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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Educational drama : experiencing, reflecting and learning Baum, Susan Shelli


Conceptions of drama education have changed considerably since the turn of the century. Initially it had no place in the curriculum, then it became an elective subject area, and now it can be considered a vehicle for learning across subject areas. Each change brought with it new methodology, teaching strategies, and objectives. Traditionally, drama has been taught as a single subject focused on developing theatre skills with a lesser emphasis being given to social and personal development. Not all students have been able to benefit from this approach. Those who had "acting ability", were extroverted, or were socially astute did well. This study analyzes an approach to drama education using drama as a vehicle for learning both within that subject and across the curriculum. The literature review examines what educational drama is, the different methods for implementation, the skills necessary for teachers implementing drama, and the learning outcomes available through this process. Educational drama was implemented in a drama ten and acting eleven/twelve class over a one year period. Journal entries from both students and teacher in addition to classroom discussion provided the data necessary for the study. It was found that self-assessment forms, summaries of the year and journals were successful in stimulating personal development and learning, as well as an understanding of universals. At the same time students were made aware of and able to use theatre elements which enables teachers to cover the curriculum thoroughly as it now stands. Educational drama relies heavily on the skill and understanding of the teacher. This research will hopefully aid in the development of teacher training in educational drama. It should also guide teachers wishing to implement this approach and be a foundation for further research in this area.

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