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ERIC Number: EJ847810
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8204
Process, Product, and Playmaking
Fisher, Maisha T.; Purcell, Susie Spear; May, Rachel
English Education, v41 n4 p337-355 Jul 2009
This article examines relationships among process, product, and playmaking in a southeastern playwriting and performance program for teen girls, Playmaking for Girls (PFG). The authors have chosen to focus on tensions between process and product. Such tensions are present in the challenges teachers experience when privileging student-centered writing and other arts-based educational pedagogy. Student texts and the performance of these texts are critical literate practices for "with hope" (as opposed to "at risk") students. Public school teachers as well as teachers in youth-centered nonprofit organizations and programs are responsible for answering prevailing questions from the public (e.g., administrators, funders, evaluators, law enforcement community) about the finished "products" from their work with children and teens. This is especially true in an era of accountability where urban schools are being stripped of programming that fosters creativity and the arts while students are being skilled and drilled for high-stakes testing. PFG trains teaching artists to conduct playwriting and performance workshops with incarcerated girls in regional youth detention centers. Additionally, PFG has conducted after-school workshops with middle school girls in urban public schools. In the context of the PFG program, one of the concerns of spectators is how many girls "stay out of trouble" once they have participated in the program. Unfortunately, no one seems to ask the essential question about how many girls are forced to return to underserved communities and schools. While questions about accountability are important, the authors find that participation and more specifically cultivating the desire for more participation among students are the foremost priorities. Therefore, the authors ask the following questions of their own practice: (1) What are the tensions between process and product in PFG workshops?; (2) How do teaching artists view the role of process in PFG workshops?; and (3) What can the collective experiences of a teacher educator, researcher, theater director, and teaching artist or "worthy witnesses" contribute to the teaching of literacy? Drawing from a synergy of voices, this article attempts to unpack process in the context of the PFG program and offers implications for the teaching of creative writing in school contexts. Ultimately, the authors' aim is to engage English language arts teachers and teacher educators in a dialogue around process and the performance of literacy.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia