UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The evocation of meaning : a study of Image Theatre in three elementary classrooms Wolfman-Robichaud, Sarah Leah


Over the course of the 2007/2008 school year, I visited three classrooms to investigate the effectiveness of Augusto Boal’s drama method, Image Theatre, with elementary-aged students. In Image Theatre, the practitioners and students use their bodies to create frozen images, which in turn become the focus of collaborative meaning- making. I applied the reflective practitioner methodology in my work as it allowed me to adapt to the rapidly altering situations that arise in elementary classrooms. Through reflecting on my interactions with students, I refined a set of teaching techniques that worked best to integrate Image Theatre into the classroom and ultimately into the curriculum. My research provides a qualitative analysis of the power of Image Theatre to foster student dialogue, develop empathic learning, and introduce conflict awareness techniques. My thesis highlights some specific exercises and theoretical frameworks that guided my work and produced the most effective results. The effects of applying Image Theatre to elementary-aged classrooms has not been extensively studied in the past and my research attempts to address this academic gap. It is my hope that future researchers will adapt my activities and further demonstrate the capacities of this theatre technique. Ultimately, I hope that Image Theatre methods can find a place in standard curricula.

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