ERIC Number: ED238049
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-15
Reference Count: 0
Drama as a Catalyst for Establishing New Modes of Classroom Interaction: An Anthropologist's Assessment.
Myers, Jeanette S.; St. Lawrence, Theodora J.
Videotape recordings and transcriptions of sequences of drama sessions in 10 elementary classrooms were analyzed to explore the utility of an anthropological perspective in assessing the nature of children's participation in improvisational drama project activities. Approximately 270 children and their teachers received seven and one half hours of drama sessions over a period of eight weeks in their individual classrooms. Analysis of the videotaped materials revealed four variables that had an impact on the project as it unfolded: children's cognitive and social developmental level; regional social-cultural context; the culture of the school as manifest in the classroom; and the teacher's role in the project. It was found that children needed a knowledge from which to draw on and the necessary social competencies required to actualize that knowledge to participate in drama in a meaningful way. The aspect of the regional and working class culture that was most apparent was the traditional definition of sex roles, that is, male dominance and female passivity. The instructional system and peer social codes were often observed as constraints to behavior. Finally, the role of the teacher was seen as critical, for without meaningful teacher participation, little was accomplished. (Excerpts of the transcripts of classroom sessions are included.) (HOD)
Descriptors: Behavior Patterns, Behavioral Science Research, Child Development, Classroom Communication, Classroom Environment, Classroom Research, Cognitive Development, Creative Activities, Cultural Influences, Drama, Educational Anthropology, Elementary Education, Sex Role, Social Cognition, Student Participation, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Prepared as part of a project funded by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, 1981-82.