interactions inside each classroom lesson. Definition of Ethnography All social research is founded on the human capacity for participaflt observation. We act in the social world and yet are able to reflect upon ourselves and our actions as objects in that world. By including our own role within the research focus and systematically exploiting our participation in the world under study as researchers, we can develop and 43 test theory without placing reliance on futile appeals to empiricism, of either positivist or naturalist varieties. (Hammersly and Atkinson, 1990; p.25) What is ethnography? What is video ethnography? According to Hammersly and Atkinson (1990) ethnography is both a product, the book which tells a story about a group of people, and a process, "the method of inquiry which leads to the production of the book" (1990, p.l). In addition to being a product, ethnography is also a process, a way of studying human life and all of its offerings. Hammersly and Atkinson devised four categories for identifying ethnography. First, ethnographic strategies represent the worldview of the participants being investigated and the participant constructs used to structure the research. Second, ethnographic research strategies are empirical and naturalistic. Third, ethnography is holistic as it seeks to construct descriptions of total phenomena within their various contexts. And finally, it is eclectic as ethnographic researchers use a wide variety of research techniques to accumulate their data (1990, p.3). The Ultimate in Storytelling Ethnography allows for a wide variety of viewpoints and interpretations. Each different method of data collection used represents another opportunity for interpretation and analysis. The video camera allows for a complex and detailed series of data to be collected which, along with the journals and other data, create a composition that hopes to more fully represent the subjects and the subject studied. Multiple versions, multiple layers of interpretations, and multiple points of viewing are now made more possible by digital technologies that can easily break wholes into parts and reconstitute bits into new groupings so that we 44 can all create stories and add them to already existing interpretations! (Goldman-Segall, 1998; p.3) The best one could ascertain with any degree of confidence is that video reporting allows for another kind of data that was previously not utilised. It is just another layer of reporting that allows for another version or interpretation to be utilised. It creates no guarantees or absolutes when variables such as, how the students were filmed, how the students felt about the video camera, what footage was not filmed and how the data becomes edited, are considered. Hands Point of view suggests that each of us— when we take pictures or write texts— describe the world through a personal lens. Some scholars spend most of their academic careers rubbing out any possible point of view equating it with bias and therefore with skewed results. But in many cinematic professions, and within many emerging academic communities, point of view is both inevitable and critical to making interpretation. (Goldman-Segall, 1998; p.3) When I tried to first video tape my mother, she was very reluctant to be filmed. In fact she refused, "No, I don wan you to take my picture. I'm gonna look just terrible." I had underestimated and was bothered by the significance she placed on physical appearance and her self-consciousness around her accent. "Accent? What accent? You don't have an accent, Mamma. You sound just perfect!" I tried, but failed to understand this fear. She sounded great to fne. "Yeah, Leeza," she sighs and rolls her eyes, "You are just a leetle bit prejudiced." I caught her unmistakable smile and a glint of'my-daughter-must-feally-love-me' in her sigh and I pounced at the glimmer of opportunity that shimmered in her eyes. 45 "Look, ma, I'll just videotape your hands. How 'bout I just videotape your hands?" By this time I have already taken the machine out of the case and removed the lens cap. "Ahh, Leeza, you suck me in all the time..." And so I was able to videotape my mom's expert hands cutting the prosciutto and slicing the onions in the kitchen and before I knew it, after the weeks of pleading and feeble attempts at trying to humour my mamma into being videotaped, I was interviewing her face to face, well face to knitting needles, on her favourite spot on the living room cOuch. When I checked the interview footage, I was dismayed to find the sound faulty and sO I asked my mother if we could quickly try the interview just one more time. Not happy to do it in the first place, she was instantly reluctant and resistant. I moved the equipment as quickly as I could and started the interview. I knew the interview footage had met its final clip when she resorted to her familiar dialect and threatened to throw the video camera in my face if I didn't put it away. That was enough of the video. Although she would have thought otherwise, my mother had taught me a valuable lesson. The video camera was intrusive and had the potential to make people feel very uncomfortable. This discomfort could make them behave differently than they would have otherwise. (Hence the little subtle outburst at the end of our video experience.) How could I use the video in a way that would not make the participants in my study uncomfortable? 46 Video: Valid and Valuable Ethnography and its qualitative design variants provide educational and other social researchers with alternatives for describing, interpreting, and explaining the social and the operational phenomena of this world. Video ethnography involves the use of videotaped recordings for observation and ethnographic study purposes. According to aii unpublished paper by Teresita de Salvo, there are a wide range of uses and advantages for using video in research. The list of advantages include data collection, reflection, recollection of lived experiences, facilitation of data interpretation, enrichment of data interpretation, presentation of research findings and empowerment of participants (1998, p. 3). These observations, although true, do not fully capture the powerful impact that quality video ethnography has on the viewer. Video has the potential to impact and sensitise the viewer in a way that words and numbers could never hope to equal as it captures subtle gestures, physical expressions and vocal intonations revelatory of a myriad of emotions. All of this provides more data and information from which to detail the composite drawing that emerges from each study. For the purpose of this study, video was used to collect data, recollect the data, and enrich the presentation of the data and to try to capture some of those subtleties of which I spoke. Each lesson Was captured by a video camera perched on a tripod in one corner of the room. The camera only collects the sound and pictures of the students and activities within its range and focus. This was done for a variety of reasons. One, to avoid the argument of bias in representation by one observer, two, since the classroom teacher was journalling her observations, there were no other adults or students to draw upon to 47 reliably videotape on a consistent basis for the duration of the study. Three, a third person from outside the parameters and comfort zone of the classroom would have changed the atmosphere and the climate of the classroom, and four, it was felt that the video camera on the tripod would be the least obtrusive. Indeed, many of the students forgot that it was even there after the first week. Students who initially chose to work away from the viewfinder of the camera in the first week, did not seem to notice or care that they were being filmed by the second Or third week. Validating and Valuing Video I suggest we accept the notion that genres, even the documentary genre, are in flux and may not only be reflections and images of the world out there. Viewers and makers of media forms interact with multiple versions and visions of cultures— cultures that are also in a state of constant permutation. Clearly, we have moved our lens from the strict documentary recording the world as it reveals itself to the filmmaker, towards a keener interaction among multiple points of viewing. (Goldman-Segall, 1998; p.9) The use of video reporting is relatively new and as a result it is developing more and more notoriety as a salient and authoritative choice in research. There are two especially conspicuous areas of current criticism. First, there is the issue of representation. To what degree can ethnographic accounts legitimately claim to represent an independent social reality? In the past, much of the argument supporting the value of ethnography in comparison with quantitative method was couched in terms of "its greater ability to capture the nature of social phenomena" (Hammersly and Martyn, 1992; p. 4). Hammersly and Martyn (1992) go on to discuss the second contentious area around traditional ideas in ethnography as the relationship between research aiid practice. More specifically, conventional ethnography has been criticised for its failure to contribute 48 to practice. Included in this notion of practice is political activity and occupational practices such as policy makers, administrators, social workers and school teachers. Hammersly and Martyn also question the argument that ethnographic research should be multi-purpose, designed "simultaneously to serve the heeds of practitioners directly and to contribute to the cumulative knowledge of the research community" (1992, p. 6). They advocate different forms of research designed to serve different functions and audiences of research designed to serve different functions and audiences, rather than the promotion of a single all-purpose model. This premise Would ensure that no one single methodology becomes dominant such as the argument around statistical data over observational data. Validity of Quantitative Research Indeed, the purpose of understanding points of viewing is to enable us to broaden our scope— to enable us to learn from one another. It not only brings together our various ways of seeing and interpreting the world around us, but it also underscores the often digital, atomistic, and randorh nature of how we construct and combine knowledges. (Goldman-Segall, 1998; p.4) From the many readings and discussions on the validity of video ethnography, I was consistently struck with the amount of time and academic energy needed to justify the use of qualitative research. This contrasted with any readings and discussions around quantitative research. This was particularly interesting to me as hone of the time in my statistics or quantitative analysis classes was devoted to investigating its weaknesses and assumptions. Achieving validity was simply a matter of how one chooses a sample size and it's dimensions. The advent of qualitative research has challenged the validity of the once 49 sacred and highly esteemed quantitative research. Validity of quantitative research is challenged on a variety of grounds. Hammersly and Martyn characterised these discrepancies in five areas: 1. The structured character of the data collection process involves the imposition of the researcher's assumptions about the social world and consequently, this reduces the chances of discovering evidence discrepant with those assumptions. 2. Making rules or generalisations about what happens in 'natural' settings on the basis of data produced in settings that have been specifically set up by the researcher can be questionable and biased. 3. To rely on what people say about what they believe and do, without alsO observing what they do, is to neglect the complex relationship between attitudes and behaviour; just as to rely on observation without also talking with people in order to understand their perspectives is to risk misinterpreting their actions. 4. That quantitative analysis reifies social phenomenology treating them as more clearly defined and distinctive than they are, and by neglecting the processes by which they develop and change. 5. That quantitative analysis assumes that people's actions are the mechanical products of psychological and social factors, thereby neglecting the creative role of individual cognition and group interaction. On the one hand, descriptions cannot be theories. Descriptions are about objects and events in specific time, places and locations whereas theories are about relations between categories of phenomena that apply wherever those phenomena occur. On the other hand, all descriptions use concepts that refer to an infinite number of phenomena (past, present, future and possible). Finally, all descriptions are structured by theoretical assumptions, that is, what we include in descriptions is determined in part by what we think and how we think. 50 Culture and Constructions Culture is not merely the sum total of what we inherit from our parents and social groups; it is what we create with others in the context of our lives, with or without various technologies. (Goldman-Segall, 1998; p. 11) The cognitive constructivist perspective of learning views the classroom student as constructing her or his own knowledge. Using this perspective to frame the discussion about how meaning is made and how video images affect the various ways of making meaning, the medium of video is used as a tool for the learner to interact with and create their own meaning. As a tool, video is malleable and has the ability to interact with the viewer in ways that words and numbers are not able. This ability to interact and become reshaped by the viewer parallels the shift that is made by the video. Each time the video is shaped into a collection of images and sounds, the outcome affects the author, the viewer and the video in different ways. Let's go back to the example of when I first video taped my mother's hands chopping prosciutto in the kitchen. If I used this footage in a video and nothing else, the viewer would create a certain meaning of my mother. If they only saw the clip of my mother telling me to "shut that camera off before I break it on your head," then an entirely different understanding of my mother would emerge. Putting these clips together would allow the viewer to understand that my mother was very reluctant to be filmed at first ("You are filming just my hands, eh, Leeza? Just the hands) and it wOuld further afford them a glimpse of her great sense of hurnour (Who do you think I arii, Julia Childs?) which would give them a much more accurate, but still incomplete understanding of my mother's behaviour. 51 Culture is constantly evolving. There is a separate culture in schools and within the school culture, there is a maze of more cultures. Some are more dominant than others. All of them are not static, but they are in constant flux and motion. The students, each with their own personal narratives and histories to offer to the school culture and sub-cultures, create and add their own stories to the existing cultures. They are not merely subject to the existing culture, they influence and inform it as it influences and informs them. Within this paradigm, there is a huge range between which students have the privilege of affecting more change than others who want to, but may lack the skills or status to do so. What Is Good? Whereas the traditional ethnographer understands the ethnographic project as either complete in itself or as a part of the idealist project of ethnology, the critical ethnographer sees the ethnographic project as an aspect of critical theory, which must eventually be completed in political and social action. For critical ethnography, the key to reflexivity is to recognise the activity of research as itself located in historical/structural constraints positioned by asymmetrical power conflict and embedded in an overall project. (Quantz et al, 1992; p. 475) The constructs of a research project's validity are closely linked with the way in which it is assessed or rated. The question of how we separate good research from poor research across disciplines and traditions continues to be a contentious one. In their attempts to achieve some consistent benchmarks forjudging qualitative research, Elliot, Fischer and Renney (1994) proposed that an academic manuscript: 1. Contributes to the building of the discipline's body of knowledge and understanding. 2. Specifies where the study fits within relevarit literature and indicates the intended contributions of the study. 52 3. Uses procedures that are appropriate and responsive to the intended contribution. 4. Uses procedures that are specified clearly so that readers may see how to conduct a similar study themselves and may judge for themselves how well the study followed it's stated procedures. 5. Discusses the research results in terms of their contribution to theory, content, method, and/or practical domains. 6. Includes limitations of the study and discusses them 7. Includes findings that are written clearly, arid that any necessary technical terms are defined. 8. Includes speculation that is clearly defined as speculation. 9. Includes findings that are acceptable to reviewers familiar with its content area and with its method. (1994, p. 272). Lincoln riotes that these are strong criteria or standards for publication that have been carefully thought through but still "bear a strong resemblance to quality criteria for conventional research" (1995, p. 279). Maxwell confifrris Lincoln's sentiments for validity in qualitative research: "if qualitative studies cannot consistently produce valid results, then policies, programs, or predictions based on these studies cannot be relied on" (1992, p. 279). Does qualitative research suffer from academia's persistent pressure to conform to the same standards as conventional research? Must case studies, narrative studies and videographic studies adapt to the strict parameters of statistical research? Are We trying to push the round peg into the very square hole? Given the very divergent methodology involved in qualitative studies, one would hope that at least some divergent criterion is in 53 order. Instead, Elliot, Fischer, and Rennie (1994) have mirrored the confining parameters of quantitative research. Lincoln also fears that Elliot et al's criteria for qualitative research will determine what will be presented and what will be published. This, in turn, will determine how and what researchers will write about. Whose voices will be videotaped, heard and printed? Quantz also confirm ethnography's limitations: "traditional educational ethnography still emphasises conventions that understand culture to be the common and intersubjective agreements of a group" (1992, p. 486). I focus on the multitude of points from which we view both the world around us and the world within us. The notion of points of viewing encompasses where we are located in time and space, as well as how our combination of gender identities, classes, races, and cultures situates our understanding of what we see and what we validate. (Goldman- Segall, 1998; p. 4) In my own encounters with videography, I was consistently confronted With the issues of voice and silence. These issues intermingled and disappeared because of the proximity with which I viewed my subjects. It is impossible to 'study' someone or something and not become somehow moved by the experience. Elliot et al's (1994) quantitative research criteria for qualitative research seeks to detach itself from validating the strength and value of this undefinable and imperceptible 'movement.' And yet, it is the way in which we view the subjects and are touched by them that alter our own perspectives and in turn alter the perspectives of the readers or the viewers of the final academic vehicles produced. This is ethnography's strength in general and video ethnography's more specific appeal. • 54 Heart As part of a Master's program, I was obliged to take a statistical analysis class. The course had a reputation for being difficult and arduous. Although I generally fared well at Math, I took the three-week condensed version in the summer with the idea that it would be over in a short period of time, just in case it lived up to its fame. Well, to say that it was the most difficult class I ever endured would be the diluted glossed-over version of the truth. The hours of staring at numerical calculations that refused to do as they were told gave rise to a growing frustration. Mid-way through the class, we learned that numbers and statistics could even be manipulated in such a wide variety of ways that they could support a wide arrangement of theories. It is the only class in my entire lifetime of being a student that I was last to leave the final exam. Convinced that I had failed, I left in tears. The really strange thing about this was that I actually received a decent mark. I was sure that the numbers lied. The Statistics teacher was a new graduate from a southern state and I just remember him as being very patient and very kind. He stayed after class to answer our questions or, in some cases, counsel others through the maze of new material from which they had little or ho place to anchor. Although I remember the difficult course content, I also remember experiencing ah educator who was passionate about these numbers and formulas and wanted us to share in some of that. I remember his incredible patience and tenacity, as he would explain things using different analogies to try and make us laugh. He acknowledged, and to some extent, encouraged our questions about the validity of 55 statistical data. I had met a university teacher with heart— and in the dreaded statistics class of all places! Heart can happen in all kinds of places. It is not exclusive to familial relationships. It is the core of who we are and what we believe. As far as data collection is concerned, I believe that heart can happen in numbers, but it is more likely found (and profound) in between the words and the Wanderings of people. The passion behind the medium has an intensely intellectual impact on the way in which it is represented, interpreted, manufactured, manipulated and moulded. Heart matters. It carries as much weight as do heads and hands with respect to how data is finally presented. Video ethnography captures expressions and subtleties that are not possible with quantitative and written observations. In reviewing the videotapes of the students, I was also impacted by the power of silence and empty spaces. Silence created dramatic tension. In addition, the emotion behind the students' voices and their mannerisms amplified and qualified their responses and added power and empowerment to themselves and the data. Feminist Influences In critical discourse, society is understood to involve some kind of constitutive relationship between material and cultural relations; therefore, any ethnographic study that does not examine the relationships between the material and the cultural fails to bring the insights of critical discourse to veer on its project. (Quantz et al, 1992; p. 482) Ethnography has been viewed as a feminine and feminist way of collecting data. The detailing and observational notes of stories journal a way of knowing and understanding that is uniquely (but not exclusively) feminist. Although ethnography is closely connected to its historical roots, its sense of history has been the subject of some 56 controversy. This is partly due to the neo-Marxist analysis that has accompanied critical ethnographies in the past and which has been somewhat replaced by a slightly more complex analysis which includes gender and class (Quantz et al.; 1992). Since history is so multifaceted, multivoiced and contradictory, its representation has a large rippling effect in the discourse around ethnography. Young , a post-modern feminist, illustrates that an intolerance to difference is implied when regarding a unitary concept of history: "Community is an understandable drearh... but politically problematic, I argue, because those motivated by it will tend to suppress differences among themselves or implicitly to exclude from their political groups persons With whom they do not identify." (1990, p.300). Consequently, Young argues for a politics of difference. If individuals and their cultures are multivoiced and at the same time, contradictory, how does one begin to identify and quantify ethnographic data? In the past, when critical ethnographers were challenged for imposing a personal vision on a subordinated culture, they were always able to claim some grounding in history (Quaiitz et al, 1992). Without the same analysis and understanding of history, ethnography is left exposed to more harsh criticism. This is the heart of the quandary that I am faced with in my own study of ethnography, and thus the extraordinary undertaking of validating the research begins. Layers upon layers of academic rhetoric, personal narratives and observational data are woven together to create a large, colourful fabric of thick descriptions. 57 How Is Video Ethnography Assessed? Hours of observations, journals and interviews are amassed into a multitude of video clips, data and images. This presents a quandary for the researcher as each video clip or journal entry represents a decision— a decision for its inclusion and many more judgements on other clips that were excluded. The video data and the journal data were assessed in similar ways. They were viewed and read several times for re-occurring patterns or for behaviour, for student processing that demonstrated a significant change from what was previously perceived as the norm in terms of behaviour, output, response or. practice from the student. If we remind ourselves that the purpose of using video is not only to represent data but also to remember and record data, then the task of using the video becomes less onerous. It was another device or instrument to measure and quantify and, more importantly, to reflect upon and capture a potential revelation that a journal of a statistical analysis would miss. Conclusion At first glance, the video camera would appear to be an ideal tool for recording data from a pure and objective point of view. Untainted by adjectives, suggestions Or descriptof s knowingly or naively placed by the author, it would seem that it would provide the perfect tool for just 'telling it like it is.' This was similar to how I once viewed a documentary. I never thought that the factual-like representation of history arid events was only a collective or single point of view. Every decision fegarding the editing, from the video clips that were included or excluded to the narration and sequence of events, to how 58 the interviews were conducted, predicated a bias. I embrace the view thai: there is ho such thing as research or representation without bias, prejudice or influence. Where and when possible, the places of reference or reports of what inform me are connected to the ideas represented. I see video data as another point of view from which to analyse and best represent the headaches, hands and hearts of the study. Goldman-Segall writes: The video camera and multimedia technologies are not merely good research tools; they are tools that extend the already developing culture of moving images. (Goldman-Segall, 1998; p. 35) In the end, I am struck with just how incredibly valid and valuable the ethnographic research is. Regardless of whatever tools are used, paper and pen, tape recorder, or videotape, the end product can reach places and faces that numbers and statistics cannot ever begin to touch. The stories of people from all walks of life and their histories are the powerful resources needed to accommodate the critics. The subtle gestures and physical nuances that transmit a wealth of information are captured by the video's stare. Here lies the pinnacle of ethnography's success and lure. People and cultures are multivoiced. In order to fairly and accurately study and analyse phenomena that occurs around people and cultures, the researchers must also be multivoiced. In the past, the Truth relied primarily on an atomistic male model of interpretation that reduced observations and experiences to numbers, graphs and formulas. Although there are still perspectives that are systematically alienated, it is understood that video ethnography may accommodate others that may have been previously silenced in a way that more closely resembles their own voices. 59 CHAPTER FIVE— TEACHING FROM THE INSIDE OUT: HOPE, FAITH AND LOVE WITHIN THE PRACTICE You can not divorce the mechanics, the lesson plan, and the curriculum from the context, beliefs, intentions and preferences. You can't just walk the talk; you have to have faith. (Pratt, 1998; p. 16) Descriptions and interpretations are all subject to the argument of bias. What information is used and highlighted, and that which is negated or avoided, all reflect the values and partialities of the author or the institution(s) they serve. With this in mind, careful consideration was given to the premise that pure objectivity was impossible and that forthright, supported subjectivity would yield a far preferable and more honest thesis. Once the notion of complete neutrality was abandoned, the need to determine the vantage point from where I viewed the study became significant. This vantage point becomes even more important when it is considered that I was the teacher who executed the unit plan with the students who were studied. Thus, the answer to the questions, "Who is the writer? " and "Who is the teacher?, " bring the reader one step closer to understanding the passion behind the words that unashamedly try to woo, coax and advance the argument for experience, action and practice inside the classroom and student's walls. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the effect of attitudes, intentions and beliefs on the actions and the perspectives with which we teach and study. This conversation is critical because without this, the assumption that our beliefs, attitudes and intentions are disconnected somehow to our actions is carried forth. Then, the 'how to' lessons on technique and methodology become omnipotent and convoluted while the reasons for choosing a methodology or how it changes with each individual who adds 60 their own biases and interpretations becomes taken for granted as understood by the reader and/or practitioner. Ironically, the framework for the study was discovered quite by accident in my own backyard. In Five Perspectives of Teaching in Adult and Higher Education, Daniel Pratt, a professor at the University of British Columbia, challenges the assumption for a solitary, omnipotent perspective on teaching and argues for the necessity of a pluralistic notion of teaching perspectives that recognises "diversity within teachers, learners, content, context, ideals, and purposes" (1998, p.4). Underlying his examination of teaching perspectives is a paradigm of indicators of teaching commitments that place actions, intentions and beliefs at the centre. It is impossible to separate intentions and beliefs from our actions. Convictions and intentions provide the model of delivery and underline the rationale for each teaching decision and every move that we make. It sheds the light of understanding on who we choose to work with and why. Ultimately, it shapes the understanding for how a thesis is studied, represented and interpreted. This especially applies to the personal yet public enterprise of teaching. Although Pratt's arguments are confined to adult and higher education, his theory and analysis can be directly applied to elementary or secondary teaching practices. The term higher education implies a premium or superior version of education that the other forums are unable to produce. This also applies to the distinctions made between elementary or secondary school teaching. Essentially this term either unintentionally or by design promotes the notion of mastery and superiority over and above the various educational 61 disciplines. Pratt writes, "there are many educators who suggest that the usual role of andragogical facilitator reproduces existing forms of power which privilege some people over others" (1998, p.3). However, the kinds of questions we ask, the way in which we ask those questions and the way we listen and respond when people consider our questions is directly related to our beliefs about learning, knowledge, and the appropriate role of an instructor. (Pratt, 1998; p. 203) The need to examine the relationship between intention and beliefs with actions and how this relationship invariably manifests itself in the classroom teacher is important. Although there will always be a valued place for methodology and procedures within the practice, it is the unwritten, unsaid, unacknowledged intentions and beliefs that underline each action that provides the bigger picture. Narrative is used partly to illustrate and provide various points of viewing but mostly to facilitate a deeper understanding of the bridge between story, the personal and the public enterprise of education. Pratt's work aids in understanding the reasons why defining the 'difficult to define' concept of beliefs and intentions should not be avoided, but supported and examined. I would also add that their understanding and discussions should be welcomed and celebrated in the sometimes murky waters of curriculum and implementation. One way of approaching this might be through story telling. Intentions, Actions and Beliefs Yet unless we understand what a person is trying to accomplish (intentions) and why they think that is important or reasonable (beliefs) we are very likely to misunderstand the meaning of their actions. (Pratt, 1998; P-18) 62 Pratt classifies elements and relationships that may be significant to teaching in a General Model of Teaching. He acknowledges that the fundamental difference between perspectives rests upon the belief that "some elements (and relationships) are more important than others," and that commitment which is defined as a "sense of loyalty, duty, responsibility, or obligation associated with one or more elements within the General Model of Teaching" is crucial for understanding perspectives on teaching (1998, p.7). Within the commitment paradigm, Pratt includes actions, intentions and beliefs. Although he isolates the three indicators in one model, none of these preclude another or dominate. The key to understanding teaching perspectives fully rests on how educators view each element and the significance or insignificance placed on them. Actions For several years, I worked as a faculty advisor where most of my responsibilities consisted of supervising student teachers on their final thirteen-week practicum. When I started the job, I was twenty-five years old with five years of teaching experience at the public, private, elementary and secondary levels. At that time, I would have placed a heavy premium on a student teacher's ability to manage a classroom, execute lessons and organisational skills. All tangible actions that gave credence to each claim, positive, nori-affirmative or neutral made their way on the lesson observation sheets. There were some students with promise in all of the selected criteria that failed to measure up to their initial expectations. On the other hand, there were student teachers whose first lessons were filled with flaws and mishaps and yet whose final lessons yielded dynamic and creative lessons. This gave me cause for reflection. How was it that these students whose first and second observations revealed talent for executing lessons were unable to progress beyond their initial performance? For me, the answer lay in their inability to translate suggestions, opportunities for improvement and feedback into their own practice. Why should they? It was already pretty good. And in the back of my mind, I would ask, What kind of individual would I want to welcome into my profession? Who would I prefer as my teaching neighbour? The answer for me was clear. The student who may have started off with a less than stellar offering but was able to take risks, listen to others and translate criticism into their practice was the kind of team player I would welcome. Who wants to work with someone who is unable to hear criticism Or unable to adapt their practice to meet the needs of their students or staff? So at the end of my three years at the university, my priorities had notably shifted. Classroom management, lesson plans and teaching techniques were still important but Professional Development, the ability to reflect on practice and adjust to the needs of co-workers and students became the new priority. This experience physically introduced the need for adaptability as well as the significance of intentions and beliefs. That I entered into the job with one belief and left the same position with a slightly different one highlighted the possibility of shifting philosophies within the practice. Also, my personal experiences with the student teachers and their teacher mentors supported my hypothesis that good teaching could not always be measured within the parameters Of the university teaching checklist. Actions are the physical manifestations of what we believe and what we intend. They are observable, measurable and therefore are more easily studied and objectified. 64 Evaluation of intent and attitude is difficult but not impossible to measure. In the example above, it was much easier to examine the technical outcomes of classroom management. A variety of numbers and recordings were produced to support each claim. How many students were on task compared to those who were off task, where the students were at any given moment in the lesson, what the student teacher's directions were, how the student teacher reacted to appropriate and inappropriate behaviour— all these notes sustained the critical feedback that would comprise the student teacher's observation sheet. But examining and sustaining critical feedback on another's belief or intent would require a different procedure altogether. How well did the student respond to change or criticism? What kinds of questions did they ask? Where were their priorities? How were suggestions incorporated into the practice? The answers to these questions would result in anecdotal data that could more accurately reflect the philosophy and the current understanding of the student. Intentions Intentions are general statements that point toward an overall agenda or sense of purpose. They are an expression of what a person is trying to accomplish and usually, an indication of role and responsibility in pursuit of that. (Pratt, 1998; p. 18) It's Not What You Say But How You Say It. One of the lessons in Drama involves an exercise where the students take turns repeating a phrase so that the intent changes. For example, the phrase, "I wish you would do your homework without whining!" could be articulated in an infinite number of ways. By emphasising different words, the meaning of the sentence is altered. I wish you would 65 do your homework is slightly different from I wish you would do your homework. What your voice sounds like when you perform also changes the way in which the sentence is interpreted. If your voice shakes with emotion, or if you use a sarcastic tone, this will also affect the Outcome of the sentence. Furthermore, how one looks, the facial expression, the physical nuances that accompany the sentence contributes to changing the meaning of the sentence. If I had both hands on my hips and spoke the sentence or if I said the same sentence with a smile on my face and my hand on the listener's shoulder— this would impact the listener in two very separate ways. Yet the words would always be the same. This exercise physically illustrates the impact of intent, action and emotion on words. Indeed, the words could be altered to such an extent that the opposite meaning would result. For example, when asked to demonstrate how to say, "I love you," so that it is interpreted inversely, the students have no difficulty coming up with a variety of ways in which this could be possible. Pratt's version of intent as, "the teacher's statement of purpose, responsibility, and commitment directed towards learners, content, context, ideals, or some combination of these", is a far more complicated version of this game (1998, p. 18). How one intends to articulate curriculum, from what perspective, which portion of the unit will be highlighted, and which will be omitted result from the physical and personal parameters of the one delivering its wares. A statement of purpose does not necessarily take the form of a philosophy or policy statement. It could adopt a physical form. How one could articulate such a variety of loaded ideals into a sentence or a paragraph would be a daunting task and not exactly 66 what I think Pratt is advocating. That the ideals and perspectives are valued and reflected upon by educators is more important. Reflection, consideration, and deliberation of these statements of intent are worthy of pursuing and have the potential to offer a richer, superior teaching practice, as long as these reflections can manifest themselves physically in the form of action or practice. Otherwise, there would be a lot of talk without the walk. Too much theorising without the practice to fortify its intent would result in having the opposite effect, a population of students and teachers that are unable to hear or accept the rationale or the philosophy because of shoddy, inept, unsupportive applications. Beliefs Teaching from the heart means teaching from the depths of who we are with the hope that we will touch the hearts of those with whom we work. To begin discovering the core of who we are requires that we work to become aware of our beliefs and values. (Apps, 1996; p. 63) Jerold Apps challenges the universality of beliefs rooted from the industrial age where the scientific method is deemed absolute and yet, he insists that we have progressed well beyond its philosophies. He advocates a rediscovery to the meaning of communities, the whole person, knowledge and the ways people relate to it. His definition of belief includes anything that is accepted as truth. Pratt connects this definition to teaching by adding that it "represents the most stable and least flexible aspect of a person's perspective on teaching" (1998, p.21). Yet I would argue that beliefs are malleable when the element of time and experience are added. Before I started teaching, I had very strong and well-entrenched beliefs and ideals around both teaching and motherhood. Children were products of their parenting and their environments. This was an unwavering and stoic 67 absolute that was supported time and time again by my limited experiences in recreation and pfe-service teaching experiences. If you showed a child love, consistency, discipline, and values, she or he would be destined for greatness and glory. Period. And then Life moved in. Perhaps one of the strongest examples of how these integral beliefs shifted Over time for me is illustrated in the following narrative. Connecting these pieces of narrative is Pratt's work on teaching perspectives. Baby Joy, Baby Johnny My mother, my sister and I are sitting in the kitchen, eating, gossiping, and mutually updating our weeks. It was a usual Saturday in the family household. As sometimes would happen, the conversation would drift to the names of Our future children. My firstborn son would be named Johnny, Giovanni in Italian. I had visions Of an adventurous rascal with an impish, mischievous grin. The odds were in his favour on that one genetically speaking. Giovanni would be sent next door to his Nonna's house to bring some of the ever ample Smarties stash that my mother always seemed to have at the ready whenever a little one was around. I had aspirations (how foolish was I in my youth) of training the youngster to perhaps siphon some of those tasty morsels for his mummy. We would laugh as my sister and I took turns role playing each scene; "Gi-aiirini, you come here, Gianni and I'm gonna give you a Smartie. You make shuuuure dat you donna give any to your mamma eeder." My mom would try to look annoyed as we ever so respectfully caricatured her, "Leeza, what if you're future husband doesn't like the name Johnny?" 68 "Then that won't be my husband." About six years later (I don't quite remember how it came up, only that it did), I said something like, "John? That's the name of my first born!," to my date. He was more than a little amazed as he revealed that that was also the name of his first born son. We just sat in his car in silence, momentarily awed by the parallelism. Courtship, marriage, life, two days of labour, three forceps attempts, and an emergency Caesarean section later, I gave birth to a very big, nine pound, five ounce gift named John. Both parents were so excited that they could hardly contain themselves. I remember that rush of heady and intoxicating joy (or was it the heavy doses of morphine?) that filled me to my very core as I first lay eyes on what was easily the most beautiful human being I had ever experienced. He was perfect. Giovanni had arrived. Bonded, interminably, it would seem, to her mother and then to her child, the woman who survives the demands of these relationships to work in the world as a curriculum theorist, school administrator, or teacher is often engaged in the project of her own belated individuation and expression. (Grumet, 1988; p.28) People are always asking me how can I possibly be working on a doctorate with two younger children and part time employment. While some might be genuinely impressed with the brainy image of a graduate student that the university projects, others not-so-subtly wonder out loud why I have cast aside my family in favour of such a personal enterprise. In any case, the response is almost always the same, "Believe me, doing a Ph.D. is much easier than being a mom." 69 The most difficult things for me have not required churning out essays highlighting mandated articles or literature. The essays, no matter how arduous or complex were always completed within a set time frame and their feedback was always received within a required period of time. The essays almost never required a piece of myself but rather demanded that their strict format be adhered to. There was instant feedback, a sense of controlling and honing in on one's craft. And there is always a sense of moving forward, of getting closer to the mark. Every course, every essay and examination would somehow bring me one step closer to achieving the goal. Conversely, raising children is never completed within such a short time frame. In fact, I don't know if it ever ends. (Nor does my mother, but that's another thesis!) Receiving feedback is sometimes immediate, sometimes delayed but never consistent. And I'm not even sure that there is a definable mark to move toward. It seems that everybody has an opinion or a belief about what it means to be a doctoral student and what it means to be a mother. Examining our beliefs and values about teaching is essential, but there is more to examining our cores. We must go deeper. As we explore the depths of who we are, we often begin touching our souls or our hearts. In the darkness of who we are is a light that guides us, a compass that shows the way, yet gives us an individuality that makes us different from everything and everyone else. It is the heart of who we are. (Apps, 1996; p. 65) Pratt describes five generalised perspectives on teaching that were derived from interviews with over 250 adult educators. The teaching perspectives were the result of educators placing different combinations of emphasis On actions, intentions and beliefs. They are "enacted through techniques, but they are far more than simply the actions or 70 techniques of teaching... (They) include different conceptions of knowledge, and how knowledge is learned" (1998, p. 36). Transmission Perspective The five perspectives include a transmission perspective, which is based on the belief "that a relatively stable body of knowledge and/or procedures can be efficiently transmitted to learners" (Pratt, 1998; p. 40). This perspective remains the most widely held perception of teaching. It is based on the autocratic hierarchical premise that the omnipotent teacher is the transmitter of information and content. A lecture style of teaching where the teacher lectures from a stage or the front of a classroom would be an example of transmission teaching. This perspective proves advantageous when a large amount of information needs to be 'covered' in a short period of time to a large group; however, in terms of information transference and synthesis, it is the least effective. If it is our relation to our own children that is contradicted by the curriculum we develop and teach, we must remember that what we develop and teach, we must remember that what we develop we teach not to our own but to other people's children. It is with them that the contradictions between the woman's own experiences of childhood and mothering and the curricula she supports appear. (Grumet, 1988; p. 28) When Johnny was four years old, I took him out on a two-wheeled bike with training wheels. He had mastered the tricycle and I thought he was ready for the upgrade. I was not at all prepared for his discomfort and reticence for the new toy. "We're going to ride a two wheeler today. Just sit on the seat and let's see how the bike feels. That's right... now let's try and pedal the bike just like you do on your red bike. Straighten one leg and then the other." 71 "I can't do it, mamma, I just can't do it." "Sure you can," says the undaunted mother with a Masters in Physical Education training, just keep your wheels straight and start pedalling." "But I'm gonna fall. I'm gonna faaaaall " Nurturing Perspective However, the kinds of questions we ask, the way in which we ask those questions, and the way we listen and respond when people consider our questions is directly related to our beliefs about learning, knowledge and the appropriate role of an instructor. (Pratt, 1998; p. 203) A nurturing perspective places the learner's self-concept and self-efficacy at the heart of the teacher's methodology whose goal it is to help learners become more confident and self-sufficient. In this perspective, self-esteem is never sacrificed for stated learning outcomes or mandated curricular goals. Content becomes the means rather than the end goal. I would like to think this perspective mirrors many of the biases held in my own practice. This is in great part due to the fact that self-efficacy and self-esteem contribute to a more productive learning environment. If a learner's self-efficacy (i.e. the confidence to predict how well one is able to master a skill) is high, then chances are good that the learner will master the skill with greater ease than a learner whose self-efficacy is low. This has been illustrated, time and time again, in the children and the young adults that have shared their journeys and their knowing in my workplace. 72 "Look, I'm right here beside you. I'm holding Onto your bike and yOu won't fall if I keep holding the bike. That's it, honey, just keep your wheel straight. WOw, what a beautiful day. It's a great day for a ride. You're doing well." For a moment, my boy seems to be quiet, his eyebrows making a 'V' with the effort of all his concentration. "Look, Mamma, there's a kitty cat!" His excited hand forgets the steering wheel and directs me to the offending distraction. His bike veers and he quickly braces himself for a fall. "Woo, that was close, mamma. Wasn't it?" "Yeah, but you're okay. I'm right here beside you. I'm holding onto your bike and you won't fall if I keep holding the bike and you keep your hands on the wheel." Even though I held the bike as tightly as I could, it still managed to find its way to the ground on numerous occasions. It was as if the boy had willed the bike into the ground. "Ohhhh, see? I told you I couldn't do it. I told you." He is crying and almost yelling at me. Social Reform Perspective The social reform perspective places an ideal or belief at the ceritf e of its standpoint; "ideals emerge from an ambiguous and covert position of influence to occupy a clear and prominent place of significance in thinking about one's role and responsibility in teaching" (Pratt, 1998; p. 50). Issues of a moral, political, religious, social, or cultural 73 nature are considered the dominant curriculum and the learners, content, teachers and relationships that lie therein are secondary. There are many 'life lessons' in a teaching unit, so whenever the Opportunity makes itself available, I am apt to seize the opportunity to illustrate an ideal even if it means sacrificing the intended course of action. Over the years, I have been aware of the increasing dominance of this position in my practice. This is almost unavoidable in a Drama class where issues of sex, exploitation, war, violence, racism, and prejudice invariably manifest themselves in student work. So when the opportunity for discussion arises, the planned lesson stops, and another one begins. Pratt alludes to this "hidden curriculum" when he implicates the values of one form of teaching as excluding the interests of others." Although some readers may not agree, I take the position that all teaching is ideological. Every teacher represents an underlying 'political' stance toward the individual, society, and the role of education within society. In turn, one's ideology gives rise to ideals, that is, one's conception of what might approximate 'the good,' or 'the just'. Yet, many teachers claim a personal and epistemic neutrality in terms of their ideals and ideology, denying that they, and that, which they teach, represent certain interests and exclude others. (Pratt, 1998; p.50) I couldn't agree more with Pratt. Teaching from a neutral point of view is impossible. All the curriculum manuals and educational plans in the world could never begin to make amends for the subjectivity that individuality brings. With every gesture, facial expression, movement of the eyes, position of the body, there is an image and a message that becomes interpreted in as many ways as there are learners in the classroom. 74 Every choice the instructor makes, whether intended or unconscious, becomes another way in which content can be manifested or determined. Beliefs and intentions affect each action's manifestation, which, in turn, affects how each action is interpreted. And underlining all those beliefs, action and intentions are the personal experiences of each educator as they cannot help but bring their past into their practice. "That's okay, Johnny, you have to fall down a lot before you can learn. Did I ever tell you the story of when mamma first learned to ride? I didn't have a bike so I used one from one of the boys that lived in my neighbourhood. It was too big for me and I fell down a whole bunch of times." "Nooooo, I don't want to hear your story. Let's go home. Can we go home now?" "You know, Johnny, this is a lot like life. You have to fall down a lot before you can ride the bike but the important thing is that you always keep trying." "This isn't like lifer I am straining to finish the story. My boy is big and the constant efforts of holding his bike and running with him have started to take effect. "C'mon, Johnny, just once around the pond and then we'll go home." "Ohhhhhh." The sound of his high pitched whine is like the screech of the fingernails sliding ever so slowly down the blackboard. We make our way around the pond and then Johnny quickly dismounts the bike and walks his bike the rest of the way. "That Was a good try for the first time out." 75 "No, it wasn't." I hear defeat and resignation in the sound of his mffled voice and I try to pretend it wasn't there. "Everyday will get a little easier. You have to just practice, that's all." I notice the tension and frustration in my own voice. I see this scene as if I was a bird flying above. We are small— Mother and son. Our helmets reflect the heat of the sun and protect our expressions from making their way to the outside. The next day we return to a very similar scene. And then the next week. Some days, Johnny asks to come home and other days, I steer him home first. All days, there is a palpable tightness in my chest that has nothing to do with the physical exertion of running and everything to do with readjusting my prior expectations with the reality of the awkward boy with training wheels. Maybe I should try something different. Apprenticeship Perspective Another model, an apprenticeship perspective, focuses on the practical and the practice of what is to be learned. It is "a process of enculturating learners into a specific community" (Pratt, 1998; p. 43). It is best summarised as the process of mentoring and modelling. The teacher is at par with the content and the learner internalises the content through the modelling and the supervision of the mentor. Role-playing facilitates the simulation of experiences that a student may not be privy to and in so doing creates a potential apprenticeship process for both student and teacher. "C'mon, Johnny," I am pulling out my beloved pink mountain bike from its diesel stained hiding spot and am wiping it, lovingly with old dish rags as I remember all the joy 76 it brought me. I used to cycle a lot before I had kids. "Mamma's gonna ride with you today!" "Really? Oooo, I like your bike, mamma." "Thanks." The weather is nice and I can feel Johnny's optimism nurture my own careful sense of hope. Together, we walk our bikes down the driveway and cross the street. "Which way should we go, Johnny?" "How about the new park?" "Great! Let's go." We ride together and I am slightly behind him, "Look ahead, keep your wheel straight. That's it. Great job, son." We ride towards a small hill. I have to get off my bike several tithes as I try to push Johnny's back to give him momentum to ride up the hill. "I'm gonna fall, Mamma! I need a push." I am unable to ride my bike and push his, "Just get off your bike and Walk it up the hill." "Okay," he obliges as the hill is small but as he eagerly runs up the hill with his bike, he bangs his shin against the pedal. "Ahhhhhhhh," he begins to howl. I am not sure if he is hurting or just mad. "Just rub it and slow down. I'll meet you up the hill." I ignore his Wail and wonder why it doesn't go away as I pass him on the hill. The pink mountain bike has already lost some of its glory. 77 Like a pair of very tight jeans that once fit just right, I start to avoid the discomfort of 'teaching' Johnny and I start to stash the images deep inside the recesses of my closet. This goes on for months. There are days of progress but most seem filled with frustration and a worrisome nagging doubt that I have done something very wrong. Why is he so awkward and clumsy? Where is his confidence? My mother was right. Maybe I should work less and stay at home. Still, there is some comfort knowing that his riding is improving with training wheels. Developmental Perspective In a developmental perspective, prior knowledge and ways of thinking form the basis of each learner's style and application. The content is dependent oh the learner and what the learner's experiences are. Here, the teacher is committed to developing ways of problem solving with the learner in order to think like an expert. In this model, the teacher is responsible for making the connections that bring the student's prior knowledge and content base to the newly acquired concept. In the nineteen eighties, when I completed my teacher training methodology courses, this perspective was the dominant model used for teaching Reading and Language Arts. Although not as fully refined, the understanding that all students came to the classroom with a different view of even the most mundane of vocabulary words was prevalent. For example, when the class was asked to describe each of our versions of the word 'dog', the differences were astounding. There are varying interpretations and 78 understandings for each vocabulary. Using past experiences and understandings to anchor new information changes how one evaluates and orchestrates a classroom syllabus. As a new teacher, I brought my biases of family unity and community into the classroom. For me, family meant a supportive community of care and love. The first year I had a classroom, the students and I created a list of classroom 'rules' and 'consequences'. In addition to this, I preached the 'we-are-a-family-and-We-have-to-look-out-for-each-other' lecture. I took this credo very seriously because I so strongly believed in the concept but mostly because through my eyes, this worked. I remember being absolutely devastated when I found out that two boys in my class had been fighting and that some of the other classmates were spectators. One of the boys was quite wounded by this and had to stay home from school. When I talked to the class, my heart felt like it had sunk into one of my running shoes as I expressed my disappointment and consternation with the class. I felt the angry tears surface and saw the student's faces, my loved children, and I quickly dismissed them to the gym before I revealed anymore. I carried my past into my practice and as idyllic as it was, that was my reality. I carried a firm conviction that all students were 'fixable' if they would just feel like a welcomed member of a family. Though the students were influenced by the teacher's credo, in the end, their own ways of knowing and being had a profound impact on me and ultimately changed and amplified my own biases and worldview. The developmental perspective, connecting my ways of understanding to how I set up my practice, evolved over time. It wasn't just the understanding of how words are interpreted differently that evolved from my experience as a classroom teacher. It was the realisation that values, 79 ideas and intentions were not static. They were also evolving and manifesting themselves in the practice. "You know, you really should teach your son how to ride a bike better," says my mother at the kitchen table on one of our Saturday visits. You should take him out there everyday and practice. Claudia (Johnny's younger cousin) can ride without training wheels." "Okay Johnny, I think it's time we took off your training wheels." Johnny is a year older and he views me suspiciously as I hunt for a Wrench. I am also a year older and by this time Pollyanna had definitely left the building. "Nooooooo, why do you have to take the training wheels off? I liked the training wheels." "This will be a lot like using the bike with training wheels. Really. Hey look, you'll be able to go much faster without your training wheels and then we could go together for a bike ride. I won't have to run beside you." "But I liked it when you ride beside me mamma." "C'mon, Johnny, let's just try for a little while. Okay?" I could feel my teeth clenching and I force a smile. "Okay," replies the familiar stranger, "I'll try it." And then he sees me smile and his big brown eyes fill with trust and he returns my artificial grin with the genuine original. I kiss his perfect hose, take a deep breath and firmly grasp his bike seat and handles as I try to get him used to the bike without training wheels. "How does it feel?" I ask hopefully. 80 "Not so good." "Okay, let's just take it slow. Keep pedalling like you did before when the training wheels were on. Keep your tire straight. That's better. Try not to lean so much on my side. Just keep your wheel straight." "I can't do it. I'm gonna fall." "Stop saying that!" I am not shouting, but I'm hot exactly whispering either. 'From now on, you're not allowed to say can't. There is no such word. You will only say can." "But I can't..." "Uh, uh, uh" I interrupt with a punctuated finger. "I can ride my bike. That's all I want you to say. Try that." "I can't." What did I just say? You're not even trying. My voice is filled with disappointment, frustration, anger and a deepening sense of fear. Something is wrong and I don't know what it is for sure but I suspect, have always suspected, that it is me that needed fixing and not my physically phobic son. I am running alongside the wobbly, clingy bike. I am so hot and sweaty that I remove my sweatshirt. It wasn't that hot outside but the sweat was escaping from every gland in my body. With my hand firmly attached to the underside of the bike seat and the other arm pumping for balance, I try to reassure him, "There you go, Johnny. That's the idea." 81 Another Perspective My son is distraught and uncomfortable. He keeps reaffirming his lack of bike ability out loud, "I can't do it! I'm gonna faaallll!" until I get so mad that I rap the top df his helmet with the palm of my hand. "Why did you do that mamma? You hit me! Ahhhhhhhh." And the long, moaning whine crescendos to a high pitched squeal of a cry. "I didn't hit you, Johnny." I am looking for a physical sign. The ground to turn into a crevice so that I can escape this situation. Where is the damned crevice when you need one? "Yes, you did. You hit me. Ahhhhhhh." Again with the squeal. "Let's go home," said the T give up' voice. "Okay." And he is all of a sudden quiet. And the sound of frustration is deafening as we make our way home. I look up and notice my neighbour's look of disdain. It quickly disappeared when I sheepishly grinned and looked away. Too late. I already caught the glance that only added to my heap of frustration. Hot, angry, confused, disgusted with myself, Johnny, the neighbour, the bike, my husband for avoiding these experiences altogether, my brother's kids, my parents, and, oh good, there's my house. I turn inside the driveway into the comfort of brief anonymity and the sweat thankfully retreats back to all their favourite hiding places. 82 I had just pioneered a new perspective. Let's just call it the losing it perspective. When the instructor drops all previously understood conceptions of intentions and beliefs and reverts to aggression and hostility. This is my son. A boy so genuinely loved by family. Whose name was called long before he made his burly presence known and whose arrival was so anticipated and welcomed. (And as Pratt himself extended, "Whose image and achievements were ordained before he arrived, and announced before he could object") How could he be so awkward and helpless? How could he possibly lack confidence and in a physical activity of all things? Is That It? When I asked another mother in the neighbourhood how her children learned to ride their bikes, she explained, "I just let the kids push and glide their bikes while they sat in it until they could pedal on their own." So I eagerly introduced this new, very non-threatening technique to my son and within minutes he was pedalling his bike, without training wheels, around the cul-de-sac. "Look, mamma! I'm riding my bike!" "Wow, I scream, that's fantastic! Way to go!" That was it. That was all it took to break the barrier. I was astonished at its simplicity. After all those months of killin' myself, it was this easy.... And I was thrilled with this glorious moment that I secretly feared would never transpire. Victorious, yet completely transformed by this experience, it continued to apply its teachings as it manifested itself in plentiful subsequent journeys. 83 Everything I knew and believed about teaching had changed. I had just met my most difficult student and it had shattered every assurance of my craft, every taken for granted success, every "The Little Engine That Could" mantra, every carefully noted Effective Teaching workshop. It was different now. And as difficult as the experience was, it has, more than any other incident, course, job or educational program, forced me to critically reflect and re-reflect my own teaching. Issues of mother— son, cultural and social pressures notwithstanding, I am somehow altered and readjusted as a result of the process of'teaching' Johnny to ride a bike. It is something that I never take for granted. Even now, years later, when We go on bike rides, I am reminded of its not so simple beginnings. It is easily one of the most difficult things I have done. The doctorate doesn't even come close. Pratt's assertion for developing good teachers involves a process of reflection. "However, there is another important way in which we develop as instructors and that is through critically reflecting on what we believe about teaching and learning" (p. 12). Johnny's bike story involved a process of critical reflection, which lead to some revelatory soul searching insights that challenged my own assumptions and expectations around motherhood and teaching. Shifting Concrete A firmly entrenched belief founded on what was previously understood as sturdy concrete shifted dramatically. And as a result, so did my teaching perspectives. Pratt's writing is a result of interviewing adults in the context of research and teaching. However, its analysis is of that which gives "directions and justification to what teachers do and how 84 they think" (1998, p. xiii). As a result, the examination of educators' creeds and convictions has played a starring role in how the profession functions. I have found a great voice in Pratt's work because it has always been my position that good teaching could never be reduced to a collection of techniques, tactics and performances. Furthermore, Pratt's assertion that instructional practices can develop via critical reflection essentially offers credence to the movement in educational theory to situate one's own perspectives. That Pratt has written about indicators of commitment and given them a model within the teaching perspective paradigm is a welcome sight for a practitioner-researcher that struggles with the absence of this discourse in too many lauded papers. Although Pratt maintains that you can not teach from all five perspectives and that teachers can be situated in only one or two of the perspectives, I maintain that I could teach from all of the Pratt perspectives and more. This is possible when the element of time is considered. I may have started teaching from a nurturing perspective, but over time this perspective's dominance has shifted and the developmental and social reform perspectives have emerged as dominant viewpoints. My experiences as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, student, teacher, athlete, Italian, Roman Catholic, Christian, and rebel at large are all the experiences that inform my perspectives. The minutia of each personal experience is neither necessary nor significant; however, my encounter with Johnny and the bike illustrated how quickly and dramatically my beliefs around instruction and motherhood, expectations and intentions could change. 85 What is the practice of teaching without the indicators of commitment, actions, intentions and beliefs? Teaching devoid of physical, spiritual, and emotional perspectives can never exist because it is dependent on the humans that deliver its crafts. Humanity is just not capable of divorcing itself from these variables. So, as unique as each individual and the realm of their experiences are, so will teaching always be. 86 CHAPTER SIX: CURRICULUM A N D E M ( B 0 D Y ) M E N T — FEMININE W A Y S OF KNOWING Purpose The purpose of this chapter is to utilise Madeline Grumet's Bitter Milk to frame the discourse of curriculum in general and more specifically, to explore the conceptions and contradictions that extend to the understanding of curriculum as it applies to my understanding and practice of Drama. As in a case study, this chapter focuses on the one text that has influenced and inspired the dissertation. Grumet validates the experiences of reproduction and nurturing arid includes them as authentic points of reference when discussing the structure and parameters of curriculum. By extension, she includes all personal experiences in this discussion. Therefore, my experiences and my knowledge as a woman, daughter, rriother and sister are fundamental to educational discourse. By personally defining curriculum, I seek a way that will link me to many other women and men who share at least a part of the same story. Also implicit is that these stories will provide a catalyst for awareness -an awareness that predetermines our ability to affect change in our classrooms and maybe then, our curriculum. Narrative matters. It contributes to our personal and our public understanding of what it means to learn and what is deemed important to learn. In her text, Grufriet argues against the pervasive pedagogical views that dominated the educational scene during the years that she was teaching. She was challenging what were then the rftale dominated 87 norms of curriculum and argued for more inclusive and feminine parameters. By feminine I mean the experiences, the strengths and the narratives of women. The Dining Room Table How this study is framed and from which room it is written is central to the arguments of practice, theory, perception and phenomenology. This is a study about the life world, the family, the classroom, the self and the other. There are very few other mothers with young children and a partner in the Ph.D. program in Education at UBC. There are single parents. There are mothers with children who have graduated from diapers, pre-school parties and bedtime curfews. But there are very few mothers of young children with partners in this program. In Grumet, I was able to find someone who was different enough to challenge my previous perceptions and elaborate on my understanding, but was the same enough to prohibit the gagging reflex that occurred upon an initial reading of Rousseau. The dining room table became the locus of this research not because its design was conducive to meditations on eidetic form but because of its proximity to the life world being carried on in the adjoining kitchen. I summon these scenes here because, although I may not directly address them again, they are currents that run through this text, linking the metaphors of epistemology and curriculum to the motives that choose and organise. I present the passage through these rooms as an alternate route for the argument of this chapter and as a reminder of the many levels of experience that constitute the conceptual order that we employ here to inform, confront, and mystify each other. (Grumet, 1988; p.5) Inside the contradictions, there are many parallels between Grumet's conditions for studying and my own. Grumet's need to place her own writing geographically and biographically mirrors and validates my own need to do so. While she uses Husserl, 88 Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre, I use Pratt, Rich, Goldman-Segall and her own pivotal Writing. She uses a similar recipe with different ingredients. Like the ocean waves advancing and retreating on the shore, lapping and undulating waves of life wash over the paper sometimes leaving precious bits of seaweed and sometimes just moving and making their presence known to the reader, over the rocks, the sand and the white washed logs. My Dining Room Table The laptop sits on the dining room table. Compact, unobtrusive— it stockpiles all my notes and chaos into tidy files and folders that have so far eluded my real world. The files and folders have temporarily become the centre of my world. Devoid of confining parameters, the dining room sits right in the middle of the home between the kitchen and the living room where my children play. So far, the two have travelled to a foreign world, gone snow boarding, fought dragons, lip synched three songs and attended what appears to be, some sort of school. Together, she a princess and he, a 'cool snowboarder guy', they have role-played and revised at least half a dozen scenarios in less than ninety minutes. Originally we tried to prohibit the good living room couches from play, but the children have not been able to resist their tempting cushions to break their determined falls and leaps. Now, I revel in their acrobatics and melodramas as they remind me of what is really important. The author sits on a wooden bench at the dining room table whispering sweet nothings to the stockpiles of notes. Only five steps to the washroom and eight hops to the hot water pot for tea. I am in the middle of my world. 89 It is the perfect place for writing. The den is hidden and private. I could close the door and have some privacy. But then I would miss the water, the whirr of girl as she races past me, the smell of boy's breath as he stands behind me trying to read arid make sense of his mamma's homework. Outside the wall of windows, the lure of the water awaits. So close and yet untouchable. In the summer I can taste its salty breath and in the winter I am a spectator to its entertaining World Water Federation aquatic wrestling. I see trees and always people walking, running and wandering on the sidewalk. And in the middle of this, in spite of this, and because of this, I write. And I couldn't imagine what it would be like to create these measured compositions without the laundry, the laughter and the lightness of being punctuating its every move. The strength of this research lies not only in its function but also its form and voice. Why must I be separate from the discipline I seek to enhance? Indeed, it is only by holding hands with practice that the theory takes on new meaning. A different understanding of what it means to be student, teacher, learner, taught, learned and understood emerges. Separating each of these components has the undesirable effect of creating a structure of power imbalance. The teacher is more important or more valuable than the taught. This is overwhelmingly evident to me when I teach at the university. All of a sudden, I am afforded luxuries from the university— an office with a view, a more prestigious mailbox, my own phone line and students who seek my opinion and treat me in a reverential and respectful way that I have very, very seldom experienced as a student. 90 Each of these roles makes valuable and important contributions to the Curriculum I seek to embrace. The stories of the life world have been missing too long. How do We grasp the life world of family relations and of reproduction without falling into the sentimentality of the immigrants who can only remember how wonderful everything was in the old country? Tied to the constraints of the phenomena— that which appears to be consciousness-how could the phenomenologist cope with the sentimentalism that so sweetens our sense of reproduction that we can neither discern its ingredients nor metabolise it in our theory. (Grumet, 1988; p. 64) There is rio time for sentimentality when the laundry beckons daily and the diapers, pre-school parties, reading homework, parent teacher interviews, sibling rivalry, mortgage renewals and work dilemmas ebb and flux into the paper— into the song of the one who writes. Unlike Virginia Woolf, a room of one's own is too lonely and isolated for me. Who can work with all that quiet roaring in the background? Conception What is most fundamental to our lives as men and women sharing a moment on this planet is the process of reproducing ourselves. (Grumet, 1988; p. 11) In 1963, my mother found out she was pregnant for the second time. Although the pregnancy was very difficult, she was looking forward to the approaching birth. My brother, born two years earlier, would have a new and welcome sibling. One month before the due date, mom had her appendix surgically removed. Her doctor informed her at this time that she was carrying a twin. The twin had shown up on the x-rays taken prior to the appendectomy. She would have to stay at the hospital. This would be her darkest experience. She did not understand the language or the people around her. Guilty and disturbed about leaving her little boy with someone else, 91 fearful of her twin's health and future and plagued with loneliness and pain, she went into labour ten days later. The doctors re-stitched her wounds from the earlier operation without any anaesthetic in case they would re-open during the delivery. She was left alone, without nurse or husband to support her, until just before she delivered healthy twin girls in a room sanitised of compassion and care. She told me, "I was so lonely and in so much pain...If I had a gun then, I think I would have used it." My mother's story, repeated every year on our birthday, laid the foundation of resiliency and incentive for my sister and myself. Her narrative provided the background for my self-efficacy. She reproduced the model of not only overcoming adversity but also of resisting the existing models for reproduction and labour. Twenty Something Years Later... Once again my mother is chopping tomatoes with a long sharp Henkel knife that she got for Christmas from my brother and his wife, and I am leaning over the counter watching her expert hands prepare what is sure to be another one of her culinary masterpieces— dinner. "Hey, Mom, I think I might be pregnant." "Really? She raises her eyebrows and hesitates only slightly with her chopping obligation. When was your last period?" I see the hope and anticipation in my mother's eyes mixed with careful wariness. "Uhhh, just a couple of weeks ago, I think." 92 "You are crazy, Leeza. You can't know so soon." The hope has been replaced with something else. I'm not sure but I think it might even be annoyance although I don't see how that could possibly be. "No really, mom, I'm nauseous and I feel different. I'm craving chips. I never crave potato chips." This conversation, perfectly typical, continues until I see my mom take a deep breath, lift the knife for emphasis and say, "Look, if you are not pregnant I'm gonna kill you. Sant Antoni anche la frutte" (Translation: Saint Anthony, even the girl!) "What? Why are you bringing the saints into this? What are you talkin' about ma?" I see the small tomato seeds running for cover down the side of the knife. "You get me so up, Leeza. Don' talk about this anymore unless you know for sure." "Touchy, touchy, sheesh, no problem." And all of a sudden the conviction of my knowing was challenged. I wasn't as sure about my conception anymore. I booked myself a doctor's appointment to confirm the certainty that grew daily within my womb. My husband was at work and so I had the perfect excuse to share the news with her first. "Well, Leeza?" My mother answers the phone. Her voice is soft, excited and hopeful. "I'm pregnant, mom!" The joy mixed with relief came flooding through the phone lines that had no difficulty translating this. Whew, my life had been spared, I was right after all. 93 Reproduction in Curriculum Grumet incorporates natural reproduction into curriculum reproduction: "For reproducing ourselves also brings a critical dimension to biological and ideological reproduction by suggesting the reflexive capacity of parents to re-conceive our own childhoods and education as well as our own situations as adults and to choose another way for ourselves expressed in the nurture of our progeny" (1988, p. 11). She argues that although the biological process influence the earliest stages of the parent/child relationship, the epistemologies that evolve convolute with biased goals representing the power of man to counteract biology with culture. This challenges the notion that one moist somehow separate private and personal experiences with the public practice df education. The intimate experience of family, whatever form that may take, has shaped the implementation of curriculum at the grassroots level for years. Here, Grumet substantiates what has been at the core of many of the teachers I have been privileged to work with. Contradiction I am a first generation Italian-Canadian. My parents came from Italy to Canada for what they thought would only be two years. My father came first and a year later he sent my mother a ticket from Vancouver along with a marriage proposal. Neither of them knew the language. In those days, there was no social assistance, no employment program, no education program, and no ESL training for the new immigrants. They came to Canada with very little formal education, paltry savings, a wealth of love and a very hearty work ethic all steeped in strong traditional patriarchal practices. 94 So how is it, I find myself asking, that I am here in the middle of a doctoral program? If schools can do little more than reproduce the class systems from which they draw their subjects (Apple, 1990; Goodlad, 1984), then I would be immersed in full-time motherhood and homemaking. Deep yearnings for professional and educational enterprises would not keep me awake at night. Altruistic thoughts of changing the world, making a positive difference, and challenging the limits of educational norms would not stick to me like pesky cobwebs. I can't see them, and even when I try to swipe them away, I know they're there because I can feel their whispers on my skin. Surely, I am not a statistical deviant. I am surrounded by similar, parallel examples including my sister, classmates, my mother's friends and their daughters. Daughters of first generation immigrants. Daughters of a male-dominated world. Daughters raised to serve men and honour men. Our stories all share similar forms and outlines with only slightly varying outcomes. We are skilled, educated, financially independent, ambitious and thriving. When I graduated from high school, I came home with four awards. I showed them to my father. I remember he put his glasses on and sat on the brown upholstered couch to read through each one. "This is not important," he says in a matter of fact voice as he places the athletic award on the cushion next to him. "This is not important," he says to the Drama award. "This..." he pauses, " is not important," he decides on the German award (I confess that, at the time, I was inclined to agree with this last point, but only the last point). "Now this, this is important!" as he holds up the honour roll certificate. 95 My father knew what was important to him, but somehow this had not been reproduced in his own daughter because I distinctly remember that underneath the hurt, I was sure that he was wrong. Athletics and Drama meant the world to me. They were important. Like ordering the diet pop with the two thousand-calorie, fat laden burger, curriculum studies is a contradiction. The thoughtful investigation of a physical and intangible process that often leads to a tangible way of recognizing how to make schools better is an incongruous structure. The study of curriculum is not only the hope for something better, but for other ways to reach our children. Children are riot static. They charige from year to year, generation to generation and moment to moment. They are the physical representations for the hopes, fears and dreams that lay within us all. Although this hope is latent in some, it is alive and thriving in others. Curriculum has the potential to awaken the dormant hope when new connections between teacher and student arise. I use the term teacher and learner interchangeably here because good teaching allows for and acknowledges that this process of teaching-learning-knowing-being is one of reciprocity, give and take. Teachers giving and taking frorri their students and students offering so much to their teachers and teachers learning valuable lessons. It is an offering of mutual respect for each other's experiences arid knowing. The many contradictions that lay within me are just a microcosym of the contradiction seen in life and on our television sets. The rich countries bombing the poor countries and then only in a victory defined by their own interests sharing their affluence 96 to physically rebuild the destruction that they have imposed in the name Of goodwill and humanity. And here, I have chosen to study these contradictions. Not step over them and pretend that they weren't there, and not with the intent of bridging them because I am not sure that all these contradictions require links as much as they need to be acknowledged, exposed and understood. To make hurried attempts at mending before understanding the contradictions, I would risk making the same mistake as the prescriptive moral educators make or that my father made when he read through my certificates. When looking at curriculum, one perspective doesn't constitute the only Way to its understanding and interpretation. It is as fluid as the populations are in our classrooms. "In effect we are asking for the links that form the chain of their intentionality without wondering or worrying whether we want to put this particular chain around our necks" (Grumet, 1988, p. 122). We have been different too long. Separated from her, separated from each other, women in education have withheld recognition from our mothers and from each other. And in that isolation not only have we relinquished the middle ground, that relational ambivalent place of our own histories, we have relinquished schooling as a middle ground as well. For it need not be the anteroom for second nature; it can be the place where the defensive oppositions of first and second nature are mediated and transformed by women who think back through our mothers. (Grumet, 1988; p. 192) Separation It is the first day of kindergarten for my twin sister and I. We are standing, side by side. I remember a flurry of motion, children and others around me, none of whom know my language. This didn't bother me because I knew my sister did. At some point, it Was 97 decided that we should be separated in order to learn more, learn better. We cling to each other, screaming. One big person held me and pulled me in one direction while another big person pulled my sister in the other direction. My sister was removed from the class to another kindergarten teacher while I stayed in the now more familiar kindergarten class. After that, she started suffering from nightmares. She still remembers that I was the first one to let go and I still wonder if I was the one to leave, would things be different. My sister and I are in grade ten now. We are in the basement. She pedals the stationary bike while I stand watching her, keeping her company. She has decided she wants to go to a parochial school in the city and get out on her own. I am shattered and unable to comprehend why she would want to leave home, leave me and go to a private school. I am left uncharacteristically speechless. I have no idea how much I relied on her presence until I was presented with her absence. Grumet argues that attempts to separate curriculum from the student and from the personal have resulted in failure and alienation of the words from the student: "In their pretentious attempt to signify the encounter of the student and the curriculum, they obliterate all that is personal in favour of whatever is general, all that is actual in deference to what is hypothetical, all that is moving in deference to all that is still" (1988, p. 173). Instinctively, I am lead to our stories— my mother's, sister's, and daughter's—-because it is the key, I believe, to my own story and to others. How I view education, how I see the world, how I teach and how I write are all framed by my mother's actions and words. I am my mother's daughter. 98 I find refuge for this in Grumet as she expresses, "Women must remember and articulate the experience of child nurture so that we can bring what we knOw from the complex, sustained, and exciting labour of child care into the intellectual structures of the disciplines and the methods of pedagogy. It becomes important to ascertain what role if any, this knowledge derived from the experience of nurture has in contemporary theories of development and the self'(1988, p. 100). Grumet's inclusion of her experiences as a mother and a daughter in her discourse about curriculum theory breaks the vow of silence held up to this point in the literature: "The experiences of family life, of bearing, delivering, and nurturing children, were absent from this discourse"(1988, p.xv). Our stories and our experiences influence and ultimately frame our thinking about education and schooling. I am surrounded by my mother's story. And yet I am in direct contradiction with my mother's story. Their constant cautions, "Don't you work while you have children— better not to have children" and "Don't bring your children home for me to raise, I have already raised my own," are in direct opposition with my lifestyle. Curriculum— The Race to Define It Curriculum is referred to in a variety of ways, traditionally, the bulk of writing around curriculum focused on the installation or evaluation of specific subjects or topics Within the curriculum of a particular school or set of schools. In other words, the curriculum writings were devoted to the how and what questions rather than the why and who question. The specific subjects which curriculum addressed were varied and generally not dependent on the more holistic term. For example, a curriculum on sex education, 99 math, physical education, or driver training could all be included in their evaluative discussion. Curriculum is also concerned, in a broader sense, with topics like the construction of general theories and principles of curriculum development or on the status of curriculum as a whole. According to Hamilton (1989), the perspective from which marry of these curriculum textbooks and articles are written is that of an observer looking down or out on a vast field of human endeavour. He maintains that curriculum matters do hot fare well from their analysis from a distance and that enthusiasm and optimism about curriculum are rare. The Latin term, 'curriculum,' is translated variously as running, a racecourse, and a chariot. David Hamilton (1989) studied the origins of this term and sought to understand how a word, which originally referred to athletic endeavours, became almost exclusively used in the educational context. He concluded that the curriculum, as a form of organisation, was essentially an instrument of social efficiency that was motivated by a combination of administrative and pedagogical authorities. By the middle of the 19th century, the common use of the word as meaning a course of study was established. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines curriculum as "a course; a regular course of study or training, as at a school or university." The Webster's New International Dictionary defines it as "A— A course, a specified fixed course of study, as in a school or college, as one leading to a degree. B— The whole body of courses offered in an educational institution or by a department, thereof." Both definitions focus on the word 'course' and refer to curriculum in an education context. 100 The definition for curriculum continues to be redefined. There are as many definitions for curriculum as there is articles and books. This makes it almost impossible to broadly apply as a term: Curriculum is all of the experiences children have under the guidance of teacher (Caswell & Campbell, 1935). Curriculum encompasses all learning opportunities provided by the school (Saylor& Alexander, 1974). Curriculum is a plan or program for all experiences which the learner encounters under the direction of the school (Olivia, 1982). Although these three definitions may seem dualistic, there are some common threads among them. All three views of curriculum limit the term 'curriculum' to what goes on in schools or under the guidance of teachers. In these three definitions, learning opportunities and experiences are valued holistically and not subject to specific subject areas. Body Knowledge This omnipotent and distant view of curriculum is one that Grumet seeks to change. Her definition brings personal experiences and, more specifically, the process of reproduction, to the equation: Curriculum is a moving form. That is why we have trouble capturing it, fixing it in language, lodging it in our matrix. Whether we talk about it as history, as syllabi, as classroom discourse, as intended learning outcomes, or as experience, we are trying to grasp a moving form, to catch it at the moment that it slides from being the figure, the object, and goal of action, and collapses into the ground for action. (Grumet, p. 172) 101 This is critical for the feminine psyche that is also fluid and evolutionary. Our students, our children, our sisters and brothers, our parents and our next door neighbours cannot be easily packaged into one uniform curriculum. They are different and unique. This does not presuppose that every person requires individualised curriculum, but it necessitates the need for a flexible and inclusive formula that can bend to encompass a variety of visions and ways of knowing. Who decides which curriculum, which way of knowing matters? Is there a place for a variety of points of view? Where is it in the curriculum? How do you bridge the gap between technical knowledge (standardised tests, and provincial exams) and what Grumet repeatedly refers to as body knowledge— the physical experience of living in one's own body? The term body knowledge originated from Maurice Merleau-Pority (1962). In Phenomenology of Perception, he referred to the knowledge of the body-subject as the physical knowledge that we experience and live with in this world, "It is also knowledge in the womb"(1962, p.5). Body knowledge is not where the line is drawn, but rather where the circle begins. It encompasses the physical, bodily practice of kneading bread, looking someone squarely in the eye, shrugging the shoulders, smiling, anembrace, saying, "I'm sorry," practising gratitude, picking yourself up after the tenth fall, and a myriad of other very important corporal manifestations of curriculum. It doesn't just begin where curriculum left off - it consumes curriculum, uses what it needs and spits out the rest. Body knowledge is powerful. It is the instinct that predicates our choices, the inherent knowledge that asserts our independence and dependence. It is that certain 102 something that gets the job, the interview, the contract, the goal, the friends, the student's and staffs trust and respect. In Ivor Goodson's (1992) examination of alternative cultures for teaching, he concludes that a major variable in classroom interaction is the teachers' consciousness of what he calls the 'alternative culture' of a school. This is defined as an understanding of the unwritten rules and codes of behaviour and socialisation of the students. The consciousness that Goodson refers to is body knowledge (1992, p. 38). Body knowledge must somehow make amends with conventional knowledge in the classroom. Its existence must be acknowledged and redirected towards the classroom. Curriculum doesn't stand a chance without it. Acknowledgement of its existence will reap confidence, self-efficacy and self-esteem in our children. Body knowledge was the life giving manna that my mother provided for me. It was the gentle awakening with a hand-made necklace when I was five years old. It was the hurried glance of approval and pride when I entered my first competition. It was the omnipotent embrace of a shattered adolescent. It was all this and more on a daily basis. The work and reciprocal experiences of women are reproduced in the classroom. Grumet writes, "I suggest that our revolutionary female consciousness is lodged not in the recesses of time, but in the work that women do daily teaching children in the classrooms" (1988, p. 161). Through activities designed to promote awareness of self, confidence, empathy and through opeh, reflective discussion, an awareness of body knowledge is possible. If educators' attempts to transmit body knowledge to students were validated and promoted, we would reduce the distance between community and school. After all, students are education's greatest ambassadors. They are the human links between the school and the 103 home. When they come home from school confident, secure and willing to share their own experiences and newly discovered insights with us, the community is comforted and satisfied. If teachers can somehow communicate their own passion for education, they will convince their administrators and their communities of its value. This won't be easy and it won't happen overnight. Administrators consumed with an ambition and public pressure aimed to please school boards, media and public sentiment, must grapple with the intangible qualities of body knowledge and awareness. How do you evaluate and create objectives for teaching body knowledge? Words and Actions My mother was protective. Like the lioness lashing out at the predator, mom would shelter her babes from anything or anyone that would threaten their security. When my twin sister and I were in grade six, we both came home crying because we had received a 'strap' from our teacher for making too many mistakes on our homework. All but one student was strapped that day for the same reason. We showed mom our work. Mine had 'Very Good' written all over it in red ink by the teacher. My mother was upset but she didn't let us see her anger. The next day. I saw my mother talking to the teacher and the principal in the office. In retrospect, I realise what a brave and courageous thing my mother did. She defied my father, uncomfortable in a language and a culture, still not quite her own, she challenged and fought against something that she did not feel had a place in our schools. 104 Ever-conscious of her accent, I know that she would never have done this for herself. A few years later my mother told me in her words what she did, When I saw you both coming home and crying, I knew that something was wrong. When you told me that the teacher gave you a strap for making mistakes, I couldn't believe it. Your father didn't want me to see the teacher. I knew you were good kids so I marched right down to the principal to find out the story. I told the principal that I Would like to talk to her and your teacher. I tell your teacher, "What are you going to do when my girls REALLY make mistakes, kill them?" By the end of that day, the teacher who had strapped us had resigned from the school. There would be no straps for any student in that school again. If it is recognised that parents are to be the primary and foremost educators in the life of a child, then clearly the role of the community and the parent's participation in the classroom is critical. If a mother's love and nurturance for a child provide sustenance, comfort and confidence, then shouldn't we, in education, be trying to replicate some of these successful patterns from the home to the school? Deciding what goes in the curriculum has been the subject of ongoing debates. The power of words and language has been well documented. A separate field of study has been devoted to understanding and disclosing its jurisdiction— Linguistics. As a result, many stake holders have emerged, all looking for invitations to the Grand Ball of Curriculum: Feminists, Homosexuals, Christians, Sikhs, Asians, Conservatives, Liberals, and even big businesses like McDonald's, Microsoft and Dairyland— all lining up for the opportunity to dance with Mr. Curriculum. Yet the delivery and the actions that 105 accompany curriculum are vital to its perceptions and understanding. How will the curriculum be executed? Will educators read the guides or will they collect dust, still shrink-wrapped in their original packaging on the shelves? When a random sampling of teachers were questioned, almOst no one was able to articulate what the learning outcomes of the Fine Arts program were for their grade levels. What does this say about the value of curriculum? So the curriculum that we study is the presence of an absence. Present is the curriculum, the course of study, the current compliance, general education, computer literacy, master teacher, the liberal arts, reading readiness, time on task... Absent, is the laugh that rises from the belly, the whimper, and the song... Absent is the darkness and the light. (Grumet, 1998; p. xiii) The Drama Curriculum The Drama curriculum guide for the province of British Columbia is comprised of a set of skills and outcomes. It comes complete with some suggested lesson plans. There are separate curriculum guides for the high school grades (grades 8-12). There is a Fine Arts Curriculum for the elementary grades (grades kindergarten through grades seven) of which Drama comprises a subsection. The objectives include three sections; exploration and imagination, Drama skills and context. For exploration and imagination, students are expected to explore, express, and reflect on their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and imaginative ideas through individual and group participation. Drama skills include effective use of the body and voice, the ability to maintain focus and concentration in role, and the facility to move between the concrete and the abstract within a dramatic context. 106 The third section, context, refers to a students experiences, responses and reflections on the aesthetic, cultural and historical contexts of Drama. But most of what goes on in a Drama classroom, and to some extent other classrooms, is not determined by the what of curriculum but the how and why of the classroom teacher and students. The laugh, the whimper, the glare, the discomfort of working with students of the opposite sex, the breaking of cultural taboos, the exploration and acknowledgement of self, other, private, public, the hurried look of panic when it's their turn to participate, the relief and pride when the realisation sets in that it wasn't that bad after all, the guffaw, snortle, chortle, quick intake and release of breath, the sigh, the pursed lips, the rolling of the eyes, sweaty palms, broken spirits, lifted spirits, tentative spirits, animosities, insecurities, the bright eyes of enthusiasm and looks of disdain. They are all there, in one classroom and in many moments. Furthermore, accountability for the Fine Arts program is rarely, if ever, practised. No one seems to be concerned that these very thick and weighty documents filled with unsung resources and philosophies are used to fill up obscure places in overfilled cupboards and shelves. They are often set in strategic places where they might be easily noticed by an administrator or parent passing by but not within arm's reach where the practised tools—the guide books, favourite novels, or stacks of projects waiting to be marked sit. So where is the connecting point between curriculum and practice? Should one be even required? Does curriculum contradict practice? All too often, the answer to this last question is yes. 107 The School Board Office administrators of the district are often in direct, dualistic opposition with the teachers— the workers, the cornerstone upon which the foundation of this district is founded. Not only by their geography, style of dress and their paycheques, but also by how they are represented and presented. When a representative is asked to come and speak to instead of with a staff, there is contradiction. When administration sits away from and in front of the staff, there is polarity and it is decidedly visible. When administration honours theory over practice, the status of teaching suffers. That is a shame because the glorified talk that is accompanied by reprehensible practice serves to further distance the teachers not only from the suits but also by extension, from the potentially valuable song of curriculum. Hope Much has changed since my mother first gave birth to twins. Although all change should not imply advancement or betterment, my experiences of giving birth were far kinder and gentler than hers. My mother and father came to visit me in the delivery room. I was two weeks over the due date and so I was being induced. I had an epidural anaesthetic, so I was hooked up to several monitors and was feeling no pain. They both entered and right away I see my mom giving the birthing room, the machines and the nurse and the entire atmosphere a good 'once over.' "Wow, can you believe this?" she says in her dialect to my father, "things sure have changed. What luxury!" 108 I eagerly explain the monitors and the gadgets that mark the baby's heartbeat, my heartbeat and the intravenous tube. "Look mom," I point to a needle dancing over a long strip of chart paper, "I'm having a contraction now!" She looks at me in disbelief, flicks my arm with her four fingers and remarks, "Leeza, you are not having a baby here, you are having a picnic!" Although Grumet published Bitter Milk in 1988, some of the chapters Were written in the seventies. Throughout the book, I am encouraged by the contradiction of Grumet's experiences with my own because there are signs of hope. Things are changing in ways that resonate a more feminine and caring way of education: Ways that reflect the people that work inside the classrooms. Post-modernism has provided a number of voices from which to look at practice. Educators now have a number of options from which to practice and play with teaching. Although the presence of open, non-graded classrooms seemed to suggest that a feminine epistemology had penetrated the patriarchal pedagogues of elementary education, the movement has collapsed, its foundations eaten away by technological methods that subvert it as promise and political power. (1988, p.27) Grumet argues that the presence of parents in classrooms is essential in order for parents and teachers to trust each other. The same would also be true of teachers and administrators. When parents or administrators observe and, more importantly, participate in the process and the labour of classrooms, an appreciation and understanding of the teacher, and the students is gleaned. In Grumet's eyes, this will ultimately allow parents to develop concern for other people's children: "This kind of contract is a wide embrace that, 109 allowed duration, contains the implicit as well as the explicit, possibility as well as achievement. It promises to extend a new tolerance not only to other people's children but to other people as well" (1988, p. 179). Since Grumet wrote Bitter Milk, I have had the privilege of experiencing and witnessing some of these advances and experiments that address her plea for continuity, nurturing, and fluidity in education. At the school my children attend, there are two primary teachers, Mrs. Pauluk and Mrs. Hall, who started a family group classroom in the school seven years ago. Up until then, there has not been anything like it in the neighbourhood or the community. There are eight each of first, second and third graders in each classroom. The grade one students are the initiates, while the second graders act as apprentice leaders in the making. The third graders are the leaders and take oh many of the leadership and responsibility roles in the classrooms. The students are seated in 'families' from all grades and are rotated throughout the year. It is a three-year program, so a student attends the same class with the same teacher for three years. No theme is repeated in three years and many of the programs such as spelling, reading, and math facts are individualised. Here, there is continuity. In fact, in September, the second and third graders pick up their notebooks from where they last left off in June and continue with their journals, logbooks and other endeavours. They are familiar with their routines, their expectations and their teacher. Their role in September is to welcome and ease their new grade one classmates into the culture of the classroom. It is most remarkable and heart-warming to see. Two educators working beyond the expectations set for them by their profession, 110 burning the midnight oil with their passion for making connections instead of contradictions in their workplace. What they are able to accomplish is extraordinary as the fruits of their labours make their way into the practice of the students, the school garden and the special events they celebrate throughout the year. Parents are welcome in the family grouping. Indeed, they are a vital part of reading helpers, story typers, drivers, garden keepers and dream makers. They are part of the ebb and flow of the life world of the classroom. We must make peace with the women who teach our children and acknowledge our solidarity with the mothers of other people's children if we are going to reclaim the classrooms as a place where we nurture children. (1988, p. 179) This unique and feminine way of teaching has not come without its price. The three - grade classroom has caused dissension and discontent among the mothers and fathers who have never attended information sessions or participated in orie of the many family group functions in the school. These were parents who still operated on the outdated premise that one straight grade is the ideal but that a three-grade split must be disastrous to their child's educational well being. Implicit in Grumet's plea for welcoming parents and administrators into a classroom is the notion that this is a good thing and that it will promote the understanding of our profession to the public. It can and has, however, been used to promote personal agendas that have little to do with supporting the educational or professional environment. Experiences with uninformed or poorly informed community members who try to infiltrate the classroom with their own mislead biases and impose their own sense of propriety lead 111 many teachers to abandon an open door policy altogether. Dealing with aggressive and uninformed populations is physically, emotionally and resourcefully draining. Grace Empathy is required here. Understanding allows for forgiveness which in turn, advances rather than stifles productivity, reflection and revelations. A trip to my father's homeland, in the village where he was born and still fondly remembered, Was all it took to understand my father's words when I brought home the awards from school. The village was filled with old men, middle aged men, young men and boys who felt exactly the Way my father did. Generally, parents want what is best for their own children. When we extend them the vision of other people's children with grace, there may be an opportunity to make connections with them. The administrators bound by their publicly imposed parameters have never experienced the advantages or the magic of Drama and they are missing out on a dynamic and fundamental teaching tool. They too, require the long arm of grace and tenacity in order to bring them into the lightness of being. 112 CHAPTER SEVEN: THEIR VOICES Where the Voices Came From This chapter presents the teacher and student journals and video narrative voices that were collected from the study. When the journal entries are quoted in italics, the punctuation and spelling represent the authentic work of the students. The classroom video data and the video narrative data will be (re)presented in an edited narrative video that will accompany this research. The Community The community, in which the study took place, has experienced extraordinary growth in the number of English as Second Language Learners (ESL). The percentage Of ESL students in this community jumped from 2.15 percent of the total school population in 1988 to 40.78 percent of the total school population in 1995 (Rice, 1997, p. 12). Since then, the ESL population has peaked and it is currently declining. The majority of the ESL learners speak either Mandarin or Cantonese. Of these, Cantonese comprises the bulk of the group. During August and September of 1994, of the 1173 ESL students who entered the school district, 80.14 percent spoke either one of these languages. As the percentage of non-English speakers in schools increases, there is a parallel decline in opportunities for newcomers to interact with 'native' speakers of English (Rice, 1997, p. 13). There are a wide variety of services and organisations available for newcomers to service all their business and personal needs in Chinese. The demographic changes in the community directly influence the changes in the social character and dynamics inside the schools. As a result, the Asian newcomers are faced with a declining need or motivation 113 for learning the language and customs of their new community. In many cases, the only places where they are required to communicate in English are in the classroom and even then, this occurs in a very limited context. Interestingly, Susan Rice (1997) examined whether demographic changes in the school and this particular community were having an effect on language learning. Gunderson had conducted the same study in the same community so Rice was able to compare her results to the initial study. She concluded that despite vast changes in the demographics, students in this particular district continued to acquire all aspects of English at a rate comparable to the original study in 1989 (Rice, 1997, p. 123). This was consistent in all four areas of language acquisition. However, the mean support level for the second study was slightly higher than for the mean support level of the 1989 study (p. 88). The School The school is set in the suburbs of the district with a population of approximately 400 students. It is populated with a wide variety of students from a variety of cultures. The predominant numbers of newcomers are from Asia. Approximately one third of the school's population are labelled as ESL learners. The neighbourhood homes inside the catchment area of the school range in size and value. This includes apartments, basement suites, townhouses, small, older houses to large, new homes. In the district where the study takes place, there is a very large Asian community. Entire malls cater to Asian products and materials. Asian communities have access to television programming, magazines, comics, newspapers, food, markets, doctors, and a host of other amenities all available in their native languages. In response to this population influx, many of the 114 local merchants include Chinese translations in their storefronts and advertising materials. This represents a unique situation in which the new language learners are immersed in a new culture that includes quick reference to their own culture and language. This particular school district creates a series of observation matrixes for the three of the four components of language acquisition: listening, speaking and writing. A standardised Cloze test where every fourth or fifth word are omitted was used to measure reading ability. The matrixes categorise the learners in five levels and describe anecdotally what each component looks like. Beginning in the September 1999 school year, newly revised matrixes will be used. Student Logbook Journal Entries After each lesson, the students were asked to either fill in a six-sectioned picture graph (see appendix) or a logbook entry. Key words and concepts were always written on the board for the students to easily access. The logbook entry consisted of three sections: What, which listed the name of each exercise the students participated in that lesson, Why, which listed the reasons why that activity was used and a Comments section. The Comments section is referred to as journal entries. The students were asked to respond in their own words about what they felt they had gleaned from the lesson, their feelings about the activities and their own understanding of what took place. Sometimes, the students were asked to write about specific observations or issues that would arise from the lesson. For example, during the first lesson where the students were asked to work in groups of three, they were asked to include at least one member of the opposite sex in 115 their group. This created some anxiety and confusion. At the end of the lesson the students were asked to write about this in their journals. When it came to the journal section of the logbooks the students averaged three to five sentences. Many of these sentences were lengthy run-on sentences. A cross section of the student's writing revealed an average of thirty-seven words. By writing the key vocabulary words for the lesson on the board, the ESL students were able to use the new, specialised vocabulary words such as neutral, spontaneous, participation, cooperation, and emotions with a high degree of accuracy and fluidity. As a result, they were able to create simple sentences with rich vocabulary even when their language abilities were limited. Many students assessed their own progress as a class and wrote about it in their journals. St: I think we did this stuff because we needed to expression to control areself. I think are class had more control then last time. R: I thought that we did more then we did last time. On Working With Others One of the first hurdles when working with a group is the difficulty in working with mixed groups. Whenever possible, students chose to work with members of the same sex. One of the reasons I give to the students for learning to work with members of the opposite sex, or anyone you don't feel comfortable working with for that matter, is that in real life yOu are required to work with a wide range of personalities, genders and abilities. Students are therefore required to create heterogeneous groups in order to facilitate their ability to work well with a wide range of people. This is done within the safe and monitored confines of the classroom setting. Once again, the students are practising and experimenting with real life situations. 116 M: Today Ifeel uncomfortable with my partners. I hat to perform in front of the class. W: It was hard to be in a group with boys. I don't like to be loud in front of the class. S: I will be uncomfortable with boys in my group because they won't listen io girls and like they think their the boss in the group. That's what I think. L: I don't think it went well when the boys and girls were partners. I think we should do this more often because everyone will get use to it, and they will get more conformable about it and everyone will have a good time. St: Today we had to worked in groups of 3. We had to have one boy or one girl. I was in a group of 2 boys. I felt ok. with it because I knew Andy since grade 2 and Richard is my friend but Ifelt a little shy doing the back-story-back in front of them. A: I don't like to work with boys because if girls do something wrong they 11 laugh at girls. So I don't like it! R: I think that it was much harder to have a boy girl group. I think that because boys like to stay with boys and girls like to stay with girls. RC: I think it was hard to get in a group of three with a girl because I'm shy around girls. RD: I think it's hard to get into a boy and girl group because boys are shy around girls and girls are shy around boys. On the Activities The students were required to participate in a variety of exercises and activities that many had not experienced before. Although the video data and the teacher logbook data indicated that the students were enjoying and benefiting from the teaching method, the student journals indicated a mixed reaction. This was especially evident in the first half of the unit. In some cases the students were able to assess why they felt the exercises would benefit them. R: I liked role playing a lot because it was fun to here other stories that you might of heard befor. N: Today we played Twizzle but it was not that fun. 117 M: I think we should do more acting stuff. I love acting. But I don't want to be a actor. I love the drama class. L: Neutral is good because you get to know how to do things without using you body language. W: Some call out games make me shy. Ad: I think the drama lessons really helped us during the performance, I know it sure helped me because I speak quite softly. Personal Space During one of the lessons, the students were introduced to the concept of personal space. Personal space is defined as the physical space required by an individual when interacting with others. Personal space is defined by culture, status, relationship and self-esteem. For example, a student would not talk with their face only One centimetre away from their friend during normal conversation. In fact, when this was demonstrated in class, many of the students laughed out loud at the premise. However, this same distance was considered perfectly acceptable distance for conversation between parent and child. RC: I feel that personal space is a good thing because It makes hie mad when people get in my face. RD: I feel that personal space is really important to some people. Without it, it can make people very mad because people can anger easily. A: Maybe I can try to trust them (other students) and do a better job. Sh: I felt much saver telling my partner's story. But I missed some important parts. I'll be scared telling my own story in front of a camra. Rtt: Today Ifound out that it is much easier to tell anouther persons story then it is to tell your story to the class. I found that because if they make fun of you it is not your problem it is the other persons problem. Not yours so it is not embassing. M: it was kind of scary at first to tell your partner's story. But when I told the story it was kind of fun. I feel confidence of telling my story now 118 J: It was easier to tell my partner's story. My partner missed out some parts in my story. I notice it was easier to look at someone for 3 seconds. D: I did not like the part when you have to share with a partner. I think it was a bit hard when we had to tell are partners story but it was even harder when it was a long story. Ash: (Day three) Today we worked on personal space and I don't like getting really close or very far from each other. Describing Self Students were asked to describe themselves. This was very difficult for most of them. They repeatedly asked for clarification and guidance on this point. Most of them were uncomfortable with writing positive attributes about themselves as they felt this would make them seem conceited or arrogant. Some students were just hot sure of how to describe themselves at all. Ag: Ifeel tired today because spring break just over, Ifeel great today because I fell my back-story-back it's much better! Today was so close because I afraid I will go up and show the whole class my back-story-back. I afraid they'll laugh at me, But I still think today is so wonderful!!! Ifeel uncomfutable when somebody stand right front of me and look at me, Ifeel want to laugh! Sm: I have really experiensed confidennce in this dram unit, and will hope it will help me in the future. T: Sometimes I have trouble keeping control. Today, I was able to keep myself from laughing because I was more used to it. J: I think we did the neutral exercises because we needed to learn to control ourselves. Sm: I would say that I am not perfect. For one thing I am not good at grammar in Spelling... And I don't like walking because it swets my feet. T: Something I don't like about myself is sometimes I like to procrastinate. Something I like the least is that standing in front of a big crowd because it make me feel a little embarrass and nervous if I say the wrong thing. P: Wht I least like about my self is that I have a bit of a ego. 119 Ash: I like to sing and dance because is fun and makes me active. Jck: I am good at computer games I am strong and energetic. ESL Learners Some ESL learners really resisted the physical and public technique. W writes, The whole drama unit means nothing to me. I warn't into it. I had a hard time speaking loud. Iwasn't having fun or anything. Every volentiring thing felt like taking risks, and I don't take risks a lot... I'm always quiet because I don't like my voice to stand out a lot of the others. We play lots of interested games. In the gym I was nervous ....I think I was the quietest of all. Everyone was doing everything so fast. We were finished in no time. I think everyone worked very hard on their piece. Ifeel sorry for the people who missed the chances to perform in front ofpeople. People who did a solo realy made the whole piece interesting. I think I would positively remember the drama unit always. It was unusual to this as part of the things we do in school. We wasn't aloud to yell and say things loud in school. I have never had a drama lesson before. The more I talk about this, the more I think I'm having fun and not knowing it. Maybe you could do the drama unit again, next year and maybe I won't be so shy. I think I like drama now... What was interesting about W's reflection is that she started out with a denial. Drama meant nothing to her. Yet, she ended up contradicting herself as she worked through the meaning and the process of drama and what it meant to her. Her reflection writing was three times longer than her personal story and almost fourteen times longer than her average journal response. There were very few grammatical errors in her performance response yet only five spelling errors out of 347 words. There were 5 spelling errors and comparatively more grammatical errors in her 123 word story. In video data, W. appears to be comfortable and relaxed. She was very reluctant to participate in the trust exercises. Her "I am" poem: I am girl, student, child, smart, thin, shy, playful, friendly, quiet, healthy, short and funny. I amW. Students with Learning Dis/Abilities There were two students in the class who were identified with specific learning disabilities. No special concessions were made for the two learners during the 120 instructional unit. They did not receive special help with their journals of their drawings. They participated fully in all of the activities of the unit. In fact, both were enthusiastic contributors to the group and it wasn't until I was able to read their journals that I became fully aware of their challenges. Both of the students had no difficulty completing the pictorial logbooks. For the journal logbooks, they copied the What and Why section from the board and wrote their journal section independently. Their journal responses were generally brief. The average word count for their journals was nineteen. This changed significantly when they were asked to reflect on their performances and write their stories. They wrote 128 and 88 words for their performance reflections while they managed 107 and 104 words each for their video narratives. This was over five times their average for journal entries. Narratives During one of the lessons, students were asked to think of a moment or experience in their life that presented them with a strong emotion. I told them an example of when I was in high school and my grandfather came from Italy to visit us and he had a heart attack. One student volunteered to be the observer and retell the story as me. Then the students were asked to repeat this process on their own. Most of the students chose events such as death of a pet, an accident, moments of joy or family vacation events. The students chose a partner and told their 'story' to each other. Their partner was asked to observe the storytelling paying special attention to how the story was told, the tone and emotion in the voice, and any physical mannerisms of gestures that were made. Then the 'listening' partner retold the story they just heard back to the storyteller. The storyteller observed the re-enactment and paid close attention to how the story was told, the tone and 121 emotion in the voice and any physical mannerisms or gestures that were made. Then the storyteller 'directs' the 'listening' partner and makes suggestions on how to tell the story in the same way the storyteller did. This process was then repeated with the 'listening' partner now acting as the storyteller and vice versa. Later, all the students were asked to sit in a circle, away from their partner so as not to make the originator of the story obvious. Students then took turns telling their partner's story to the class. Later, the students told their own stories to a video camera. This performance was termed Video Narrative. This activity served a variety of purposes. It created a heightened sense of trust and purposefulness in the class. By focusing on the skills of observation and imitation, the students were less focused on their fears or insecurities and more intent on fulfilling the task. Many of the students who felt uncomfortable volunteering before were more confident when they were required to retell their partner's story. One example of this narrative is P. P's first four journal entries only had 1-2 sentences each. For example, his third journal entry consisted of the following: P: Today we go introduced to personal space and back-story-back. I like back-story-back because it is like being a mime. For logbook five he wrote, "When we wer doing speak-as-one it was hard to think of wdt to say. " A noticeable change in effort and quality occurred when he wrote about his experience. There was much greater volume and detail in his work and considerably fewer spelling errors. He self corrected his own work. This was representative of the shift that took place in all of the students' journals: My name is P and I am 11 years old. I am 4 foot something I go to — School I was born on May 11th 1988 in Richmond B. C. Children's hospitall. What I least like about my 122 self is that I have a bit of a ego. What I most like about my self is that I am good at all the things in track andfield exept high jump. I remember when I was about four years old and I was riding my new little stunt bike. I was just riding along looking over my sholder not paying atantion to wear I was going and SMACK! I hit my eyebrow on a propain tank from a bar-b-q as soon as my grandmother herd me crying she came running outside and almost fanted because there was so much blood. Then she called "911" and then called my mom and dad at work, surpryisenig enough my parents got to me faster then the ambulace. When the ambulance came my dad went with me in the back of the ambulance and my mom drove the van there. When we got there the doctor told me they were going to put me to sleep while they put the stitches in. About an hour later I woke up and felt the stiches but because my head was numb I didn't feel me touching them and I puld some out, and they had to do it agan, but since my head was already numb they didn't have to put me to sleep agon. (I got them out 3 weeks later) Video Narratives The students in the study were asked to retell their stories to a video camera. They had a choice of bringing a friend or going in on their own. In some cases, the students requested that I be present and in other cases, students requested complete privacy. The students were aware that their classmates would not view their video narratives. The first thing that struck me as individual students started telling their stories to the video camera was how different they reacted to the camera than their peers. Many were clearly more at ease in front of the camera on their own than they were in front of their classmates. J: I think it would be easier telling the video camra cause there would be not pepole watching. Sh: I felt much saver telling my partner's story. But I missed some important parts. I'll be scared telling my own story in front of a camra. Rtt: Today Ifound out that it is much easier to tell anouther persons story then it is to tell your story to the class. Ifound that because if they make fun of you it is not your problem it is the other persons problem. Not yours so it is not embassing. M: Tt was kind of scary at first to tell your partner's story. But when I told the story it was kind offun. Ifeel confidence of telling my story now 123 J: It was easier to tell my partner's story. My partner missed out some parts in my story. I notice it was easier to look at someone for 3 seconds. D: I did not like the part when you ha\>e to share with a partner. I think it was a bit hard when we had to tell are partners story but it was even harder when it was a long story. Ash: (Day three) Today we worked on personal space and I don't like getting really close or very far from each other. O n t h e P e r f o r m a n c e The narrative unit culminated in a final performance piece that the students shared as a school assembly. The group poem, a compilation of the classes' personal poems, was titled "I Am" (see appendix). The students were keen to practice even though some of them were anxious about performing in front of the school. The performance involved a combination of solo, small group and class contributions. The students had the most to say about their performance. Although there were no vocabulary words on the blackboard from which to draw, the students were able to share insights, quality and quantity in their post performance reflections. On average, students wrote almost three times more in their pOst-perfofmarice journal entries that they did in their post class journal entries. Many of them expressed relief and satisfaction for having conquered their performance fears. Some felt that they could have personally done better even though the class did very well. Also, many of the students wrote about the other classes' performances in the assembly. It was as if they had gained a great appreciation for the variety and the discipline of performance: Al: The other kids show is pretty good too, and I very enjoy the other people's show. RD: It was good because everybody remembered their lines and everybody I our class was loud. Today was great and I hope we do another assembly real soon. 124 B: I was lucky that I got through that performance. One of my fears as a kid is performing Ifront of a big crowd. That was why I was a little frightened. I think that we were good during the drama play and happy that most people liked it. St: I thought it was good because we all preformed pretty good and no one forgot their lines and we were all really loud. I think other people enjoyed it too because they clapped really, really hard. Sm: I really liked the assebly today. I think I needed more volume, I liked most of the preformances. Rt: The audance shold that they liked us but I thought our presiritation was one of the worst because we needed a punch line at the end or somting like that. ..But I would have to admit it was the best performance I had ever been in. Sm: I liked most of the preformences. I would like our class to try some other preformance in front of the school. R: I think the presenting assembly went ver,y very well because we stayed in good control and good posture and most of all we did good at a lines. Drama was fun, thank you for teaching me it. S: I felt excited and nervous when I look at the audience. I was kind scared to look at the audience. It feels different between practiced and assemaly. I think the problem is the audience. Ifelt nothing when we practices, I felt more nervous when we do assemaly. J: I was kindfelt proud of myself after wer finished our trun. An: I was very nervous when we walk to the front. I almost forget what to say but I'm very glad I didn 't forget. Then my fir end told me just think there is nobody watching you, and I just did!! Ml: When its our turn for performance, I was scare. I relaized everyone acting nervous too. I couldn't wait to get in back... I doesn't really like to do the play in front of the audience however, I like to do in the class. I dare to speak louder but not in front of audience. J: I thought the presentation wasn't going to be that good but it turned out to be a lot better that I thought. I think our class did pretty good. . Ax: Ifelt foolish in the practices and extremely nervouse at the play. M: I was happy to perform on a stage. I love to be in some more drama classes. K: I think drama classes are goodfor kids because they can express their feeling our more easyer. 125 Ad: I think the performance went well because every one did what they were supose to do. At least I think it went well. RC: When I went in the gym and saw all those people my stomach started to feel weird, like I was on a roller coster. When it was time to get prepared, I was so nerves, I almost forgot my lines and what I was supposed to do. When my part came, when I was supposed to say musical, I messed up. My throught was so dry I couldn't make the noise and sound I wanted to.... I thought I did poor today because I messed Up to many times and embarresed myself in front of the entire school. I thought the rst of the students did well in the play. N: I can'tfigure out why I do so well in practice but not so well when I have to do my best? It was hard to focous with all my best friend looking at me and smiling like I made a funny joke. When I embarresed myself Ifelt so bad like I was about to be taken away by the police. Sh: I was very comforable when I was practing. Bit Iwasn't really conforable presenting in front of the whole school. Ifelt very nervous and almost forgot what I was suppose to say....I think we should do more exercises for fun. I felt different between the practice and the performance. RD: It was good, because everybody remembered their lines and everybody I our class was loud and very clear... Today was great and I hope that we do another assembly very soon. J: Today at the presenting asmedle I was scared because ther were so litany pepole. I thogh avry body else did good expet us I thought we did ok but evrt dody says were so good. Quality and Quantity of Writing The students wrote significantly more in their performance reflections and their storytelling assignments. Regarding the storytelling assignments, this was understandable as the students were expected to take their stories and relate them to a video camera. Therefore, the subsequent follow up activity had an impact on the quality of the writing as the student's level of concern was raised. Performance also raised the level of concern and accountability for the students. Whether it is for a large audience or a lone video camera, the students were motivated to do well for their presentations. 126 Gratitude The classroom teacher had commented that the level of maturity of this particular group of students was much lower than that of any other class she had worked with. I noticed that this particular group did not seem to appreciate the efforts of others nor did they express gratitude for their privileges or opportunities. They collectively seemed to expect rewards for effort. This issue was discussed with the students and they W e r e given various examples of what gratitude looked and sounded like. For example, a variety of portraits were physicalized (arms crossed, sneering face, or open arms and open face) and the students were asked to choose which picture resembled gratitude and why. The value for gratitude and appreciation was discussed as well as their pros and cons. For their final journal entry, many of the students were able to express gratitude arid an appreciation for the experience of performing and participating in a unit where Drarna was used as an instructional method. Classroom Video Data Generally, the classroom video data supported the classroom teacher's observation notes and the written results of the study. Compared to the beginning of the Language Arts unit on narrative, the students demonstrated the ability to: • respond to teacher directions and skill instruction in a more positive and expedient way • maintain control and neutral • work with a variety of students in a respectful manner • identify and demonstrate gratitude • speak in front of small groups and larger groups with a greater sense of confidence and ease. • articulate their strengths and their weaknesses—as they saw it. • take turns speaking in a group • write about their experiences with greater confidence, language accuracy, and using specific and detailed vocabulary • find partners quickly 127 CHAPTER EIGHT: BELLA The Student Bella is a ten-year-old girl from Mainland China who arrived late in the school year. When she first arrived, her knowledge of English was limited. She knew the letters of the alphabet and some common phrases (Hello, my name is Bella, and I am in grade five). Since her first language was Mandarin she was seated next to another Mandarin speaking classmate. This might help ease her into the routines and culture of the school and make her feel more comfortable with her new surroundings. She was classified from the school board office as a Level One student, which meant that her understanding of English was emerging and highly limited. Bella looked different than her classmates. She was quite tall and she wore different kinds of clothes than her peers. At first she was very timid and compliant. She would do whatever was expected of her from the classroom teacher and the ESL teacher. This did not give any of her teachers cause for great concern as it was felt that the new surrounding would take some time to get used to. Initially, the other Asian students in her class welcomed her. Bella was invited to sit with them at lunch and play at recess. As time progressed, she seemed to become more and more isolated by her new peers until finally, there was a visible tension between them, and Bella appeared sad and withdrawn. This was noticed independently by the classroom teacher, the resource teacher as well as the researcher. When the other students were queried as to why Bella had been seemingly rejected, they collectively responded that it was Bella who had bullied them and made their lives miserable. Apparently Bella had been making sarcastic comments in Chinese 129 about her peers' mastery of the English language. Furthermore, she would berate them about their inferiority and stupidity. As Bella started 'getting used to' Her new culture she became increasingly difficult to deal with in the classroom. She was passively subversive as she refused to complete her work and would sit quietly in her desk. Sometimes she would read a Chinese comic from home and other times she would just sit in her chair avoiding the other students and their efforts. She was often disobedient. For example, when she was denied permission to phone home during class time, she left her class and went to another teacher to make the same request. Bella was an only child. She lived in an apartment with her mother whose understanding of English was very limited. Her father continued to work in China and would come home for two or three week periods. During the school year, Bella's father made two trips home. During one of these visits, I had the opportunity to speak With him and Bella at a school conference time. He told me that Bella had attended a private school in China and that she had done extremely well in class without ever having to exert much effort. He used the word 'lazy' to describe her work habits. He was concerned that Bella found the work in class 'too easy' and that she should perhaps not bother attending special ESL classes. This request was viewed as a response by her father to Bella's complaints. I explained that Bella was still very new to the country and the culture and was yet unable to master some of the very basic components of the new language. She had difficulty with attendance and completing work that was asked of her. When Bella's father requested that we give her worksheets for practice at home (a common request), I 130 responded that Bella must come to school consistently and do the work that was required of her in class. Her inability to socialise appropriately was also discussed. There are many students who come to this school district from ah Asian culture. What made Bella unique, but certainly not isolated, was the fact that she was unable or unwilling to assimilate the visual and perceptive social skills of the culture. Journal Entry In the beginning, Bella drew the pictures and copied the What and Why sections from the board. She was encouraged to write or draw what she understood in the Journal section of the logbook. Her first and only sentence in Logbook 2 was "/ am happy. " She did not attempt any journal sections of her logbook until the third week after she finished telling her story to her partner. She worked with another Mandarin speaking student, "Today my partner is S. I said a story to her, and she copy this story. She said a story to me, I copy it. I can use English to tell her a story, and 1 can copy her story. I am happy. " Bella was proud of her achievement and wanted to write about her success. Her relatively long and detailed passage indicated that she was able to write and understand far more than she had indicated to her classroom teacher. In her journal, there were several indications that she had misspelled a word and then erased it. Her perfectionist tendencies were evident in her careful and artful printing. After this event, Bella wrote much moire lengthy and detailed journal entries. Video Narrative Bella demonstrated a remarkable surge of language skill in the video narrative. Although Bella had prepared a brief narrative for her video assignment, she continued to tell the camera the story of how she came to Canada unaided. At her request, I was able 131 to 'keep her company' while she recounted her story to the video camera. There was nobody else in the room. She freely discussed the difficulty of leaving her grandmother in China and arriving in a country where she did not have access to the familiarity of friends, a high social status and both of her parents. The accuracy and fluency with which she articulated her story was considerably greater than any oral language her classroom teacher or I had ever heard from her. This language ability was not observed during any of the frequent conversations Bella and I had nor during any of the conversations that Bella had with her classmates during the Language Arts unit or the pull-out ESL class that she attended four days a week. Observations The classroom teacher first writes about Bella on day three: "It is great to see Bella, a level one ESL student who has been having a lot of problems socially in the class actually participating and interacting with her peers in a positive manner. Hopefully this will help her in her future interactions within the class." This was one of the first opportunities Bella has had to interact with her peers on an equal footing. She was responding to the interactive format in a positive way. The challenge of communicating with her classmates appealed to her as she attempted to connect with them during the Language Arts lessons. By the unit's half way mark, Bella had demonstrated considerable progress and the classroom teacher's notes reflect this: "I can't get over Bella during Drama. It's like she is a totally different child. She's enthusiastic, and participates readily, unlike in regular class. She also uses visual clues. She doesn't usually do this. Does she understand more than she lets on?" By the end of the unit Bella is an equal contributor to the class' narrative performance. Her teacher writes: 132 Bella during this class is totally different, happy, participating, a different student really. She even uses visual clues, something she doesn't do a lot of. Perhaps she feels that she can do this, she has an equal chance of being successful, whereas in the regular class she is scared or doesn't want to fail. Her language skills are inhibiting her in a lot of respects. I am also getting a strong feeling, especially after watching her taped story that Bella is listening, watching and soaking up language like a proverbial sponge. I wonder why she has been so unpleasant at times to the other ESL students, it has made the transition very difficult. Conclusion This study works on the premise that physical, social, and oral interaction precipitates, expands upon, facilitates and aids in the internalisation and synthesis of information. Not everyone would support this notion. The current emphasis oh communicative practices may not be comfortable or even the most conducive to language learning for Chinese students (Tinberg, 1986). There are considerable differences in the kinds of learning environments that best promote second language learning for different kinds of learners. In his study on the effects of instructional practices and patterns in language use among Hispanic and Chinese children, Rice (1995) concludes that situations providing interactional opportunities are related to greater gains in production for Hispanic students. Chinese students appeared to profit from peer interaction after they had reached intermediate levels of English proficiency. In general, Chinese students did not show the same kinds of improvement in classes with high peer interaction. Chinese children, even the very young, responded more to structured, teacher-directed activity (p. 121). Rice (1995) suggested that based on this information, passive learning styles might be better for some students, particularly those who have had some schooling in non-western contexts. These students may not need to frequently interact with other learners or native speakers in order to develop oral skills in English. 133 This study did not support these findings. All the ESL students, not just Bella, demonstrated a significant improvement in their ability to interact with others especially in areas of oral communication, self-confidence, self-efficacy. Although no one teaching technique or learning style is definitive, interaction, socialisation and non-verbal, non-written forms of communication continue to be highly valued and essential for subsistence in the North American culture. Appropriate times for smiling, looking at the speaker, speaking out loud, making gestures and expressing emotions are all reference points used to measure the value, status and merits of our peers and co-workef s. In his dissertation, Rice (1995) examined whether peer tutoring using computer based hypermedia resources help ESL students generate academic discourse. He concluded that with appropriate training, peer tutoring held great promise for the development of academic discourse in the second language learner. Schumann's Acculturation Model (1986) claims that learners Will acquire the target language only to the degree that they integrate with the target language community in its own culture. According to Schumann (1986), the key social and affective factors that may enhance or inhibit second language learning are social dominance patterns, integration strategies, attitudes, and motivation. Cultural integration, therefore, is an important causal variable in language acquisition due to the frequency of opportunities for social interaction. This would support the notion that language learning is more challenging in a community like the one in which the study took place where language learners are faced with less opportunities to associate with native speakers. The language learners are exposed to more and more examples of non-standard and mixed examples of English. 134 These premises were supported in my experiences of working as a classroom teacher and ESL teacher in the district. Although the school district where the study took place does not mandate a particular style of teaching for ESL learners, it is generally standard practice to pull out the students with emerging and developing language capabilities for specialised small group language instruction. Deviation from this pullout model was highly resisted and unsupported in the setting where the study took place. Bella will continue to struggle as a student in her new setting. Unfortunately, she was unable or unwilling to transfer her social skills outside the Language Arts unit although her status and her ability to communicate with other classmates had greatly improved. Her social success was mostly confined to the unit of study while her ability and confidence with English continued to demonstrate growth. When motivated, Bella Would write in sentences. For her performance reflection, she wrote in paragraphs. It was felt that more time to practice and become consistent with her new social skills was needed in order for Bella to maintain the level of social and observational skills that were acquired during the unit of study. Peer tutoring and groupwork allowed Bella to use her potential to a greater advantage. As a result of her participation in the integrated Language Arts unit, Bella Was able to practice socialising with peers outside her pullout group. This gave her the confidence to make connections with her new peers at a subsequent weeklong camping trip that she participated in with other students in her grade. 135 CHAPTER NINE: ALBERT The Student Albert was a ten-year-old boy with long bleached bangs framing his closely cropped brown hair. He was a very bright student and if I had never read his journal, I Would have never guessed his (dis)abilities. Sensitive and willing to reveal and take risks, he Was an ideal student in the Drama classroom. According to the classroom teacher, Albert had difficulty with making and keeping friends. He was often the target of schoolyard bullies. Again, this was not evident in the class. Albert was a boy who required daily doses of the drug Ritalin. This helped him focus and delete the external stimuli that he was unable to adequately filter. On days that he forgot or chose not to take the drug, he was unable to focus long enough to Complete very simple tasks or assignments. The students are so very different in the classroom than they are outside in the playground with their peers. There is a different structure and sense of parameters for the classroom than in the physical and kinaesthetic world of playgrounds and gyms. One of the things that I just loved about teaching Physical Education was that I was allowed the opportunity to see students in a setting that afforded them an expertise and intelligence that I would have otherwise not been privy to witnessing. Like the Physical Education teacher, being a Drama teacher allows you a totally different viewpoint of a student. Albert was one of those students who appreciated and coveted the luxury of sharing his knowing in a physical and verbal way. 136 Video The video data revealed Albert's need for constant movement. However, he was almost always focused and involved in the classroom activities. He often offered suggestions when asked to and would regularly volunteer to help with explanations of to demonstrate activities. If one only relied on the information that Albert offered in his journal, one would probably conclude that he was unable to grasp the complexities and subtleties of the unit on narrative. However, Albert's writing abilities did not correspond to his oral and internal understanding. In his responses during classroom discussions and in our subsequent conversations that Albert craved, he openly discussed in depth how he interpreted the lesson's events and what they meant to him. Conclusion By the end of the unit, Albert produced two to three times more writing than he did in the beginning. Although the intent of the unit was not to necessarily produce more writing, it was interesting that Albert was able to produce a page of writing unaided. I write about Albert because he is a student who can easily get lost in the piles of journal entries and exercise books that often comprise the majority of a student's record. This is a great oversight in Albert's case because the feality is that he is an articulate, sensitive and very bright individual who has yet to meet his potential. Physical and emotional intelligences are valued and supported when using such techniques as Drama and this is exactly the kind of thing that Albert needs. Despite the call to embrace a variety of intelligences, reading, writing and arithmetic remain the dominant benchmarks for evaluating a student's success. How many parents are devastated to see a less than 137 stellar performance rating in Art, Drama or Physical Education on their children's report cards? There are many Alberts in our schools who desperately need and benefit from a variety of ways to share their knowing. Although there are many educators who embrace the value of using a variety of output platforms to measure understanding and knowledge, the overall standard for measuring student output remains highly limited. Still, I am hopeful and optimistic about Albert's future. There are many places for a kind, gentle and perceptive individual such as Albert. 138 C H A P T E R T E N : C O M M U N I T Y O F T E A C H E R S Leadership Drama is an opportunity for students to experiment with and experience leadership. There is a certain responsibility and honour attached to this task. The power associated with authority can be used to empower and honour others as well as abuse and dishonour. Often students are not given the opportunity to experience the double edged sword of leadership because it is implied that youth are somehow unable to handle these responsibilities or that they will somehow abuse their sense of power. Yet, if they are not given a variety of opportunities to practice this experience their understanding of what it means to have power or be a leader remains from the skewed vantage point of one who does not have it. Physically experiencing the role of leadership allows one a much greater and more meaningful understanding of all the complexities involved in this task. I experience this in the many roles I find myself in. As a teacher, I am aware of the power I have in the classroom. As a student, I am painfully aware of the power I don't have. In the university setting this relationship is even more convoluted as I shift from student to colleague with the same professors I have taken courses from. So leadership and all its ingredients is often implied as an innate or intangible entity, when really it is a skill that can be honed and practised in the classroom starting at a very early age. Classroom teachers are one of the leaders and the facilitators of our learners. Who are these people and what is their impact on the learner? 139 March There are many teacher communities within each school staff. Not all teachers within each school situate themselves in the same vantage point. The smaller groups teachers choose to socialise with and share their professional resources with constitute smaller communities within a much larger framework. I am well aware of the generalisations that swirl around about teachers. That they are cheap, potentially cantankerous, speak ill of their students, take great pleasure in the misfortune of their least liked charges, or the worst one of them all, that their work involves an easy six-hour day with plenty of holidays in between. Media, movies and sitcoms such as Ferris Beuller's Day Off, Welcome Back Kotter, and The Simpsons continue to support this myth or romanticise the notion of teachers. Most of these images don't come even remotely close to representing the fifteen years of education that I have experienced. Over the years, I have found that every school is equipped with one or two special teachers with leadership qualities that are central for all the others in the school. They are the ones to whom everyone goes for advice, both personal and professional. March is just such a teacher. She works at the school where the study took place. A single mother with four grown children who refuse to leave the fold, she is tough, resilient and protective of her family and friends. She makes sure that birthdays, problems, celebrations and tragedies are attended to fairly regardless of her personal opinions. She is the ideal professional. Privately I have referred to her as a Smartie — tough and crunchy on the outside and sweet and smooth on the inside. She just tells me to "shut up." Once when I asked March what I should do now to prevent the adolescent difficulties that await trie 140 with my daughter, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "Just shoot her." Dark humour to be sure, but she wasn't about to sugar coat anything on my account. Which brings me back to bread again — the unleavened kind. I am talking about crackers. Stoned Wheat thins to be exact. March brings crackers and cheese every recess to the staff room and so the table she sits at has consequently been named as the cracker table. No one is ever excluded from the table and March always makes sure that there are enough. Crackers for everybody and that the cheese is always fresh and in good order. We have always joked that the table is bound primarily by anyone who has a penchant for food rather than a particular friendship clique. Indeed, it is the table I always gravitate towards, what with the chocolate brownies, cookies, squares and crackers that always seem to be present. Did I mention that March also keeps an ample stash of chocolates in her drawer? (She keeps it filled even though she rarely indulges in them herself.) Admittedly I was a little intimidated by March at first. Her direct in-yOur-face style was initially misinterpreted as abrasive and so it took a while for us to warm up to each other. We still laugh about our shaky start but a better friend of co-worker one could not ask for. And it's not just the food talking here. Even the fact that she is a smoker will not deter this bond. Although she doesn't see herself as one, March is a leader in the school. She is respected and honoured by even those who don't frequent the crackefs table and she is constantly sought out. There is an entire aspect of teaching communities that is overlooked. What makes March an excellent classroom teacher are not stellar organisational skills or outstanding 141 teaching techniques, both of which she practices to some degree, but her intentions, actions and beliefs about teaching. She practices her beliefs daily and this is the example she sets for her students. She genuinely cares about them and wants them to do well, and as a result she is able to accomplish so much. There are times when care and justice are not pretty or comfortable. For example, when a topic such as personal hygiene, bullying, promiscuity or theft comes up, March is able to candidly discuss and listen to a variety of opinions to arrive at a consensus where the students often feel they have had a say. March is only one example of a leader in her community. I tell you about March partly to illustrate a good example of teaching and what it means to be a teacher, and finally, to articulate a common aspect of teacher communities that is rarely exposed or represented in a research or study of teachers. In Katherine Weiler's (1988) examination of teacher stories, there are some aspects of teaching communities captured, but only as a result of researching the personal lens from which her subjects taught. Teachers were interviewed and their thoughts and their stories were (re)presented in a document that most closely approximates the stories that I have encountered. I like working with the students, knowing that they are actually getting something I am trying to teach. It feels good when I see them eager to learn, question and problem solving. It feels good when I see them over the year. I like to see those students who are struggling still feel good about themselves. (Annie, 1999) Annie was the classroom teacher of the students who participated in the Drama unit on narrative. She was a quiet, private woman whose organisational skills superseded those of anyone I knew. I had no idea just how organised she was until I worked with her on the study. When I handed out the consent forms for the students and their parents, all of them were returned to me paper clipped and counted within three Working days. She 142 even insisted on re-counting all the permission slips and placing them in a labelled file folder prior to handing them to me. "Are you sure you want to keep them or would you like me to hang on to them for you?" "Annie you're scaring me. They'll be in safe hands with me. Trust me," I smile sweetly in her direction and roll my eyes. That I use a video camera in her room is an irony that has not gone unnoticed by either of us. She is extremely uncomfortable being photographed or videotaped. She is even more video phobic than my mother is. I had to promise that I would not videotape her under any circumstances prior to working in her class. Although Annie's teaching style is light-years apart from March's teaching style, she is also an exceptional educator. The tragedy here is that neither March nor Annie have their teaching abilities affirmed from leaders in their own professions, and as a result they have learned to be private about their professional successes. Teaching was not Annie's first career. Prior to this, she worked as a secretary. A desire for something different initiated her teaching career: Several teachers I had in the past had a profound impact on me. I admired them and aspired to be like them. I actually think that it was the not so good teacher I had that made me decide to become a teacher. I was extremely shy and withdrawn in school. There was no attempt by those teachers to find out why I was like that, and although shy I was not stupid. I wanted to become a teacher because I swore I would not judge students like that, to give kids a break. (Annie, 1999) This helped to explain Annie's intensely private side and her hard-working ethic in the classroom. 143 Her Classroom Journals During the course of the study, Annie, the classroom teacher, was asked to make observational notes in the form of a journal. Prior to observing the class, this is what she had to say: This is an active class with a very broad range of academic levels. There are 16 boys and 10 girls. Two of the boys are "AD " (attention deficit) and not always on medication. There are 3 level two and one level 1 (English as a second language) ESL students. This is one of the more interesting and challenging classes I've had The range of abilities within the class makes it very difficult to meet all the students' needs. This is a 5/6 class, so there is also two curriculums involved, both grades are integrated as much as possible. Listening skills are for the most part, poor and Ifind myself repeating and presenting material in as many ways as possible. Responsibility towards homework assignments is inconsistent, I have resigned myself to always having a few not complete. Asa teacher, it is my job to guide the students through their year. With the range in this class, this is proving difficult. But that is part of my job. One of my main concerns with this particular class is the seeming lack of empathy displayed by the students toward each other. There are many little 'cliques' within the class and many of the students have found themselves outside of the 'in circle'. Many of the students are self involved with makes it hard for them to have much understanding of others. Taken by themselves, they are nice children but put together, they are quite a needy and active class. Annie made several observations about the impact of the video camera on the students, "First thing Monday morning— the camera is on. The class seems a bit subdued ~ they will soon get used to the camera in the corner. Most of them seem a bit shy with it, one, A, likes to be at the centre of attention and is performing for the video." By the second lesson, she had noticed a change: "The students are definitely less shy regarding the video camera in the back of the room." 144 Annie wrote from the (ad)vantage point of knowing all the students she observed. She was able to use her own knowledge and integrate it with what she was observing: "With this class, I need to see another side of them. I've been so busy keeping them focused, trying to reach them all academically. I have lost the sense of their individuality. To see them alone, as unique people." The opportunity to observe her students in a different setting was useful and it allowed both the researcher and herself to glean important information on how to best capture and capitalise on the students' strengths and intelligences. "I love you" — RC almost couldn't get this out ~ his hormones have really kicked in and I have a feeling he has started to really notice girls. D is settling down, he doesn't laugh quite as much, that signifies a great growth for him .. .Et, a student with attention difficulties — is so focused, the most I've seen all year. Et does like to be centre stage and this gives him the opportunity." Annie made many observations about how the activities and exercises affected the students. Here are some representative sample comments: They are actually listening!! Laughing with (not at) some of those students who circle the "in crowd. " They are excited and ready to begin. They love to see the teacher do the same activities they are. I can see the changes already —the vocabulary is becoming more natural. Making eye contact activity—boys and girls are not interacting — hopefully this will change. Funny faces and control, pretty impressive considering what they had to do. RC— someone whose maturity level during these activities has been glaring. I pulled him over quietly and told him to watch his body language, since every time he had to meet with his partner (Bella) he made shivering motions. His response was a very candid one, "lam nervous around girls." The boy/girl thing in the class is very obvious — all the girls sit together, the boys apart. J, a boy with a lot of academic problems, is surprisingly comfortable with all the activities. Getting into mixed sex groups very 145 challenging and not something they are comfortable with, some choosing had to be done for them — hopefully they will be able to do this on their own eventually. Class settles down quickly. They have improved immensely since we began. Their ability to stay in control now is surprising. Listening skills are poor in this class but they have responded well during these lessons. Even D is able to maintain control. Towards the end of the Language Arts unit, Annie's notes often turned introspective as she examined her own style of teaching and philosophies: "The message that is becoming clear to me is that this class needs activity, hands on work. Sitting still for any length of time has contributed to management problems, to see them this focused is sending a clear message to me." This suggested that the process of observing her class had an impact on the classroom teacher. Teachers, like Annie, come from a great variety of backgrounds and experiences that they somehow weave into their profession. It is this eclectic mix of past experiences blended with other teachers, students and the community that eventuate in the melting pot of life that we commonly refer to as the classroom. Bringing small pieces of our past into our present and accepting each piece as being of equal importance allows all the learners (teacher, community members, parents and students) to make connections and forge a collective story that constitutes community. My philosophy is to make learning as interesting and as fun as possible--and to instil a sense of eagerness to learn. You have to have a sense of humour in this job, for yourself and your students. Humour goes a long way to solving problems in the classroom and setting the tone. It's not so much what you teach but how. You can have the greatest material, the best lesson plans but teaching is not about that. It's about enthusiasm, how you present, to hook the students, to make them want to learn. (Annie, 1999) 146 SECTION D: UNDERSTANDING OUR STORIES CHAPTER TEN: ONE POINT OF VIEW Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to discuss and analyse the results and the implications of the study. Part of this analysis includes the continued reflection of how this dissertation journey affected the writer and the writings. Our narratives are kneaded into the daily subsistence of our lives. They often provide the intentions and the rationale for our performances. All too often We are expected to keep them hidden from public view. Yet, the proliferation of the personal into the public is not new. The study and observation of his own children precipitated Jean Piaget's analysis of behaviour and play. Well-known anthropologist Margaret Mead kept detailed notes on her daughter as she grew up. The mobile and versatile computer laptop has facilitated access to writing and research in a way that had not been experienced before. Crackers Alexandra, my five-year-old, is distraught. "How come Johnny gets to stay at Dominic's? Can't I have someone to sleep over?" Once again her older brother gets an over night visit with his cousin and Alexandra has decided to dig her heels in and announce the inequity that I have somehow overlooked. "But you said that I get to have a friend over. Why not today?" "Look, we'll have a great time, just you and me. Why don't we rent a video? You can pick it and we can watch it together in Mamma's bed." 147 It's not that I usually resort to bribery but I was really looking forward to the mother-daughter evening thing. After a quick visit to the supermarket where Alexandra negotiated some Mini-Ritz -"Oh Mamma, these are the same crackers Mrs.Harling (her Kindergarten teacher) used when we made butter last week!" We rent a video and within minutes we are nestled in my bed (on Papa's side of course) with a bowl of Ritz-bits waiting for the video to start. "I'll be up there in just a minute, Lamb" I shout from the basement, "I just need to put the wash in the dryer." On my way to my bedroom, I quickly grab the readings from class. But wait. Where was the highlighter? Oh well, her lemon scented yellow felt would do nicely. Add a hot cup of Earl Grey and I'm not sure who was more excited - Alexandra or her mother. When I finally arrive, the movie had just started and the crackers are almost finished. She is sucking them slowly to make them last. Alexandra is eager for my company and quickly opens up the duvet to welcome me. "See that puppy? Isn't she cute? She wants to sleep in those people's bed, but they don't want her to. Why isn't the puppy allowed to sleep in their bed? I just love that puppy. She's the Lady. Do you like her Mamma? See? She's crying nOw. She's sad 'cause she doesn't want to sleep by herself." "Ho, I know somebody else who didn't like to sleep by herself when she was a baby." "Only I'm not a dog," she interrupts. 148 "No. You're not a dog. I'll be right back Alexandra." I quickly decide that I don't want to miss this Kodak moment. Only instead of a camera, this snapshot requires my trusty laptop. Moments later, I get settled on my side of the bed. The cracker bowl is empty now and I move it over to the nightstand. I notice there is hardly any room left for the bowl, what with two Barbies, Mitzu, the stuffed cat, the Teddy bear stocking from Christmas that Alexandra just couldn't put away in the Christmas storage box and my school binder. The telephone and the nightlight are starting to look out of place. As the click of the keyboard transforms the moment to paper, Alexandra moves her pillows closer to me. Not even a piece of rice paper could come between us now. Her elbow rests neatly just above the typing wrist that seems to be supporting her vacuum suctioned thumb. "Alexandra, can you please try and keep thumbie out? "Oh Mamma, it's just so hard." "I know. Just try." Now she moves even closer. (I was wrong about that rice paper) and it feels crowded in the King-size bed. She keeps trying to move my arm over as she realises the laptop is rivalling her attention. "I think it's time you put your computer away." "Oh do you, now?" She pulls my typing arm away from the keyboard and positions it comfortably under her neck. Not quite satisfied, she takes her Papa's favourite huggy pillow and plops it on top of my shoulder and wiggles and squiggles until she has found the perfect spot. 149 Thumb, firmly back in suctioned heaven, she is content to watch the movie. I am content to leave the laptop until the next opportunity arises. Alexandra had taught me a very important lesson. Classroom Stories Telling stories impacts the storyteller as well as the listener or the reader. In the Drama classroom, the questions, "Why are we doing this?" or "Why is this important?" are acknowledged and to some extent, encouraged. After every lesson the students write what they did and why they did it ~ the objectives for each activity. This was the dominant rationalisation for including the Why? Section. In this way the students are learning the value of the skills covered in the lesson and that the development of skill, knowledge and attitude does not have to include chairs for sitting in and desks for writing on. That these young students will one day grow up to be adults who would value the necessity for these objectives and models of delivery in their own children was always considered a long-term bonus. A sense of purpose, a reason to be, to play, to co-operate, to trust, is fundamental in an environment where learning and personal growth are expected. Without this sense of purpose or commitment there would be no motivation or inclination for change. Students were encouraged to bring their own personal understanding of the classroom events in their journals to facilitate connections and perceptions on layered levels. On a communal level, the class was encouraged to use their personal growth and defined skills towards each individual class within the unit through group work and performance. I don't think that many people understand or realise the entrenched and viable sense of purpose that Drama fosters and reaps. One of the reasons for this 150 misunderstanding might be because many of the ambassadors of Drama ~ the educators themselves— are not aware of its potential. David Young, a Drama educator, makes this point: There are too many Drama teachers who teach Drama in our system who are NOT Drama teachers. They are not accredited Drama teachers, they are not people who have even taken acting courses for the most part. They are people who, through the capricious nature of the school system are thrown into teaching this Drama course or that Drama course... There are so many examples of this that I tend to wonder how Drama actually survives as a curriculum within the school system. Very few courses of any substance can be taught by people who do not know the curriculum, or who have trouble or are vague with the course content. Is it because Drama is a marginalised subject which is just 'simple play' and that anyone can facilitate this as a classroom activity? It is this kind of attitude that allows for incompetent and unqualified teachers to be hired to teach Drama in our school system, and force young people who actually want to learn Drama to search out opportunities. (Young, 1998; pp. 85-86) Young (1998) points to the perception of Drama as 'simple play' even, perhaps especially from, circles inside education. Everybody knows how to play so anybody can teach Drama. Yet Drama requires an expertise not only in drama tools and skills, but in the adjoining community building skills. The need for an open community where freedom of expression and civility are encouraged, defined, practised and protected is necessary in the Drama classroom. Often, openness has the potential to infringe oh another's sense of self-esteem. Openness would assert the esteem and respect of other in order to contribute to an atmosphere of trust and respect. Drama as a teaching tool requires educators skilled in both the practice and the play of community. Only then does the purpose of Drama make any sense and only then can the educator truthfully answer the questions, "Why are we doing this for?" and "What's the point of this?" Perhaps all educators require a Why section from which to carefully reflect upon their own actions, beliefs and principles. Maybe then Drama will 151 cease being a subject of'simple play' and become the weighty power tool not just inside auditoriums, but in administrative offices and school boards as well. Disciplined It is only when we bow down in a religious sense, when we humble ourselves, that we can be more open, (bell hooks, 1991; p. 4) When the students who participated in the study were challenged to do something they didn't want to, such as singing their name or falling in the trust exercise, they were never given the option of sitting out. Creating ah atmosphere of trust, risk-taking and safety doesn't necessarily mean that the learners should have options to hot participate when they feel uncomfortable. For some reason, feeling uncomfortable is readily accepted as a perfectly acceptable reason to opt out of activities in a Drama setting. I observed this same phenomenon as a teacher of Physical Education. In the teacher in-services and workshops where I was a presenter, educators seem perfectly willing to 'pass' on a student that is deemed too meek or too shy to participate. Unfortunately this sends a message to the student that these exercises are non-compulsory and therefore, riot as important. Would we be as willing to allow students to 'pass' on their rhath Worksheets or 'essay' assignments even though they exhibit tremendous phobias about these subjects? Shouldn't speaking in front of your peers be assumed at least the same status as conjugating verbs or filling out math worksheets? After all, public speaking is a life long skill and important in promoting politically aware and empowered corhmunities. Instruction, training, practice and the ability to sustain the training, instruction and practice over time, whether you enjoy it or despise it, is discipline. Control (the ability to discipline oneself from the temptation or inclination to lose focus, neutral, or character) is 152 one of the first skills introduced in the instructional design of the unit. It is reviewed and reinforced during every lesson. Control is just one of the physical manifestations ~ the practice ~ of what discipline looks like. Boyer refers to discipline as an area that governs procedures of behaviour for individuals. According to Boyer, discipline enables and supports individuals to accept their obligations or responsibilities within a group, and this is a critical step in the formation of community. Discipline is the key to understanding the practice of Boyer's five other indicators of community. Caring, celebration, openness, justice and purposefulness can each be defined as disciplines of practice. Celebration Historically, Drama provides tremendous opportunities for celebration both through practice and performance. The importance and reverence for festivity and jubilation is noted across cultures, socio-economic groups, gender and worldviews. Families and friends come together to celebrate weddings, birthdays, funerals, sporting events and religious feasts. Drama naturally lends itself to the art of bringing groups of people together. Celebration is a focal point for communities to come together and this is just as important in a learning environment. Often the final performance piece is a catalyst for celebration as the students who have contributed to the outcome all share in the ownership of the product. They create the parameters for its implementation. Whether it is done in front of classmates, other classes, the school, or other schools, performance is considered a beginning of the celebration. 153 Time The element of time was missing from this study and therefore viewed as a limitation. The students did not have a long-term unit or course of study whereby the techniques and skills of Drama were introduced, applied and practised. The long-term course of study would not even have been possible in the particular school where the study took place. Time facilitates deeper and more meaningful connections as trust, confidence, awareness, spontaneity, control, the ability to focus and draw from past experiences facilitate another dimension of the learner. I am not suggesting that community can result from a six-week training course Of practice no matter how rigorous. To Boyer's list of six principles, I would add the necessary ingredient of time. In order for true change to take place, there must be an element of time considered. A group of people who solely participate in socially interdependent forms of practice would not constitute genuine community. However, acknowledging the need for time and shared experiences, I have watched countless classrooms form community by working through the difficult discipline Of group wOrk, self-control, speaking out in public, taking enormous risks and taking them publicly -- all skills by the way, which the discipline that is Drama demands. Using Drama as an Instructional Technique I have taken a great many courses, many of which have made me reconsider my own teaching. My most important discovery was the different feeling of being the student, rather than being the teacher. The feeling of being the receptor rather than the provider of the information, gave me a sense of humility that I haven't felt for some time. Humility that I shared with my own students daily, as my own sense of status and self-importance as the teacher was reconsidered. (Young, 1998; p. 6) 154 This study utilises a highly structured environment and course of practice (the lesson plans, developmental skill acquisition) for the praxis of Drama. This is a starting point. A place where a wide variety of people who otherwise would never venture into the subject of Drama could start to develop their own repertoire of useful games, reflections and activities for the classroom. In their own wayj each student performed a social function in which they educated their audiences as to the problems and advantages in society. Furthermore, they sought to remedy and challenge some of these problems that existed within their own experiences by sharing and reflecting on pieces of their past. Osborne expands on this phenomenon, "In holding up a mirror, audiences are sometimes forced to see aspects of themselves or of society in general, which reflect both troubling and uplifting elements of human nature" (1993, p. 166). Through challenging audiences and reflecting human realities, it is hoped that this will somehow make a difference to the lives of those who share their performance but also to those who come to watch the performance. Drama's ability to enable actors to see themselves as agents of change is an empowering one and has been explored by Agosto Boal (1995). Boal utilised Drama's ability to make both audiences and actors active participants and to then use that activity as a springboard to support political and social action. One of the powerful outcomes which Drama as a teaching tool offers is this personal awareness and empowerment which comes about from the discipline and community in a public forum. Speaking out loud in front of an audience goes beyond the skill of speaking clearly and presenting your body towards the audience. The confidence in achieving potentially emotionally risky 155 public feats brings about citizens aware of their voice and aware of the power that voice brings. Revelations David Young lists several of the benefits of Drama education: .. .Drama education cultivates and provides students with opportunities to analyse, reflect upon, and reconcile daily human life experiences; that Drama education opens up an effective and powerful medium for young people to create a narrative and exposition, to voice their concerns; and that young people to acquire that much needed capacity to take on different roles, to explore unknown situations, to expand their intellectual capacity for creative and critical thought, insight and empathy. (1998, p. ii) This process of reflection and re-reflection on a physical and experimental level is what contributes to the power and effect of using educational Drama. Furthermore, the practice of observation, reflection and discussion on concepts such as confidence, trust, authority, status, power and respect, empower the students with physical skills to reflect on the positions they choose to adopt everyday. This is what educational Drama requires. It isn't just the recipes or the lesson plans that create this atmosphere. It is the teacher's philosophy, beliefs and the indicators of commitment that creates the environment whereby the lesson plans are allowed to connect with the learner. Many of the dissertations, major papers, articles and books written by Drama educators reflect this commitment to the connection between the affective domain, experience and narrative (Bates, 1988; Beales, 1990; Cranston, 1990; Heathcote, 1984; Layman, 1976; Young, 1998). As opposed to Theatre, Educational Drama encourages students to produce their own words. The words of the students matter. In the final performance, all of the students 156 in the class contributed at least one piece of information to the poem. Each student had at least one opportunity to speak out loud on their own, in a small group and as a part of the whole class. Many of the students wrote about this as being a major achievement and source of pride in their post-performance write up. In the quest for truth in performance, it is the teacher's responsibility to uncover the complexities of each story as it unfolds. A story of how one arrives in their new country is far more complex than a five sentence paragraph describing the plane ride, the size of the new home, and the difficulty attaining the right kinds of food in the new homeland. All five senses need to be consulted when searching for the bigger picture. What did th^ir smell like when yOu got off the plane? What was the first thing you noticed on the car ride from the airport? What did you hear? What does our food taste like? What do you think about our schools? How did you feel about saying good bye to your friends and your family? These questions could easily be answered on paper but the experience of attempting to translate these answers out loud or in a people picture has an altogether different impact oh the commitment level of the student. Commitment and dedication to honest characterisations are not without personal risks and difficulties. It requires that students face what the character faces, find emotional connections with the role, and search for emotional and experiential material from within in Order to find the truest character portrayal. Students must be honest about their experiences and willing to discuss their stories. Bully Beware When our family moved to a new city, my brother who was two years older than my sister and I attended the same high school as we did. This would be the first time in niany years that we would all be at the same school and both my sister and I were excited 157 at the prospect of seeing our brother. We spotted our brother walking with some of his new friends sauntering down the hallway. "Hi, Manuel!" we excitedly wave our hands and greet our brother. His eyes darted towards us and he lifted his chin in our direction to acknowledge our presence. Later that same day, my brother took both my sister and I aside, "When you guys see me in the hallways, I don't want you to ever say hello to me like that again." "Well, what should we do then?" "Just, nod your head." Although the request seemed a little odd, my sister and I obliged, "I think he wants to act cool in front of his friends," I whisper to my sister. After a while, I discovered the gym and I spent most of my mornings and lunch hours there shooting hoops. There was only one other girl in the gym. (These were the days when girls hanging out in gyms wasn't so cool.) The other girl, let's just call her Bully, resented my presence and would throw my basketball across the gym whenever it wondered in her direction. I tried my best to avoid her. She was one year older and at least half a foot taller and I hoped that she would eventually tire of her evil little game, but she started to threaten me and insist that I stay away from the gym altogether. This was just too much for me as I was sure that I had just as much a right to be there so I did what seemed natural to me. I told my brother. The next morning as I was once again shooting hoops, my brother and what appeared to be more than the usual number of his friends entered the gym. I lifted my 158 chin in their general direction. The long-haired jean jacket group stayed by the door as my brother approached me, "Where is she?" "Where is who?" "Where's the girl that's been giving you trouble?" "Over there." I point again with my chin. My brother and his friends slowly make their way to Bully and I presume the conversation turns to me as she glares at me. I look away but only for a moment as my disbelieving eyes did not want to miss a moment. Then one of my brother's friends throws her basketball across the gym and my brother says in a loud voice, "There, how do you like it?" Stubbornly antagonistic and belligerent, Bully is defiant. Then my brother takes her by the hand and whirls her merry-go-round style, "Don't you ever gO near my sister again, or the next time we won't be so nice." And then my brother and his friends saunter out the gym as unassuming as they entered. I want to say thank you but I nod my head in their direction instead. I never had a problem with Bully again. Family Stories My brother and my father never wrote anything to me but they said so much by what they did and what they did not do. It was their practice underwritten with mostly unconscious theory that provided me with countless lessons growing up. In this way, their stories profoundly influenced my theory. My father and brother impact me by their simple presence and their simple presence in action moves the words, my words from which the theory comes to life. 159 Conclusion This study focused on defining and practising what were deemed as essential introductory components for drama. They include such skills as neutral, control, spontaneity, creativity, freeze, performance, narrative, listening, trust, emotions, introductory role-play, and shoulder taps. Although specific language functions were not attached to each activity, all the skills were required in order to achieve the target task of creating a class narrative. The drama activities used were chosen specifically for their ability to be used by a wide variety of educators ~ particularly ones who would otherwise not be interested or compelled to use this as a teaching method. Time, practice, safety, trust and experience are required in order for the teacher and the students to feel confident about using a role playing method. Using Drama methods to support ESL learners and mainstream learners in the classroom is where this particular study varied from others. The ESL learners were required to interact with the native language learners to simultaneously support the language skills of both participants. The standard practice had previously been to take the ESL learners out of the classroom for small group specialised instruction. Missing from this model of service were the prerequisite skills needed for optimal language acquisition. If students learn most effectively as O'Malley (1996) suggests, through experiences that reflect inter-dependence of listening, speaking, reading, writing, thinking, direct experience, and purposeful student interaction, then it would only make sense that this purposeful interaction take place within the context of their own peers. Before inter-dependence is achieved, the class requires features of a supportive classroom where 160 learners feel comfortable taking risks and trust is well established (Cranston, 1990; Clarke, 1999). These features need to be established within the classroom setting rather than just the pullout setting. One of the ESL students that participated in the study had terrific difficulty speaking out loud and participating in the classroom and yet in the pullout situation, she was a much more communicative individual. Her reticence in speaking to her peers prevented her from taking advantage of social opportunities for language acquisition in the classroom. This is certainly not an isolated event. There are many students in our schools who do not feel safe in the environment where they study. Key elements such as trust, control, observation, establishing eye contact, social rules and appropriate and inappropriate behaviour are defined, established and routinely practised in the Drama classroom. Creating and promoting a safe learning environment is critical in order to maximise on a learner's potential (Brown, 1994). Using Drama as a teaching method requires that this be established first. All participants need to be involved in creating the parameters of the environment. Often, ESL students do not claim ownership to the classroom environment. As a result, they do not feel they are contributing in the classroom. Drama is developmental. It begins with where each learner is. Their knowledge, experience, perceptions and abilities are the starting points of each activity. As the drama technique is used more frequently, the learners evolve and are able to use a greater repertoire of expressing and communicating methods. Some learners are likely to abuse the new found 'freedom' inherent in Drama arid this gives rise to the difficult to manage or 'rowdy' stereotype of the Drama classroom. 161 Students working together generate sound and this is often interpreted as disruption or even chaos. Management in the Drama classroom is similar to management in a gym. Both are spaces that depart from the desks and chairs of the mainstream classroom. Physical Education and Drama are two subjects that suffer from low status. They are categorised as electives and are perceived as non-essential endeavours. The more opportunities that students have to experience or practice the experience, the greater their understanding will be of themselves and others. This practice also facilitates confidence, self-efficacy and competence as it opens up moments for vocabulary development, social skills, experimentation and risk taking. Using Drama as a teaching method allows the learner to be both actor and audience. Their choices for activities are expressed according to their own interpretations and what others are doing. Those pesky questions, "Who are we?", "What are we?", and "Where are we going?", continue to pervade. Even though the questions have always been the same, the answers have changed. People are not compilations of tiny molecules Working together to create a whole. They come to us as wholes and their interaction with others and new information and experiences create a completely different whole. The single wholes evolve as does the group whole. 162 CHAPTER TWELVE: THE PHYSICAL DISCIPLINE THAT TEACHES US The Mountain I have always had an affinity for the physical. My gravitation towards Physical Education and Drama is merely a manifestation of the bodily bias that calls my name and teaches me daily. It shares an important bond with the cerebral, mental, emotional and spiritual realms that encompass every one of us and somehow make us a whole. We are all just different combinations and strengths of each of that recipe. There is a mountain less than a one-hour car ride away from my home that has become a trendy training hike of sorts. It is an almost three kilometre ascent better known as the Grouse Grind, and it is mostly frequented by people who make it a part of their weekly or monthly fitness routine. My sister introduced me to it a few years ago. Seeing as I could never keep up to her running and we both couldn't get to each other's fitness gym, it has become one of the fitness things we could to together. We have made the trek on Christmas Eve and Good Friday and it has somehow become our sisterly spiritual Mecca so to speak. As we were climbing the final half of the mountain, my sister stopped and said in our Italian dialect something like, "Ohhh, look at that poor man down there." I looked down below us to see an elderly gentleman, walking with a stick. His skin was almost as white as the untouched snow that lay on the mountainside only with a little bit of pink added to it. The arm that was not holding on to the stick was rhythmically and uncontrollably shaking. He was talking to another younger hiker. We didn't notice our own heavily laboured breathing, nor did we observe the absence of this strain in the stranger's voice. We did, however, become increasingly aware of the elderly, 'disabled' 163 hiker's presence. He quickly gained ground as we scrambled up the top of the mountain to prohibit the possibility that the poor elderly man would easily pass us without so much as breaking a sweat while we Were unable to sustain any conversation while We were gasping for breath. "Beautiful day, isn't it girls?" he exclaims as he reaches the top of the mountain milliseconds after we had. "Yeah, (pant, pant, pant) just beautiful." And once again my assumptions are challenged in a way that only experience knows how to expose. The man with the pale face and the shaking arm had much to teach us. Looks can be deceiving. You can't always tell a book by its cover. We are limited only by our selves. Our bodies are capable of more than we give them credit for. The Marathon My sister has started running. She wants to run a marathon. It's something that she has wanted to do for a long time. I think she is trying to prove to herself that she can do this; Overcoming a physical hurdle can be so rewarding and represent a mental or spiritual triumph in the process as well. At least this is why I think she is funning. I am not and can never be entirely too sure of her motives as she still remains a subtle mystery to me. So on our thirty-fifth birthday, she books her hotel in Seattle, a two hour car ride away, and plans to run her first marathon. I plan on meeting her there with a friend and running a few miles with her. We agree on mile 21. Unfortunately, my friend is unable to make the trip and my father insists on accompanying me to Seattle. I feebly protest ("Pappa, I'm a big girl, I can do this on my own. You don't have to come"), but inside I am thinking that this must a blessing in disguise as my sister would surely be thrilled to 164 have both Pappa and sister share her moment of glory. And I'd love my dad's company. It isn't often that I get him all to myself. On the car ride to Seattle we talk. If this were my mom, there would be nothing newsworthy here except that my father and I do most of our communicating through my mother. "Your father was really proud of you last night. The dinner was just excellent." "Really, ma? That's nice to know." "I think I could have a million educational degrees and job promotions but nothing impresses that man more than if I make a nice meal for the family or if we all behave nice in the pews at mass on Sunday." "Oh you know your father is very proud of his children," my mother chuckles. So my father and I talk the whole two hours to Seattle. As we get to the marathon site my throat starts to tighten and I start to think of my sister. "Emi's been running for over three and a half hours!" "Shheessh," my father shakes his head in awe. He is worried about her and wonders why she is doing this. "This is really good for her, Dad. She'll be fine." We drive by the hundreds and hundreds of marathoners in silence. Each runner has a story. I search diligently in the crowd for my sister's familiar running gait. I don't see her but I can feel her presence. She is close and I can sense her. I turn away from my dad so he doesn't notice those pesky tears escape. I say a little prayer and send it her way. Over there by all those exhausted looking, sweat ridden stories. 165 "C'mon Dad, I don't want to be late. Let's just look for a place to park and walk to the site." My father patiently drives the van to a pub nearby and we walk to the 21 mile marker. "Have you seen a runner that looks like me? She might have left a message for me," I ask a race volunteer standing beside a table at the mile marker. "Nope." He looks at me like I have perhaps sniffed one too many power bars. It is raining and my father and I wait underneath the comfort of his umbrella. I try to cheer on some of the runners that pass us by but my voice starts to crack and I start to cry again. Dad and I wait at mile marker 21 for over an hour. "Leeza, I don't think she's here." "Let's just wait a few minutes." "Why don't we go to the finish line?" "Okay, maybe we missed her. She wouldn't have run this slow, anywise. She was running much faster than this." "We walk back to the van and we drive back to the finish line. "C'mon Dad, this is where the runners go when they are finished," I motion for him to follow me into the prohibited runners-only finishing area. There is a man with a microphone there and I get him to announce my sister's name. "Emi Garzitto. Emi Garzitto, if you are in the building, your sister and father will meet you in the host area." 166 We wait and we still don't see her. There is a message board in the host area and I leave her a note. Emi, we came to see you run and missed you. We were always with you the whole way. We both love you so much and we are sO very proud of you. See you at home. So my father and I ride in the van all the way home without ever getting to tangibly celebrate my sister's physical, spiritual, mental milestone. Disappointed and half-embarrassed we arrive at my Mamma's. My sister-in-law welcomes me with a hug and whispers in my ear, "Your mom is pretty upset. Emi phoned and we were all worried about you." "Me? You were worried about me? What for?" Then my mom comes. "The girl phoned twice already. Where have you been? Why didn't you call? We were all so worried. Don't yOu know when to phone? What's sa matter with you both. Ooooo, Fma so mad. I canna believe these tings only happen to you." "What ma? What?" And my Pappa and I exchange one of our rare moments of comradeship as we smile at my Mamma and try to defend ourselves in vain. What a great trip. Let's Try This Again My mother, sister, daughter and I are travelling in the van. My sister is going to run her third marathon in less than a year. This time we are going to Portland - a five-hour drive south. 167 "You know I'm not kidding myself here. You guys are only here for the shopping trip," announces my sister only half joking. "And your point is... ?" "Look I'm real sorry but I gotta use a restroom soon." My sister's hydrating regime is taking its toll on our scheduled arrival time. "Eh, but Emi, you are becoming a real cross," says Mamma. "Mom, why are giving Leeza all that ammo?" my sister moans. "Ohhh, do I have to stop again... my little cross?" I quickly capitalise on the moment. I am scheduled to meet my sister at mile 21 again. This time I will accompany her all the way to the finish line. This time I will come extra early so I won't miss her. To be honest, I'm a little nervous about running the 5.2 miles but I don't want to say anything what with my sister running 26.2 miles and all. My sister senses my discomfort. "Hey Leez, when was the last time you ran five miles?" "Uhh, when was the last time you ran a marathon?" My sister's eyes bug out, "May? You haven't fun in six months?" "It's no big deal Em, I'll be fine," I try to shrug her off. "Okay Leez, but don't expect me to wait for you if I'm feeling fine," says the cocky one. "Like that's ever going to happen." And so that is how the three generations of culture and women make their way past an international border and two states until they get to Portland, the tax free shopping Mecca or marathon site depending on which angle you were viewing it from. 168 My mother's fear and discomfort with being light-years outside of her comfort zone (she outright refused to drive her own vehicle in a foreign place) contrasts sharply with my daughter's sheer delight of getting her Nona and Zia at her fingertips and my sister's simple sense of gratitude that we are with her. At the race sight there are over seven thousand runners- all requiring the use of a port-a-potty it seemed. Once again, I am awed by all the people and their stories. Running twenty-six point two miles is just as much about the mental training as it is about the physical training. Witnessing the variety of shapes and sizes that frequent these events I am struck with the stereotypes that each one breaks. There are the serious runners at the front of the pack, but the bulk of the participants are ordinary people with extraordinary tenacity and wills. They are rich with experience. The absence of youth is noticeable. And so these very physical and sometimes seemingly trite physical challenges that we overcome become a metaphor for life. The ability to accept victory in our physical realms allows us to first entertain the possibility of and then, to practice the experiences of triumph and achievement that we may not feel comfortable with or be willing to accept in our personal lives. And along the way to achieving these physical goals - running the marathon, climbing the mountain, speaking in front Of an audience -there are always the experiences of encountering others and the opportunity to exchange their stories with our own. These mutually produced shared exchanges are what enrich our lives and those whom we touch. They are not one way exchanges where one person holds the balance of power but dynamic and fluid exchanges where each party has a valuable story or point of view to layer onto the others. The result is a disruption of our assumptions. The man on the mountain with the trembling arm and my sister disrupted 169 our assumptions about physical handicaps, social norms, gender and age. These are the examples of the physical disciplines and experiences that teach us, challenge us and nurture us through the most spectacular as well as the mundane moments of our lives. 170 CHAPTER THIRTEEN: BACK TO BREAD Swimming Against the Current I was raised in a Roman Catholic household. My father even went to study in a seminary when he was young. Over time everyone in Our family embraced different aspects of the faith, but we all attend and call this church our own. But lately it has not been every Sunday that I go to Mass. Some Sundays I have chosen to celebrate my spirituality in a different flavour than that from which I was raised. The services I have been alternately attending are not Roman Catholic but of a Mennonite Brethren-Protestant flavour. I go, not to protest or rebel against the faith that I was raised in, nor because of a geographic, doctrinal difference or timetable convenience. I go because its physical celebration of faith more closely approximates mine. I go because it is the first time I see my children run to enter its open arms of welcoming grace. It lacks the trappings of an ornate building, and confining code of comportment, which demand that small children sit quietly on wooden benches listening to someone that neither looks or sounds like anyone they can relate to. I go because I can feel and see my good Friend's presence everywhere. I know that my beloved Mamma and Pappa Would feel completely out of their comfort zone in this church. In fact they WOuld have a really hard time even calling it a church as the service is held in a high school auditorium and there are no crucifixes displayed anywhere. Instead there are people clapping and swaying from side to side as they sing their songs of praise with the electric guitars and drum sets that seem to barely contain the group's enthusiasm. They would shudder at the disrespectful way that people behave as some of the members (myself included) bring 171 cups of tea and coffee from the cafeteria while children (including mine) sit in the aisles and colour in the programs or join in the revelry. Sadly, there is no welcoming committee inside the dusty archaic rules and unspoken codes of conduct that permeate the many different Roman Catholic (RC) churches I have attended. There are ushers who find you a place in the pews should you happen to arrive late, but not before lowering their chins and eyeballing your status. There is no Sunday School for children or teens and definitely no guitars, drums, or laughter other than the polite tittering kind when the priest makes a very safe and usually very dry quip. It Doesn't Count I remember the first time I went to a non-RC service with a friend in University. I excitedly told my mom over the phone, "Hey Mamma, I went to church with Irene today! It was really nice." There is a pause on the other line, "Leeza, ...was it... Catholic?" "No, it was a Protestant kind." Another pause, "Leeza, did you go to Mass yet?" "No, why would I go twice?" "Well, it doesn't count, that's why. You missed Mass today. That's a sin you know. Arrigo! (She calls my dad on the phone.) Vieni qui, la frutte ha perdutto la messa oggi." (That's, "Come here, the girl has lost her Mass today.") I am confused and a little ashamed. I wasn't aware I had sinned by choosing the chocolate flavoured service over the plain, regular vanilla one. Besides, the service I attended was even longer than the regular Mass and there was loads of praying. 172 "Leeza." "Hi, Pappa." "You didn't go to Mass today?" "No, I went with Irene to her church." "Didn't you say she was a Catholic?" "I said she used to be a Catholic, Pappa, and this was a really nice service." There is another one of those weighty pauses and I can hear, feel my dad's frustration and disappointment on the other end of the line as he explains that if I miss Mass, it is a mortal sin. A sin worthy of dying for according to the Almighty Church of Roman Catholicism and that I need to go to Mass, not just any church in order for this to count. Twenty years later I am still grappling with the weighty issue of committing mortal sin every time I choose rocky road (more aptly named than chocolate) flavoured churches instead of the gruelling vanilla which has become less and less appealing and more like cold hard gruel. And if I am really honest with myself I fully acknowledge that part of the reason I compromise my spiritual standards and continue to attend Mass is out of respect (or is it fear?) for my parents' faith. Deep down inside me, there is not a single cell that buys the oppressive propaganda that constitutes the it-doesn't-count-unless-it's-our-brand rule. That sounds pompous even as I write it. (Although what would I expect from a bunch of sometimes celibate men in robes who have such a limited range of experiences. But I digress.) I believe the Lord's long arm of grace is extended way past the politics of power and into our hearts. I am always very grateful that He does not judge 173 the same way I am judged or have chosen to pass judgement. Yes, the ironies are everywhere. Mostly I go to Mass because of the Bread. That's when a miracle happens. The small white wafer becomes transformed into the Body of Christ. Although the physical appearance of this unassuming feast doesn't change, its contents do. Although I am unable to submit to the no-mass-mortal-sin rule I have no problem accepting this unreasonable and contradictory miracle because I have experienced its magnitude first hand. It defies logic and yet I believe and even embrace what I cannot see Or fully understand because I have tasted the manna that sustains me and reminds me of the Lord's capacity for both mercy and greatness. All this is achieved by recreating the simple meal better known as the Last Supper where Jesus broke bread with his twelve closest friends and confidants- one of which was about to betray Him. This moment is recollected and reconstructed at every Mass. When Jesus turns to his disciples and says, "Take this and eat it. This is my body and it shall be given unto you. Do this in memory of me," his actions were recorded over time by some of those who were present. The Body of Christ has its roots in the original encounter but its power over the years has been held by the Word. The words provided the connecting points from one story from the past to my story in the present. The focal point of Mass is Bread. The priest reaches into his chalice, takes a small round white wafer of unleavened Bread and places it into my outstretched hand, "The Body of Christ." 174 "Amen" and I incorporate His physical presence into my own. This is the gift God gives me. And I take it willingly from an overgrown altar boy that I may have even mentally mocked just moments before and I am strangely humbled. Holy Communion is the theoretical cavernous separating point between the church I was raised in and the one that I feel drawn to. This is the miracle that brings me to my knees in the comfortless and cheerless place called Mass. And yet I willingly and dare I say, lovingly, forego this.miracle in order to experience the multitudinous ways in which God's miracle and Joy is actually physicalized when I go to the other church. Rocky Road Church. This isn't to lay another arrow in the already pock marked facade of one of the largest Churches in the world. It is, however, my very personal reference point for comprehending and even appreciating the innumerable intricacies involved when the human psyche, with all its many foibles and limitations is responsible and privileged with the task of reproducing careful and in sortie cases, sacred words. Walking the talk is not an easy thing. It is, without exception, required and indispensable if credibility or accountability is to be honoured. It isn't God that makes Mass comfortless so much as the individuals empowered within the tradition of the church. They are mere mortals who have imposed their way as the only way of celebrating a miracle. It Does So Count So the cultural-ritual-power-faith tensions I struggle with in my spiritual world parallel the same issues that I grapple with in the education and academic worlds. This is where my distaste and intolerance for words without action was born. Although highly criticised for the preponderance of political motives, the Roman Catholic Church 175 certainly does not stand on its Own in this category. Schools, universities, workplaces arid life are also highly politically charged. In other words, our schools and universities are guilty of the same thing I reject in the spiritual institution where I was raised. They are all filled with people intoxicated by their own sense of pOwer and who, armed with their importance, impose the traditions of the past. They are people who are unwilling to entertain or experience different ways of worshipping, research, writing Of teaching lest they should relinquish their hard earned sense of control or job descriptiofi. No one is immune from the problems that occur when power balarices shift or leadefship is limited. When the words of the bible or the words of the school district's policy are never pfactised nor physically articulated by the designated leaders of these words, a cynicism and pessimism results in the people that subscribe to that particular body. Educationally speaking, the body has to rnatch the word. Spiritually speaking, the Body has to match the Word. The body has been separated too long from the word. I am advocating that we honour and encourage the practice as much as we honOur and encourage the words. We need leaders who are followers and followers who will lead. We need people who climb mountains and run marathons and make family dinnefs for a dozen people every Suriday. We need parents and grandparents who might not evert speak a word of English but could show us all about how to write calligraphy, do Tai Chi and make a bookshelf. What we have instinctively known with our bodies has been rationalised as peripheral and inconsequential to the truth inside institutional walls. By acknowledging, listening to, sharing with and experiencing all the lessons that life and our bodies have to teach us inside these walls we will include and honour those who once did not feel so welcome. 176 Which brings me back to bread again. The experience of changing bread to Bread at Mass is an awesome one, but without the application required to back it up, Mass becomes barely palatable. This most 'unscientific' study of stories and practice is absolutely critical to the understanding of the very 'scientific' research that makes its Way into the journals and periodicals of academia sanitised of stories and laughter. We need to hear more stories of students and Mamma's and sisters and teachers that are friends from a point of view that does not even attempt omnipotence but embraces personal foibles instead. This would surely inject a plethora of goodies hereto never seen before in academia. (When was the last time you ever caught yourself guffawing out loud while reading an academic article?) The stories are the body and the research is the word. It is time that both are honoured equally for their merits and their might. 177 Pistaccio Biscotti 2 cups all purpose flour 1 tbsp grated lemon peel 1 tbsp. instant expresso powder or instant coffee powder 1 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. Anisseed; finely chopped 1 tsp. salt 1 cup chilled unsalted butter; cut into 1 inch pieces 1 cup pistachio nuts; toasted; husked (about 8 to 9 oz.) 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 cup Anisette liqueur DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 cookie sheets. Mix first 6 ingredients in processor. Add butter and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add nuts and sugar and chop nuts coarsely, using on/off turns. Transfer to large bowl. Mix eggs and anisette in small bowl. Add to dry Ingredients and mix until dough forms into a ball. Divide dough into 3 pieces. Gently knead each piece to bind. Form each into 1 inch wide log. Transfer to prepared sheets. Bake until golden brown and firm to touch, about 35 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Using serrated knife, cut logs into 1 inch thick slices. Arrange cut side up on cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes per side. Cool on rack. Store in airtight container. BIBLIOGRAPHY Agar, M. & J. MacDonald. (1995). Focus groups and ethnography. Human organization. 54 (1) 48-58. Anderson, G. (1989). Critical ethnography in education: Origins, current status, and new directions. Review of educational research. 59, 249-270. Apps, J. (1996). Teaching from the heart. Florida: Krieger Publishing Company. Apple, M. (1990). Ideology and curriculum. New York: Routledge. Atkinson, R. (1995). 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New York: Routledge. 165" Spaghetti all Bucaniera (Seafood Pasta) 400gr (14oz) Pasta lOOgr (3.5oz) chopped small octupus lOOgr (3.5oz) small shrimp, shelled and chopped lOOgr (3.5oz) shelled clams 3 sliced cloves of garlic 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 400gr (14oz) red ripe tomatoes, cut into strips lTbsp minced parsley salt and freshly ground pepper DIRECTIONS: Brown the garlic in a small frying pan with half the oil. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper and continue cooking for about 20 minutes. Heat the remaining oil in small saucepan, and add the octopus. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the chopped shrimp and clams, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, mix the two sauces together, then remove from the flame. Cook the spaghetti al dente in abundant salted water, drain then add the sauce, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve. Appendix A fS5 b APPENDIX A -- REVIEW OF LITERATURE Introduction This second section which reviews the literature on Language, Drama in Education, and curriculum focuses on providing an overview of the relevant academic influences in this dissertation. Drama is the study of life and the many facets of communication and communicating that exist in our culture. It is closely tied to learning and language. A cursory look at linguistics and language learning was necessary in order to understand fully why language learners responded positively to the use of dramatic instructional methods. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter was to provide a review of the literature regarding language, language learning, teaching language learners and educational Drama and to merge some of the findings into the results of the study. Since the scope of this review is broad, it is limited to providing a skeletal review of the pertinent information as it relates to the study. This is by no means an exhaustive account of any one of the areas reviewed. Linguistics, Language, Learning and Life When she was only fifteen years old, my mother was introduced to my father through friends. They started a tentative courtship and by the time she was seventeen, my father decided that he would be leaving Italy for Canada to find work. My mother's friends in the village expressed their doubts that she would ever see him again, but one year later, true to his word, he sent my mother a ticket to Canada along with a marriage proposal. My grandfather was heartbroken at the prospect of losing his only daughter to a foreign country but my mother assured him that they would only be gone for a year or two at the most. His instincts told him otherwise. The first years in Canada were very difficult for my parents. There were no introductory social or language programs in place to ease my parents into the North American experience and for the first time in her young life, my mother lived an independence she had not previously known. Although they didn't know the language they both found jobs, she as a seamstress and he as a construction worker. They struggled to save their resources so they could return to their homeland. And so their lives in Canada began. Much of my own ways of knowing has been framed by the experience of being raised with two different languages and two different cultures. In some ways this experience was very isolating as all ties with the extended family were geographically collapsed. Since my family only spoke Italian at home, we knew no English by the time we attended the local public school. Although the literature reviewed in this section bears the marks and the unsung narratives of others, I am constantly reminded of how the research and the words of others are in some way connected to my experiences. Afterall, I too was a new language and new culture learner in the classroom. 186 The Nature of Language Linguistics is the scientific study of language, its structures and its usage. It has been increasingly realized as unique to human beings and their culture. Its' use reflects human beliefs and assumptions. Linguistics impacts on many areas including psychology, computer science, anthropology, sociology, education and mathematics. Applied Linguistics is the term used to denote the application of Linguistics to other subjects. An example of this application would be language translation, socio-linguistics, clinical linguistics, language disorders, and teaching foreign languages. Some theories of Linguistics do not take into account the language of facial expressions, gestures, experience, action and body. These variables influence the understanding of language. Therefore the study of linguistics, although extensive, is still not deemed conclusive or definitive. It is an emerging and developing study of how aural, oral, and written language functions and influences society. How language is acquired needs also to be explored in terms of its function, limitations and societal influences. This understanding is necessary in order to explore how and why using Drama as an instructional method affects additional language learners. The Nature and Use of Language Language can be analyzed from different perspectives. It can be analyzed grammatically for syntax. For example the sentence "Colorless green ideas sleep" although grammatically correct, does not make sense syntactically. Language can also be analyzed for appropriate usage. For example the questions, "How much money do you make, How much do you weigh?" would not be appropriate to ask in the North American culture. Therefore, culture influences how language is perceived and understood. Language is also used as a tool to manipulate, to persuade and to mold public perception and opinion. During the Gulf War for example, new terms were introduced in order to separate death and the loss of lives as an outcome of war activity. Thus, we 'serviced the target' rather than bombed and we provide 'collateral damage' rather than killed human lives. Both terms were used in an effort to sanitize and separate the public from another, more unpleasant truth. The formalistic perspective of language proposes that the characteristics of human language are creativity, openendedness and productivity. The ability to produce an infinite number of sentences with an infinite number of meanings is considered a major component of human language. On the other hand, rules and governance around what constitutes appropriate syntax and grammar forms the parameters of the second characteristic of human language. Otherwise, gibberish (nonsensical language) would also constitute a valid language. Many of these rules are subconscious to the native language speaker. They are unaware of many of the rules that govern the language, yet they are easily able to recognize when a sentence is incorrect in terms of syntax, appropriateness and grammar. Humans have access to subconscious knowledge that determines this phenomena. This is referred to as competence. 187 Sometimes our performance does not measure competence. If one is tired, inebriated or not mentally alert, this will temporarily affect the performance of an individual. The job of linguistics is to externalize this knowledge of competency into descriptive grammar. The ability to write the language or communicate in a written format is not seen as critical to this definition as almost half of the languages known in the world do not have a written format (Lightbrown). Grammar Grammar knowledge is separated into several subcategories: phonology (Which sounds are acceptable and which ones are not), morphology (How words are formed), syntax (How sentences are formed), and semantics (Allows us to judge what is grammatically acceptable). Universal grammar is referred to as the genetic endowment an individual possesses. It is the language that you are born with, that comes innate and is known before it is taught. This premise has come under some debate. There have been many instances of individuals acquiring language through immersion with no training and instruction. Descriptive grammar is referred to as the explicit rules of the textbook grammar, which reflects the explicit known rules (Brown, Franklin). Grammar is fundamentally similar or alike in basic ways across the spectrum of languages. If they are different, the differences are highly predictable. They share similar rules. A sentence requires three parts: subject (S), verb (V) and object (O). There are six logical possibilities for their order, SVQ, SOV, VSO, VOS, OVS, OSV. Only the first three combinations exist in world languages. The main order for the English language is Subject, Verb, and Object. There may be some exceptions but this remains the predominant sentence pattern. The subject always precedes the object (Franklin, Qu). Communicative competence refers to the development of competencies as they pertain to the many facets of language acquisition such as vocabulary, grammar, phonology, language functions, situations, and oral and written texts. Another important facet of communicative competence includes nonverbal strategies such as the used of gesture, negotiation skills, and the knowledge of cultural and social rules. English Language Learners and Learning . English as a second language (ESL) refers to learners who are immersed in the culture and the language of the new country. English as a foreign language (EFL) refers to learners who are studying a new language in their own culture. ESL is considered to be advantageous for the learner as they are immersed in the new language and have fewer opportunities to revert to their first language. English Language Learners (ELL) is an acronym that comes from a response to achieving more neutral terminology that would better represent the learners. It is difficult to differentiate or separate the ESL learner from the native language learner, as both constitute language learners in the classroom. Furthermore, the school district materials and much of the research still refers to ESL learners. To avoid any confusion, ESL will refer to the learners in the classroom whose first language learned was not English or who 188 use a language other than English at home. This is consistent with the school district's definition where the study is situated. Natural Approach The existing trends in teaching and programming iri ESL instruction is based on a combination of constructivist and cognitivist concepts. First, the Natural Approach to ESL is based on the supposition that adult learners retain the child's ability to acquire language (Krashen, 1983; O'Malley & Valdez Pierce). This theory suggests that it is pointless to expect language development through learning grammatical rules alone as there is a natural sequence to the acquisition of grammar. Krashen theorizes about the possibility that somewhere in the brain is a language acquisition device which subconsciously provides grammatical definition to a child's acquired language, but not before the child has developed a natural proficiency in any given linguistic ability (Krashen, 1985). How these ESL students acquire a new language has been intensively studied. Several hypothesis's for language acquisition have been put forward in the last twenty years. Here are a few of the dominant models that have had an impact on the instruction of language: Krashen's Input Hypothesis The input hypothesis states that language is acquired only by the process of comprehensible input. Since the rules of language are acquired in a generally predictable staged order independent of the order in which they are taught in class, learners progress by understanding structures that are just slightly ahead of where the learners currently comprehend. Input at stages beyond this structure represents incomprehensible noise. The Input Hypothesis has two branches: 1. The subconscious process of acquisition causes speaking but speaking does not cause acquisition and 2. Given sufficient comprehensible input, the LAD — the part of the brain responsible for language— will generate the required grammar without need of teaching (C. Rice). Cummins Academic Language Proficiency Cummins' research has focused on first and second language academic development in bilingual contexts that are analogous to the setting where the study took place. Cummins developed three theoretical constructs: conversational and academic language proficiency, the interdependence hypothesis and the threshold hypothesis. The first two hypotheses will be discussed as they have had the greatest impact on ESL programs in the district where the study occurred. 189 Conversational and Academic Language Proficiency Conversational and academic language proficiency were originally termed 'basic interpersonal communicative skills" (BICS) and "cognitive academic language proficiency" (CALP) (Cummins, 1979). There is sufficient data that suggests that many minority students can develop a relatively high degree of English communicative skills within two years of exposure to English-speaking peers, television and schooling. However, analysis of results from language tests administered in the Toronto Board of Education shows that it took immigrant students who arrived in Canada at age 7 or later an average of 5 - 7 years before approaching grade norms in English verbal academic skills. (Cummins, 1994, p. 133) Thus, it may take two years to learn conversational, life skills language proficiency but it takes considerably longer, up to five years longer, to learn academic language proficiency. The school district's ESL teachers commonly refer to BICS referring to the social language of a learner and CALPS referring to the academic language of a learner. In some schools, Cummins' findings are used as an introduction for parent expectations in the ESL student's reports written by their teachers. Yet Cummins theory has not been widely embraced by educators and academics as it fails to explain that all social language is not academic and that all language constitutes learning in some form or another. The Interdependence Hypothesis The development of literacy related skill in a second or third language is dependent upon and partly a function of the literacy-related skill of the first language. Conceptual knowledge from the first language can often be transferred over to the new language learned. This hypothesis explains or validates the research data that consistently indicates that instruction in a minority language has no adverse effect on development in the majority language. Cummins also shows how this hypothesis is relevant to Krashen's concept of comprehensible input (1991). If a second language learner already understands a certain concept in their first language, then that concept will be considerably more comprehensible than if the concept was not previously understood. Teaching Paradigms Traditionally the teacher-driven instruction paradigm is the dominant model when considering language instruction. This top down, transmission style model relies on the teacher disseminating her expertise to inexpert students. The teacher is the knowledge center and distributes this knowledge to the students. This paradigm shift is changing, as current research supports more active, student centered models of instruction (Brown). Espoused Principles Espoused principles are a set of principles that are used to explain a teacher's behaviors and actions. The theory in use refers to what is actually being practiced and 190 takes place (Brown, Pratt). Often espoused principles and theory in use are not the same. Using Pratt's Teaching Perspective Inventory (TPI) some educators may view themselves as Apprentice type educators while a cursory analysis of their teaching would indicate otherwise. Our perceptions do not always intersect with our realities. The learning paradigm recognizes the learner as having specific needs and it is up to the teacher to understand these needs in order to facilitate a program for the learner. The student is responsible for his or her own learning here. Teaching Methods Versus Approach Brown defines a teaching method as a "generalized set of classroom specifications for accomplishing linguistic objectives" (p. 51). Methods are mostly concerned with teacher and student roles and behaviors. They are also concerned with linguistic and subject matter objectives, sequencing and materials. Methods refer to "a wide variety of exercises, activities, or devices used in the language classroom for realizing lesson objectives" (p. 51). They are those activities used for the purpose of realizing lesson objectives. Historically, there have been numerous teaching methods for language acquisition that have gained and lost popularity over the years. Brown lists over eleven different teaching methods. They range from the Classical Method where the focus is on memorization and vocabulary and grammar rules, to the Total Physical Response Method which is based on a principle of psychomotor associations with language. That no one teaching method is definitive is a widely accepted assertion. A variety of methods would more successfully accommodate the huge range of learners present in every classroom. A great many of a teacher's choices come from established principles of language learning and teaching. An approach or a theory of language and language learning would facilitate the rationale for using the methods that are practiced in the classroom. Dan Pratt's research on teaching perspectives where a teacher's actions, intentions and beliefs (collectively referred to as indicators of commitment) were seen as critical to the outward practice of teaching extends the discussion on approach. The theory, method or methods an educator uses reflects their cultural, personal, practical and institutional biases. Thus, the contention around approach or indicators of commitment is an important one because it provides significant and relevant parts of the teaching equation. How and why one chooses a particular method or method is just as pertinent as which method or method is used. Teaching approach is dynamic and changes according to one's experiences, choices and actions. According to Pratt, beliefs are not as adaptable or fluid. They are the accepted truths of an individual. These accepted truths vary from person to person and are influenced by culture, family, language, experience, age, maturity, gender and education. Fluency and Accuracy My mother had no problem making herself understood. I remember as small children, we would laugh with my mom as she got mad at one of us for spilling the milk 191 at breakfast, "You split the milk at da table. I tol you not to split the milk!" We would giggle at her gaffe but I can never, never recall a moment where I noticed an accent. Sometimes she would mix her words around but that was just the way mamma talked. When I started high school, I had just moved into a new community and was starting to make new friends. I arrived at the school I was attending one morning to find my friend waiting for me at my locker. "I tried calling you last night," she said. "Oh, really?" "Yeah, but I couldn't understand a word your mother said." "Why not?" I answer defensively. "Well," my friend tentatively continues, "She had such a thick accent!" she whispered. "What are you talking about? She doesn't have an accent!" I was sure my new friend was not that bright because I knew my mom and she certainly did not have an accent. Fluency is defined as "lessons during which learners are expected to concentrate on the communication task, on the use of language, and not on formal accuracy" (Brown, p. 254). Language activities which emphasize fluency are those which focus on helping the learner to develop the skills of negotiation by interacting with each other for genuine purposes. When using fluency, learners have the opportunity to use what language they know without concern for form. They learn to be fluent through practice, not instruction. Pregnant Pauses I am pregnant with my second child. Unlike our first, this baby is not as easy to name. My husband and I are having trouble with agreeing on a girl's name. It is not easy for a teacher to name a child because there are so many names that remind you of a particular student. After awhile, we agree on the name, Ariel. I phone my mother to tell her the news. "Ciao, Mamma. Hey, what do you think of the name Ariel?" "Ahhh-reo?" "No, A-riel." "Ahh-reh-o." There is silence and I wait for her to finish her thought. "Ahh-reh-o." Another pause. "Leeza, you gonna name your baby after a cookie?" I could hear the disappointment, or was it disgust, in her voice. "A cookie? No, mah. What do you mean?" "Isn't that a cookie, Leeza? Ahh-ree-o cookie?" "Oh, mamma, that's Oreo. The name is Ariel." "Ahh-reh-oh." There is another pause and then I can hear her call out to my Dad in Italian, "Arrigo, Arrigo, si chiamano la bambina areo! "(translation, "Harry, Harry, they're going to call the baby an airplane." Areo means airplane in Italian.) and then she turns her attention to me, "But what kinda name is that for a baby?" I am trying not to laugh and feel ashamed at the same time as my mother tries, in vain I might add, to respect our decision for the name Ariel and hide her utter disappointment that I would do such a foolish thing. 192 "Forget it, Mom. Just forget the name." I quickly see that there is no use in pursuing this any farther. I can hear a long sigh as she exclaims, "Leeza, for Pete's sake, can you at least pick a name I can pronounce?" Accuracy Fluency and accuracy are important. They can affect how one is perceived and understood. Accuracy refers to lessons that emphasize clear, articulate, grammatically and phonologically correct language (Brown, p.254). A communicative classroom approach must always include activities that focus on developing accuracy. Without attention to accuracy students may become fluent in a dialect that demonstrates little resemblance to English. Both accuracy and fluency are necessary for a new language learner to be understood and to be an effective communicator. The challenge of defining accuracy and fluency is connected to whose standards are used. Often, a typically Western Canadian accent is the accepted norm when defining Standard English. An Australian, American, British or European English model may not be as acceptable where the reverse might be true in a British setting. There is a bias involved in assessing and defining what clear and articulate language is as their are so many different examples of English accuracy and fluency on the continuum of discourse. Communicative Language Teaching Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) acknowledges and examines the properties of communicative language and language acquisition. Ann Galloway traces its beginnings as a response to the grammar-focused curriculums: The communicative approach could be said to be the product of educators and linguists who had grown dissatisfied with the audiolingual and grammar-translation methods of foreign language instruction. They felt that students were not learning enough realistic, whole language. They did not know how to communicate using appropriate social language, gestures, or expressions; in brief, they were at a loss to communicate in the culture of the language studied. Interest in and development of communicative-style teaching mushroomed in the 1970s; authentic language use and classroom exchanges where students engaged in real communication with one another became quite popular. CLT then, sought to make language meaningful to the learners by including the physical and social contexts of language as well as the traditional aspects of grammar and composition. Contributing factors to CLT include experiential development, making language meaningful outside the classroom, authentic text exposure and an emphasis on communication through interaction in the target language (Brown, p.77). CLT relies on students gaining contextualized experiences from which to base language learning. This more holistic approach is now being adopted throughout Vancouver and Lower Mainland school districts, especially in Modern Language and French as a Second Language (FSL) classes, but also in ESL classrooms. Margie S. Berns, an expert in the field of communicative language teaching writes: 193 Language is interaction; it is interpersonal activity and has a clear relationship with society. In this light, language study has to look at the use (function) of language in context, both its linguistic context (what is uttered before and after a given piece of discourse) and its social, or situational, context (who is speaking, what their social roles are, why they have come together to speak), (p. 5) Berns makes clear the point that language is practiced with others, that is, it is not learned in social isolation void of cultural and physical context. According to the CLT model, learning language is a cognitive, social and physical package. Drama as a Teaching Method Drama is a personal set of experiences within a collective set of experiences. It is largely concerned with the examination of "human issues . and behavior in specific social contexts. (Verriour, p. 125) Verriour's definition defines both the process of Drama as well as the product. He also points out that Drama includes both personal and public experiences. This tension between personal and public creates tremendous opportunities for learning and it is the kind of learning which seeks to integrate cognitive, social and physical experiences. Layman defines Drama as "a method by which a child is given an opportunity to express with freedom and self-imposed discipline the knowledge and experiences that are his own, much of which has been dormant simply because he has had little opportunity to express these experiences" (p.l). Here again Layman reiterates Drama's dual nature with both cognitive and physical experience working in tandem. Drama as a teaching tool by its very nature integrates physical, experiential and cognitive forms of knowing and by doing so allows each of these forms of learning to support each other. Since as Berns makes clear, language is utilized and learned holistically not just cognitively, Drama provides a parallel process from which to teach language in all of its context and learning paradigms. In addition, Drama as a teaching tool supports learning specifically focused on cognitive skills such as memory, recall and rote learning. An example of this is found in the sequence activity where one student was asked to perform a series of three actions while her/his partner observed and then attempted to repeat the same performance sequence while the 'author' observed and made suggestions on how to improve the performance. This activity required observation, recall, leadership, rote representation and modeling. Drama is a rich, action-oriented teaching method that touches upon a wide variety of intelligences that include linguistic, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. It involves risk-taking both by the teacher and the students and often, the risks are taken as a community of both learners and experts. As a result, Drama as a teaching technique appears both daunting and unnecessarily risky especially for educators unfamiliar or uncomfortable with sharing power in the classroom. Still, benefits of this method ~ the method of experience, action, reaction and 'doing', merit further attention. 194 The assumption that Drama as a teaching method and as a philosophy is a mode of delivery and communal participation that allows both students and teachers to uncover and highlight their own talents and strengths is explicit. Implicit in this assumption is that these attributes constitute a positive way of learning about language, self, and other. Drama therefore, becomes an important tool for CLT. It creates an atmosphere for a wide variety of simulated experiences to occur. As Bates reminds us: We are all actors. Every day we play a number of roles with varying degrees of skill and commitment... We know that in different settings, different company, at different times, we behave as different people. The 'performance requirements' of everyday life vary from one stage to the next. (Bates, p. 7) Drama becomes an extension of our everyday lives; it makes explicit what we do implicitly everyday. We perform a variety of roles: we put on our Teacher Roles, our Parent Roles, our Daughter Roles. Drama, by extension, lets us try on new roles by way of experience through performance. Learning a new language requires not only new kinds of cognitive skills, it also requires a new set of roles, a new way of moving and performing on a stage with a different set of rules than the previous, familiar one. Drama then, becomes a natural means from which to inform language acquisition and from which to inform it completely and holistically. Many of the activities used in Drama promote meaningful conversations that link the ESL student to their peers and to the community of experiences outside the classroom. This is practiced in a safe and controlled environment which then gives the ESL learner the confidence and the training to exercise their new language learning outside the classroom "Students learn complex procedures most effectively when they have opportunities to apply the skills in meaningful ways" write O'Malley and Valdez Pierce and Drama affords learners just such opportunities in the relative safe confines of the classroom, (p. 159). Drama is the observation and the imitation of real life wherever that life or culture may happen to be. It is malleable, fluid, and constantly changing, just like the learners who use it, "If students acquire both knowledge and procedures, they should be called upon to demonstrate familiarity with new knowledge and to exhibit the problem-solving and other skills they have acquired" (p. 10). Drama enables students to practice and experience the problem-solving skills inherent in Drama. Drama is an art that imitates and, allows for the opportunity to extend elements of real life. Osborne interviewed 10 actors to investigate how the actual experience of the actor in character affects the emotions and psychology of a person and how this may contribute to the understanding of the human experience. She found that actors supported the existence of certain factors necessary for the dialectic between actor and role to be accomplished. This included the importance of various sources of knowledge and information, research and observation (the importance of seeking out material which was absent from one's inner repertoire was deemed essential), imitation, trial and error/experimentation experiential knowledge accumulated over time, presence of a 'significant other', risk taking; and the relationship with the director. (Osborne, p. 23) 195 Interaction According to Pierce and O'Malley, language must serve a purpose for which it is used. For example, you can use language for agreeing or disagreeing. One of the skills this requires may include statements such as, I agree with you because...or I disagree with the way you.... It made me feel...I liked the way you.... I didn't like the way... These are the skills or statements required fulfilling the language function. Pierce and O'Malley's list of language functions includes expression of likes, dislikes, obligation and position. A Drama unit utilizes knowledge functions as a means of enabling the learner to effectively communicate themselves to others. As a teaching method it capitalizes and hones in on the process of interaction. Regarding Language Acquisition, Brown, states that interaction is "the heart of communication; it is what communication is all about. [It] is the collaborative exchange of thought, feelings or ideas between two or more people resulting in a reciprocal effect on each other" (p. 159). Theories of interaction in the ESL classroom are based on several interactive principles. Many of these principles (such as automaticity, intrinsic motivation, risk taking, and communicative competence) are the dominant focus of a Drama course of study. Automaticity supposes that interaction is optimally obtained when learners focus on meanings and messages rather than linguistic modes. As students begin to successfully communicate with each other they become intrinsically motivated. Strategic investment refers to the multiplicity of communicative strategies required for production and comprehension. Risk taking acknowledges the amount of uncertainty and ability to make mistakes in front of others that is required when acquiring a new language. For example the activity, "Name Sing' where students had to sing their names in front of the group required a level of risk for the participants that was determined as analogous to the level of risk required to speak out loud in a group for a new language learner. Language acquisition is not an overnight process. It is gradual and developmental. The complexity of interaction mirrors this gradual and developmental process. Language production and comprehension errors will be made along the path to language acquisition. Drama classroom allows for optimal interlanguage (the language between the primary language and the emerging new language). Both students and the teacher facilitate feedback. One of the most convincing arguments for interaction for all language learners is the fact that it requires all of the elements of communicative competence ~ grammatical, discourse, sociolinguistic, pragmatic, and strategic (Brown, pp.29-30). Drama utilizes and depends on the need for interaction skills. Confidence, self-esteem, self-efficacy, motivation, observation and movement skills are all necessary in order to realize a learner's potential for interaction. The loss or weakness of any one of these skills has the potential to greatly impact the whole learner. This is not to negate the merits of a pullout program where students receive specialized instruction focusing on language functions and their enabling tasks. It is, however, to uncover the value and the excellence of promoting an alternate in-class model of instruction where the classroom teacher and the language teacher work together to maximize learning in the classroom. 196 Groupwork Groupwork, forming small communities within the larger classroom community is utilized frequently when using Drama as a teaching method. It is advantageous for the language learner. Brown and Long and Porter maintain that group work is central to sustaining linguistic interaction in the classroom. Groupwork is a fairly standard term that is used in a variety of methods where there are two or more learners assigned a task that involves collaboration, spontaneous and self-initiated language. It generates interactive language in terms of output and quality, "Small groups provide opportunities for student initiation, for face to face give and take, for practice in negotiation of meaning, for extended conversational exchanges, and for student adoption of roles that would otherwise be impossible" (Brown, p. 173). Indeed, this is the very essence of Drama as it relies heavily on face to face negotiation and the ability to adopt a variety of roles in order to more fully understand character, emotion, intentions and reasons why we act the way we do. There are a variety of anxieties and concerns connected to using groupwork in a classroom. They range from the teacher losing control in the classroom, to some learners preferring to work alone, to enforcing student's errors in small groups and the inability for a teacher to closely monitor all groups at once. The key to alleviating these apprehensions is to devise a sequential method of planning and management that would enable the learners in the classroom. Assigning roles and tasks for the individual group members also addresses these concerns. It is not the omnipotent tool but one of many valuable modes of delivery that reaches out and taps into the learner's strengths and knowledge. Teacher in Role One of the more daunting and intimidating components of educational Drama is the 'teacher in role1 mode that was advanced by Dorothy Heathcote. 'Getting into role" is a way of suspending disbelief by assuming another persona. It is felt that by doing so the learners will more easily suspend their own disbelief and become more deeply involved in the activity. According to Cranston, there are different roles from which a teacher could choose. There is the authoritative persona, mid-authoritative, shadowy role, catalyst, full role, secondary role, mannequin role, invisible role, and even the 'I don't know'role (pp.65-75). Unlike other teaching methods, Educational Drama demands that the teacher and the learner be inside the experience. In contrast, one is not required to be inside the math worksheet, although one may be emotional about a math. In Educational Drama, the degree of individual involvement in the group or as an individual is intense. This intensity is both appealing and intimidating to participants and educators (Cranston, Heathcote). Social Effects Positive social effects result from the participation in Drama-based programs. A number of studies found that Drama activities facilitated positive social development and 197 interaction. Miller & Runders examined the use of Drama games to enhance social interaction between students with and without mental handicaps and found positive results. They discovered that the participants' involvement in Drama activities was associated with positive regard by peers and with being targeted for positive social interaction (p. 1009). Bieber-Schut found that a developmental Drama workshop improved social skills in visually impaired adolescents. Social-skills training involving dramatic role-play also have a positive impact on the social functioning of schizophrenic inpatients (Spencer & Gillespie). Researchers have found that Drama participation in high school leads to improvements in tolerance of other perspectives (Beales and Zemel). Narrative Narrative is one tool and a major one which individuals develop from their culture and, in so doing, become a part of the collective culture. (Bruner, p. 7) Narrative refers to the stories that people tell. They are often personal and have the ability to reflect not only the storyteller but their culture as well. Narrative shapes the events and lives it depicts and embeds them in a culture (Bruner, Cassady, Kang). The way people tell the stories of their lives shapes their culture as well. Narrative, whether storytelling or personal writing of life-stories functions as a useful vehicle to make our experiences in a meaningful way (Kang, Polanyi). It functions as a communication mode for the sharing of experiences and ideas, "During these transactional processes children acquire their social norms and literary skills (Kang). Storytelling is also an important tool for language learning. Bruner argues that one of the powerful discourse forms in human communication is narrative as reflected in the order of the acquisition of grammatical forms. He further argues that "we have an innate predisposition to narrative organization, but culture equips us with new powers of narration through the traditions of telling and interpreting" (p. 77). Stories and the way storytellers talk to their listeners are all culturally constrained (Polanyi). The stories Canadians tell and the ways they tell them differ in many ways from East Asians. Similarly, ESL learners from Asia might tell and understand the stories based on their cultural background. The stories or the ways in which they are told give us great insight to their ways of knowing (Bruner). Heath concludes that children growing up in European American middle-class families have different social norms, experiences and literary skills from children in working-class families, including non-European backgrounds. These children bring their native cultural and social norms as well as literary skills to the multiethnic classrooms. These different experiences or literacy skills have been developed in their home environments interacting with their parents or their ethnic communities. Storytelling in Asian cultures has important differences from storytelling in the dominant/mainstream culture in North America (Canada and the United States). These 198 differences suggest that different cultures have different ideas of what makes a story good because of culture specific patterns (Minami, p. 13). Oral storytelling and narrative personal writing are important. They help us understand children's early home socialization and minority children's narratives that are already operating with numerous discourse rules (Kang, Minami). When a person hears a story, she is thinking of one of her own to tell. Allowing the student to tell their own stories is a vital part of teacher preparation (McCammon et al; p. 5). It is when a student is able to tell their own story that they begin to articulate their own voice. By voice, I mean the use of language to explain, describe, question, explore or challenge. Voice is significant because it has the power to empower people and elevate their social status within a community (Atkinson, McCammon). Using Narrative Narrative is present in every age, in every place, in every society.... Narrative is international, transhistorical, transcultural; it is simply there, like life itself. (Barthes, p. 79) Children are exposed to a variety of oral stories or narratives in many forms before they even start formal schooling. As a result, they have already experienced a variety of structures and communities that have contributed to their present understanding and will anchor their future understanding of concepts. If past experiences act as the primary sociocultural tool through which language both reflects and is a part of the negotiation of roles, responsibilities, norms and mutual expectations between teacher and students, then it would only seem logical that language acquisition practices be rich in experiential opportunities where appropriate language ~ both oral and physical, be available for modeling and appropriation (Barthes, Green & Dixon). Hicks makes the claim that in narrative discourse, genre plays a central or privileged role in defining student thinking. The narrative structures are the fundamental intellectual tools that enable children to make sense of their world. Narrative provides children with the all important reference point for structuring events into a meaningful and comprehensible whole. Furthermore, creating a story context gives individual events form and significance. Conflict, tension and rich learning opportunities arise when individual reference points differ significantly from their peers. This is especially prevalent in a vastly heterogeneous group of students where culture, family, language, morality, and even sense of humor is defined in contrasting and miscellaneous ways. Appropriation becomes critical in this scenario where learning the physical, ritual, emotional, behavioral and cognitive reference points allows a student access to the privileged roles and structures inside the classroom and on the playground. Drawing from personal experiences and retelling this experience in front of others requires a mutual sense of respect and trust in the classroom. A Language Arts unit on Narrative utilizing Drama as a teaching method focuses on this instructional intention. Much care and attention is devoted to fostering a safe environment where students can take risks and are not afraid of making mistakes. After all, learning from our mistakes and 199 our stories in a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant and always meaningful way really where the heart of the study is found. Appendix B Zoo a Glossary of Terms Beat a moment or several moments in the action of a situation which are connected to a single theme Commitment Commitment is used to define the level of engagement that a student has with an exercise, activity or role that arises from the drama in the class. It is also further bound by their ability to grasp the complexities of the character played, even if that character is themselves, and avoid losing control at all costs. It exists on several levels. Students are expected to commit themselves to their character, the audience, and to the principle of truth itself, truth to the moment. It is often this dedication to truth that carries the students through difficult challenges in each drama piece. Control the ability to discipline and focus oneself away from distractions, laughing, and any diversions that might take away from the performance or the task at hand Educational Drama Drama which is practiced for the purpose of understanding, reflection, revealing, and gaining depth in a particular concept. It is connected with the curriculum Expert a role where by the students rise to a level in which they are considered expert or knowledgeable Freeze a physical position whereby the stance is 'frozen' or still Mir ro r a movement exercise in which one or more persons move in imitation of a leader Neutral a physical stance and facial expression where by no emotions or positions can be detected. Reflection a pause in which a participant's focus is intent and thoughtful- meaning is extracted from the experience. It can be either written or felt Tableau (People Pictures) a frozen picture involving one or more persons 2POC Appendix C Yours in Education, Lisa Michals, B.Ed, M.Ed Your signature on this form indicates that you have agreed to allow your child to participate in the above mentioned study. Consent I understand that my child's participation in this study is entirely voluntary and that he/she may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without jeopardy to his/her class standing. I have received a copy of this consent form for my own records. I consent to participate in this study. I consent/I do not consent (circle one) to my child's participation in this study. Passive consent is unacceptable. Parent or Guardian of Subject Signature Date Signature of Witness Date 101, Appendix D 2ol. a. Unit Overview Goals: The students will: • experience dramatic elements, actions and characterizations • develop skills in storytelling and journal writing • develop an awareness of the body, a sensing of the communicative potential of body movement, and a capacity for spontaneous movement response • go beyond the scope of their daily environments and risk experiencing different ways of communicating in ways that are meaningful • be able to connect their work in Drama in some way, to their everyday lives Objectives: The students will be able to: • become selective and perceptive in observing and responding to the environment • use movement as the external expression of an internal idea, intention, or feeling • use the voice as an instrument for the expression of meaning and feeling, whether in speech or non-verbal sound. • respond spontaneously and collaboratively to rapidly changing, unanticipated stimuli • retell a story • perform a 'picture' or tableau • participate in the collaboration of a planning of a performance • evaluate self and group effort • develop an awareness, identification, and image of the boady as an instrument of expression in space and in time. Day One- Monday, March 8 Introduction of students Establishing a community of trust and confident members is crucial. If students feel at ease and valued, their work will be richer and more meaningful. The goal is to reach a different set of intelligences that might not otherwise be reached. A physical, non-verbal, aural, oral, kinesthetic realm of aptitudes is what this teaching technique has the potential to expose. 1. Appropriate Circle • say your name out loud with the group circle • say your name three times with the group, half turn • solo, say your name three times 2. Neutral, Control • Introduce neutral, what does it look like?, students help check others • Control, what is it?. • Walk around the room in neutral • Make eye contact with someone else in the room, move towards the person and then away • Move to a wall, if you lose control 3. Spontaneity • one word story in circle • one word story with a partner • Choosing partners-appropriate behavior Logbooks and review Day Two- Tuesday, March 9,1999 1. Review of neutral and appropriate circle 2. Circle - sing name • say name out loud • sing-opera style 3. mirror 4. back-picture-back 5. Introduction of Logbook format What, why and journal Day Three- Thursday, March 11,1999 1. Review of control and name game 2. Introduce personal space 3. Back-picture-back 4. Focus 5. Story Development- beginning, middle and ending 6. Back-story-back in groups of three 7. Logbooks Day Four-Monday, March 22,1999 First day after spring break 1. Review appropriate circle (the class felt low on energy so I changed the plan) 2. Control Game- focus on five seconds of eye contact 3. Appropriate Circle • shout name • sing name • back to circle- sing name 4. Back-picture-back • intention of picture is not always the same as the interpretation of the picture • discuss what you saw with your partner 5. People to People • with a partner • attempted to warm up the group further 6. Back-story-back • elements of a story (beginning, middle, end; start, problem, solution) Logbooks Pictures- listen, freeze, respect, audience, performance, me Day Five- Tuesday, March 23 1. warm up 2. Two students tell stories at once 3. listen to two stories at once Day Six- Thursday, March 25 1. neutral walk 2. continuous talk 3. share a story with your partner 4. offer directions 5. share your partner's story to the class 6. debrief, introduction to the video portrait Day Seven- Monday, March 29 1. Compliment/ neutral 2. Practiced stories (video interviews) Day Eight, Tuesday, March 30 1. Twizzle 2. It's not what you say, but how you say it 3. Shoulder Taps Day Nine, Thursday, April 8 Day Ten, Friday, April ^  • Review Emotioh Morphittg • Shoulder Taps- (volunteef students lead activity) • People Pictures- volunteer captions from class • (Campings Disheylarid, Trip to Mars) • share the People pictures and make hypothesis and observations Day Eleven, Monday, April 12 vocal production group poem Day Twelve- Tuesday, April 13- Day Sixteen practice work-shopping the poem into groups and people pictures. May 6- Performance and Reflections Appendix E 207 208 ( Dkxu, X coc# T^arlq Freak 7 o ^ t l CJCLT .coos Irxxd a Drama pra-c Vvc^.., .... J X cpr a l\-H\£ peaah^ ounc^  3Jbtf .33u<y fn<f(r Ofl^mbly. ^ " .. < 60\W Vh^. Cnine^tl atop-1 ufo^oid rectiu cpcr \iy\€' COO^ ^Kiddie Bro^er^CUx^Xrri V-K<LJ + h e 4 \ i m b \ ^ . P c ^ - r - e r e v e r u b c x L i £ ^ a < r " d t o o c . 209 L O G B O O K . ** y rvame: 210 211 Appendix F 2)1 cx. listen Da-re: A/101^ 12 ffl/-f/?; T>rqma, LngboaK Master 3\\AA M o - nr ^  j -7 T fc^ • .<TCrjflP."ff)iflfi fi f T A P Si'f Mid. ViW Stmh: T--f fl/JOttf / W ." Mi / mrviP ^  ' 7.r r|7:r I ' m , cprWp -vy.- I ^ k ^ j i n r u nrnhtbrAnirig(L Chixjw jndjafl. .hrr.fe fek? in rirv^ milk. 1 rem (Z^i/fflK o/e/ . 1 Arm . 7 IP 213 Tiramisu 2pkgs Ladyfingers l/2c Brewed espresso coffee, cooled 3tbl Marsala or Kahlua (Use more or less to taste) 6 Eggs separated 6tbl Sugar 21bs Marscapone cheese (or 11/2 lbs cream cheese mixed with 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup sour cream ) 4tbl Unsweetened cocca DIRECTIONS: Spread ladyfingers on a large baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine coffee and liquour. Sprinkle on ladyfingers. Beat egg yolks and sugar with mixer until thick and lemon colored.(4-5min) Add marscapone and blend on low speed until combined. In large bowl beat egg whites with electric mixer Until soft peaks form.(2-3min) Using a rubber spatula fold egg whites into marscapone mixture.Line the bottom of an 8 cup souffle dish (or 9X13) with half of the lady fingers. Spread half of the marscapone mixture on the ladyfingers. Sift 2tbl of cocoa over the surface. Repeat ladyfingers, marscapone mixture and cocoa. Cover with plastic and chill overnight. I usually divide recipe in half unless serving a large group. Then only one layer is used 


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