UBC Theses and Dissertations
Reading Gavin Bolton: a biography for education Jardine, Laurie
This biography of internationally recognized drama educator Gavin Bolton has two purposes. Its primary concern is to illuminate the life of a man whose contribution to education and drama has extended over nearly half a century. A pioneer of drama education theory and practice, Bolton has inspired teachers and students towards a deeper understanding of the potential for drama in the classroom. However, this study is not focused solely on Bolton’s work. It seeks to provide the personal, social, emotional, cultural, and historical contexts through which his work can be interrogated. The other significance of this study is its exploration of the potential of contemporary biography as a research tool in education. Currently in an exciting state of flux, biography is moving toward creating new spaces for knowledge. Feminist and postmodern scholars argue for a different way of telling life stories, a complex approach that blends and interrupts the fragments of a life. Biography is no mere accounting of accomplishments. It must offer a richer taste of the many selves occupied by its subject - a wider range of the subjects meaningful encounters, significant life events and emotional textures. A biographical approach to understanding the experience of teachers has consequences for many aspects of the profession. Biography presents a deeply personal opportunity to explore pedagogical models, honour valuable contributions to education, inspire self-reflection in the reader and promote dialogue. I believe that biography can enrich and expand the direction of educational research by creating a new space of inquiry.
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