An investigation into the place of drama in the secondary school curriculum and its perceived status.
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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In this study I have investigated the present position of Drama within the Secondary School Curriculum. I have explored both the place of Drama in schools and the value placed upon it as a subject within the current educational climate. I have reviewed a range of literature that covers the viewpoints of several educationalists and theatre practitioners; from Dorothy Heathcote to Andy Kempe and I have included reference to current government documentation in order that some historical context can support my arguments. Further exploration has involved many interviews with people involved in Drama both from an educational and professional point of view. These interviews revealed many interesting ideas and theories, some of which linked directly or indirectly to the literature review and all of which provided insights into the place of Educational Drama in 1999, where I wanted to discover if it was generally thought that Drama teachers were the best teachers of plays, particularly Shakespeare. It appeared from my investigation that this was not necessarily the case. Most felt that Shakespeare could be taught well during English lessons although it was conceded that plays only come to life when they are performed, and in that instance the Drama teacher was the best person to direct this. Opinions regarding the position of Drama in schools were generally in favour of improving and strengthening Drama as a discrete subject. All interviewed were found to regard Drama favourably as both an educational tool, and made additional reference to cross curricular work and also as a subject that can not only enhance a child's cultural background but also help them to develop social skills and gain confidence. Many references were made to the lack of funding and resources and all felt that Drama had been financially neglected. My principle method was that of the semi-structured interview in order that I could acquire qualitative data in an open-ended manner.
MA Education Thesis
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