ERIC Number: ED430262
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Helping Kids To "Imaginate": The Story of Drama Education at One Elementary School.
McCammon, Laura A.; Betts, David
A case study examined how, in one school, participation in an elementary arts integration program began with one teacher and grew until there were nine volunteers by investigating how the school culture encouraged teachers, administrative support, and theatre's effect on teachers and students. Qualitative data were collected and included observations of teacher meetings and lesson demonstrations and interviews with teachers, students, parents, principal, and the theatre specialist. Data analysis revealed school culture supported teacher change: teachers talked frequently, shared ideas and materials, and wanted to learn new teaching techniques. Teachers felt theatre improved student self-confidence, risk taking, and cooperation. Students liked drama's active learning. Despite these findings, teacher participation disintegrated because outside support for peer mentoring and reflection was weak. Program effectiveness decreased: (1) peer mentoring was dropped; (2) no substantive discussions about theatre took place; (3) autonomy and isolation were promoted; and (4) little integration of drama and curriculum occurred. An after-school class for teachers was set up. Ten teachers took part and worked in four collegial teams. The course used drama strategies (e.g., story drama, puppetry, process drama) to promote peer mentoring and coaching. While the teachers enjoyed the class, they were most satisfied by the peer interaction. Reflections suggest that: case study results informed the planning for the class, but similar results could be achieved using educational drama strategies and staff development literature; peer mentoring is highly effective, but difficult to arrange; an after-school class will be more effective if the instructor goes into the classroom to observe the teaching and learning process. (Contains 28 references; appendixes contain interview questions, a course content form, a revised course outline, and questions and checklists for reflection.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A summary of this study was presented at the Researching Drama and Theatre in Education Conference (Exeter, England, United Kingdom, April 13-17, 1999).