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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Drama in education : how successful has the classroom implementation of drama been in elementary schools? Ormiston, Patricia


Education in the Arts is a necessary part of every child's development and drama is included in the Fine Arts strand of the curriculum of the Ministry of Education of British Columbia. The purpose for conducting this study was to examine the success of the implementation of drama in elementary classrooms and to examine teachers' conceptions of drama in the curriculum. This study attempted to discover to what extent elementary classroom teachers were knowledgeable in the methodology of dramatic playing; its structure, purpose, goals, and rationale for its use, and what types of drama elementary classroom teachers were using to meet the goals of drama as mandated the Fine Arts Curriculum Guide (1985). Data collection included both written questionnaires and oral interviews. The responses to each question were tabulated and an analysis of variance was conducted. Results from the questionnaires and interviews were compared. The study revealed that a majority of teachers lacked training in the methodology of drama in education. Teachers interviewed claimed little drama was taking place in their schools, whereas the results of the questionnaires found respondents slightly more positive. In both cases the scarcity in which drama appears in elementary classrooms was blamed on "an already overloaded timetable" and "no training”. Those teachers using drama attributed their success to courses or workshops they had attended. Most teachers saw the merit of drama in the curriculum but many didn't know how to use it as a learning tool in other subject disciplines. Those integrating drama in their programs used it primarily as an extension of whole language. The results of this study indicated that the implementation of drama could not successfully occur unless teachers were exposed to both the theory and methodology of its use in education.

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