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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Strategies for implementation of drama as a learning medium Scott, Jeanette Elynn MacArthur


The current movement towards excellence in education has led to a renewal of interest in the academic and aesthetic disciplines. Many administrations are striving to provide opportunities for all students to experience a curriculum which develops a basic understanding of the arts, sciences and humanities. Recent moves by the British Columbia Ministry of Education, however, suggest that many students in this province may be limited in the amount of instruction which they will receive in some of the traditional areas of study, particularly the visual and performing arts. The professional development activities initiated during this case study were designed to foster an interest in the new elementary fine arts curriculum and to provide an opportunity for selected elementary teachers to experiment with the use of drama in the classroom. Through a series of classroom visits and related workshops, it focussed the attention of a number of students, teachers and administrators on the role of the arts in education. This paper provides a review of some of the current research on learning theory, educational philosophy and curriculum implementation. It also describes the educational goals and learning outcomes of a hypothetical K-12 dramatic arts programme and discusses the implications of the use of drama in various content areas. The study concentrates on the use of classroom-based intervention and personal communication between the researcher and each of the teachers as means of introducing drama as a learning medium. Teacher interviews and classroom observations provide the data which were analyzed to determine shifts in teachers' stages of concern and levels of use of the innovation. This analysis reaffirms the importance of developing implementation strategies that meet the needs of the individual teacher within the context of that teacher's classroom. It illustrates the importance of making provision for modelling, testing, feedback and interaction. It also identifies some of the pitfalls. Further research is needed to determine the effects of this model as it would be applied within a single school with firmly committed district support.

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