ERIC Number: ED367006
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Characterization in Scene Study, in a Magnet Middle School, through Learning Directing Skills.
Adams, Richard T.
A study determined whether first year middle school drama students in a talented, magnet program were able to demonstrate more credible characterization in a scene study project after they had been taught some basic directing methods. These methods included blocking (the movements of the actor) and beat breakdowns (the small acting units in a play). Students' initial understanding of scene study elements were measured in order to show a rate of change after exposure to this teaching approach. An evaluation was developed and administered to determine the effectiveness of the student's characterization in the scene presentation. Most books about acting assume that actors have basic knowledge of blocking and scene breakdowns and thus tend to ignore or give little detailed information about such topics. Results revealed a marked improvement in student actors' characterizations after they have been introduced to basic directing principles. A number of other discoveries were substantiated through the pre-and posttests and through parent surveys. These include students': (1) positive attitudes toward acting; (2) belief that memorization of lines was not the most important element in scene study; (3) higher regard for teacher evaluation than for grades; (4) greater problem-solving ability; and (5) improved cooperation between scene partners. (Nineteen references and 13 appendixes presenting survey/evaluation instruments are attached.) (SAM)
Descriptors: Acting, Characterization, Drama, Dramatics, Gifted, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Student Evaluation, Talent Development, Teaching Methods
National Arts Education Research Center/New York University, 32 Washington Place, Room 52, New York, NY 10003 ($4).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Tests/Questionnaires
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.