ERIC Number: ED445373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
Longevity and the Secondary Theatre Arts Teacher: A Case Study.
Brown, Cynthia Lynn
This study identifies the personal characteristics and external support systems which may lead to longevity in the careers of theatre arts teachers. One particular theatre teacher, Nan, was identified and studied. This teacher was an outstanding theatre teacher for 30 years and worked in the same school for that 30 year period. Interviews were conducted with Nan, her current and former students, and colleagues. Classroom and rehearsal observations were conducted and artifacts used in teaching and directing were collected. Early hypotheses on longevity focused on the physical school environment and the administrative support systems of the teacher. At the conclusion of the study, these factors did not appear to play pivotal roles in longevity but were a significant part of the larger puzzle. Contextual conditions, created and sustained by Nan for a significant period of time, emerged as a possible explanation for her longevity. Several of these significant contexts included: her long term working relationship with a colleague in an environment she helped create, which allowed her to share the responsibilities and stresses of teaching theatre; the use of her previous teachers' contexts, some of which she eventually adopted as her own; and her ability to maintain her love for the art of theatre and keep theatre within the context of an art form. Towards the end of her career, when she was no longer able to control her changing contexts, she retired from teaching. Several other internal and external qualities seemed to characterize the longevity of this particular teacher. It appears that if a theatre teacher is inspired to teach theatre and allowed to do so in a supportive and autonomous setting with the help and presence of other talented and supportive individuals, longevity in the profession may result. Contains 70 references. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University.