ERIC Number: ED367005
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
The Use of Metaphor: Towards Rehabilitating Oral/Written Skills of Entry-Level Theatre Students.
Vrazel, Ray, Jr.; Hoffman, Henry
A study documented an investigation into the use of selected theater technologies to enhance the oral/written communication skills of entry-level theater students at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a public high school for the performing arts. The Paradigm, a critical tool developed by Syd Field, and the students' application of the conceptual scheme in interpreting a theatrical event were also examined. For each of the 8 weeks, a series of theater games, processes, improvisations, and dramatic activities cohering around themes were created as multiple interdependent fluctuations. Pre-test results, supported by the oral/written evidence of the first two lessons, led to the evolution of three core groups of students: Players (who readily used metaphor), Oscillators (who vacillated between metaphor and descriptive), and Spectators (who could not gain control of the process of generating and organizing their writing). The written material from each week was computerized and collated. Results indicated that: (1) theater technologies rehabilitated the oral/written communication skills of a majority of the students; (2) students' writing improved during the latter half of the study; and (3) the use of The Paradigm contributed to students' knowledge and comprehension of the dramatic event as evidenced in posttest papers. Findings provide empirical support for theater technologies as planning processes involved in writing and for theories related to symbolic functioning in general. (Contains 38 references and 37 notes.) (RS)
Descriptors: Communication Research, High School Students, High Schools, Metaphors, Public Schools, Speech Communication, Theater Arts, Units of Study, Writing Improvement, Writing Research, Writing Skills
National Arts Education Research Center/New York University, 32 Washington Place, Room 52, New York, NY 10003 ($4).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.; Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Arts Education Research Center, New York, NY.