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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Drama in education : a classification of teacher questions as they contribute to the drama process Chizik, Sheila Marie


The purpose of this study has been to examine and define teacher questions and questioning techniques according to their function in the drama process. In order to develop a practical structure for describing these strategies, the design of the study has involved the following procedure: collecting data from the field on questions employed by two leading drama educators; analysing and describing recurrent types of questioning found in the data; organizing this information into a classification system that illustrates the skilful and complex ways in which teacher questions contribute to the drama experience. In the process of developing the classification system, the following general observations were made: 1. Questions were used extensively to promote the drama process. 2. The teacher employed a wide range and diversity of questions. 3. Definite patterns emerged in teacher questioning techniques. 4. Specific kinds of learning were emphasized by teachers within the drama. Conclusions; It is evident that the use of drama in education requires a complex and unique set of teaching strategies. If such strategies are to be accessible to educators, they must first be clearly identified and defined. Since the investigation into questioning techniques was intended as a preliminary step in this process, the focus was essentially directed towards identifying and classifying the components of methodology. However, in addition to the specific findings, there were a number of broad conclusions and implications which emerged as a result of the research: 1. Research carried out directly in the field has proven to be invaluable for the analysis of the intricate patterns of interaction inherent to the drama process. Without the richness of this perspective, the subtleties of the methods employed by the teacher could not have been adequately described. 2. The extensiveness of questioning strategies reveals that the teacher is an integral part of the social, creative, and educative structure of the drama experience by setting up potential areas of learning and shaping the ideas of the participants into dramatic form. Since teacher questioning plays such a vital role in the process it should be a key element in teacher training and professional development. Teachers need to become aware of the extensive range and diversity of questioning techniques as well as of specific terms with which to discuss the practice critically. The classification system provides a starting point for dealing with questioning in concrete terms. The arrangement of the system is not meant to imply, however, that there is a hierarchy for questioning, or that the drama process is based on a. linear or sequential theory of learning. Any one element of the taxonomy is as viable as another since questions are asked in response to the needs of the immediate situation. Questioning practice cannot be reduced to a means-end checklist - it must be approached holistically as a skill, a process, an attitude, an art. Only in this way will the teacher's use of questions effectively serve the needs of drama in education.

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