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[Xmca-l] Re: Of Possible Interest to the XCMA/CHAT Family

Hi all,

Thank you Larry, Helen and Ana for your comments.

Helen - always lovely to find out who else is out there exploring the
possibilities of working with the arts to bring about transformative
learning and Larry I really like that proposition that in drama the
premise begins with ‘I can’ and then moves to ‘I think’.  That is very
much the case with drama, and sometimes children/participants are very
nervous or uncertain when they begin a drama process, often because they
begin from a position of ‘I can’t’ but through the acts of doing they
begin to see that they in fact can do and become.

Ana I would agree with the first part of your statement about drama in
education being used to help socialise students into socially recognised
valuable practices and would think that was a good thing given research
that shows reductions in empathy in young people in recent times.  I have
concerns with the rest of your proposition and the sweeping nature of the

A colleague and I have been preparing a short response to your article and
I will check with him to see if he is happy for me to post it here.

I would of course be happy to hear other ‘dialogue’ as well.

Kind regards


On 29/02/2016 2:35 am, "Ana Marjanovic-Shane" <anamshane@gmail.com> wrote:

>Dear all,
>Thanks for starting this thread about drama in education. I recently
>published a paper that takes a critical stance toward Heathcote's drama in
>education approach and other approaches to education that are based on
>some form of drama, play and/or improv - *"Spoilsport" in Drama in
>education vs dialogic pedagogy*.
>To play a "spoilsport" myself, in this paper, I claim that Drama in
>Education belongs to an educational paradigm that is mainly based on
>socialization of students into the socially recognized valuable practices,
>values and understanding of the world, which are heavily based on
>agreement, collaboration and following of the authority, without students
>having legitimate rights and a possibilities to critically disagree,
>provide different points of view and question the existing social
>practices, values and ways of understanding the world. In other words, in
>this educational paradigm - students' disenssus, critical approach to
>testing different ideas, views, desires, values, etc. is actively
>suppressed, or at best limited, curbed and restricted.
>In the paper I provide a detailed analysis of (a part of) the same video
>posted here earlier - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owKiUO99qrw.  Below
>is the abstract of my paper. If interested - you can get it at Dialogic
>Pedagogy Journal website -
>So, what do you think?
>____ ____ ____ ____ ____
>"Spoilsport" in Drama in education vs dialogic pedagogy
> In this paper two educational paradigms that both attempt to overcome
>alienation often experienced by students in the conventional education.
>These two educational paradigms are embodied in different educational
>practices: First, Drama in Education in its widest definition, is based on
>the Vygotskian views that human cognitive, semantic (meaning-making), and
>social-emotional development happens in or through play and/or
>thus within the imagined worlds. Second, Critical Ontological Dialogic
>Pedagogy, is based in the Bakhtin inspired approach to critical dialogue
>among the “consciousnesses of equal rights” (Bakhtin, 1999), where
>education is assumed to be a practice of examination of the world, the
>others and the self. I reveal implicit and explicit conceptual
>and differences between these two educational paradigms regarding their
>understanding the nature of learning; social values that they promote; the
>group dynamics, social relationships and the position of learners’
>subjectivity. I aim to uncover the role and legitimacy of the learners’
>disagreement with the positions of others, their dissensus with the
>educational events and settings, and the relationships of power within the
>social organization of educational communities in these two diverse
>educational approaches. I explore the legitimacy of dissensus in these two
>educational approaches regarding both the participants’ critical
>examination of the curriculum, and in regard to promoting the
>agency and its transformations. In spite of important similarities between
>the educational practices arranged by these two paradigms, the analysis of
>their differences points to the paradigmatically opposing views on human
>development, learning and education. Although both Drama in Education and
>Dialogic Pedagogy claim to deeply, fully and ontologically engage the
>learners in the process of education, they do it for different purposes
>with diametrically opposite ways of treating the students and their
>relationship to the world, each other and their own developing selves.
>On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 1:58 PM Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The central thematic therefore ;
>> *making people care about things is the core of learning.
>> This process of coming to care may be that consciousness is  in the 1st
>> place not a matter of *I think* but of *I can*
>> I want to explore the phenomena of the *phantom limb* that occurs when a
>> person who has lost an arm in actuality continues to feel pain in what
>> now a virtual limb which continues to be sensed [felt] as painful.
>> Merleau-Ponty took this phenomena as a clear example of how phenomena
>> becomes embodied or *endowed* in the experience of the person.
>> The invention of a device called a *virtual reality box* was created by
>> Ramachandran. The way *virtual* and *reality* are put in conjunction is
>> significant. The 1st term occurs in the realm of the non-existent
>> the 2nd term in the realm of the actual [reality].
>> In the virtual reality box a mirror is placed and the one actual arm is
>> the box. When the person looks into the box he *sees both arms* because
>> box creates a reverse symmetrical image. The person visually is
>> with an embodied or endowed right and left arm.
>> The person is then instructed to move the phantom left arm into the left
>> side of the box and move the real right arm into the right side of the
>> The patient looked down, saw two arms, and was able to move *both* arms
>> the same time.
>> When this was done the person's *synesthetic* response embodied two
>> arms. The absent arm became present virtually. The phantom limbs arm
>> is extinguished in that virtual arm, hence the phantom limb and its
>> sensations were *extinguished*. This virtual reality box shows how
>> consciousness is in the first place not a matter of *I think* but in the
>> 1st place is a matter of *I can*.
>> Shifting back to the virtual reality *stage* where drama is a process of
>> *I can* I sense a similar process of the play of conjunction between the
>> virtual PLACE/zone and the actual PLACE/zone.
>> If learning is in the 1st place learning to care then this caring is in
>> the 1st place endowing experience with *I can* prior to the experience
>> cognizing as *I think*.
>> The place of the *speaking voice* as the *I can* process when in the
>> presence of an audience is also meaningFULL  [subject matter that
>> becoming endowed through learning [as coming to care for things as the
>> subject matter that matters].
>> I hope this reflection has some resonance with understanding knowing as
>> occurring in the 1st place as an undergoing of an experience as a
>> occurring within virtual actual places.
>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>> From: Helen Grimmett
>> Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2016 2:09 PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Of Possible Interest to the XCMA/CHAT Family
>> Beautifully put Sue, and exactly why I believe infusion of the arts into
>> the curriculum is so important. There is nothing quite like 'living' a
>> concept for understanding it and feeling why it matters.
>> This sometimes gets me into trouble with other arts educators who are
>> adamant that each of the arts needs to be taught for its own sake and
>> inherent value rather than 'reduced' to its utilitarian value of
>> learning in other subjects. But I don't see why these are two mutually
>> opposing positions. All children deserve access to quality arts
>> that teaches arts skills and processes, but surely the point of learning
>> these skills is to put them to use in making life more meaningful. If
>> arts help make learning in other subject areas more meaningful then
>> that helps strengthen the case for quality arts education rather than
>> diminish it.
>> Thanks for introducing me to another aspect of Heathcote's work too. I'm
>> very familiar with Teacher-in-role and the Mantle of the Expert, but had
>> never heard of 'Rolling Role'. I'm looking forward to reading the book!
>> Cheers,
>> Helen
>> --
>> Lecturer in Primary and Early Years Education
>> Professional Experience Liaison - Primary
>> *Education*
>> Monash University
>> Room 159, Building 902, Berwick Campus
>> 100 Clyde Road
>> Berwick VIC 3806
>> Australia
>> T: +61 3 9904 7171
>> E: helen.grimmett@monash.edu <name.surname@monash.edu>
>> monash.edu
>> The Practice of Teachers' Professional Development: A
>> Approach
>> <
>> >
>> Helen Grimmett (2014) Sense Publishers
>> On 26 February 2016 at 06:51, Susan Davis <s.davis@cqu.edu.au> wrote:
>> > Good questions and reflections Larry and David,
>> >
>> > Heathcote believed that through drama you could situate students
>> > differently in relation to knowledge through them having an actual
>> > ‘experience’ of it, in what she called ‘now’ time.  So rather than
>> > told about ‘knowledge', or reading about it as something that happened
>> > ‘over there’ to other people, it is about bringing the students into a
>> > more immediate experience as they have to consider ‘what would I do in
>> > this situation' .  One way she suggests you can do that is by just
>> > situations and events into the present tense… so if you are doing
>> > and examining a particular event you can set up a context and instead
>> > saying ‘they were’ you say ‘we are’, ‘I am’.  It is in a way an
>> > ontological and epistemological shift that is realised through
>> > action and tasks, so children ‘experience’ knowledge through tasks and
>> > action.
>> >
>> > She says of ‘now’ time:
>> > . Things have to be made to matter;
>> > . The task must feel important and worthwhile;
>> > . There needs to be a valuable and perceivable outcome;
>> > . People must enjoy power to influence and operate in the
>> > . Tasks must create feedback possibilities;
>> > . Situation must feel reasonable and genuinely truthful;
>> > . People must feel protected from feeling stared at; and
>> > . The self-spectator must become alert and be registered. (Tape 9)
>> >
>> >
>> > The skill of the teacher is in then exercising high selectivity in
>> > arranging a multiplicity of signs and tools to establish the context
>> > curate the experience so that it activates interest and engagement.
>> > talks of finding the ’thread’ that they can take from their lives into
>> the
>> > dramatic (or historical) context… and that might be something very
>> > - taking on role within a family group, putting on a name tag for a
>> > putting a pencil behind your ear so later in the 'Victorian workroom'
>> > will be able to quickly retrieve it.
>> >
>> > In terms of learning that matters she really is concerned with having
>> > children come to appreciate that learning matters, being deeply
>> > with things matters and that if you attend to things and can have an
>> > ‘experience’ of knowledge, you will care about it and that learning
>> > stay with you. She was quite fond of a quote by Blake “he who would do
>> > good to another must do so in minute particulars”.
>> >
>> >     As I conclude in the book … Heathcote argued, school is an
>> > construct, with mandated curriculum requirements and expectations
>> > imposed from on high, so the engagement process is about making the
>> > curriculum accessible and attractive for students so they can become
>> > committed and involved enough to learn things that will ‘stick’ and
>> a
>> > difference.
>> >     This is ultimately about enabling students to have experiences of
>> > coming to care about things, and care about things that matter.
>> > this engagement and commitment process Heathcote hoped that students
>> would
>> > understand that to achieve anything worthwhile you have to invest
>> > and pay attention to details, that details matter.  This type of
>> > commitment is at
>> > the core of meaningful learning: "Making people care about things is
>> > process of learning". (Tape 9)
>> >
>> >
>> > I hope that helps!
>> >
>> > Cheers
>> > Sue
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On 26/02/2016 12:46 am, "Lplarry" <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > >David, Susan,
>> > >To ask "How do we get rid of the feeling that what we are doing is a
>> > >*dummy run?*
>> > >Answer: To realize what really *matters* that is experienced as a
>> > >living matter.
>> > >David suggesting this is not a question of *being* - focus on the
>> > >*is* but rather to focus on the word *knowing*.
>> > >So how does the instructor come to *know* what actually is a subject
>> > >matter that *really matters* in contrast to *dummy matters* that are
>> > >actually *dead matters*.
>> > >Questions: Is this meaning of *knowing* focusing on epistemology and
>> > >notion of *genetic epistemology?*
>> > >Is knowing related to *signifying* and contrasted with what known as
>> > >*signified*
>> > >Susan contrasts acquiring *living* knowledge in contrast to *dead*
>> > >formalized knowledge.
>> > >David suggests instructors must *know* the difference.
>> > >I am now wanting to hear more on how to move beyond developing "dummy
>> > >knowledge and to create "places" -zones - in which life is lived
>> > >spaces of subject matters that really matter and make a real
>> "difference".
>> > >Larry
>> > >
>> > >-----Original Message-----
>> > >From: "Susan Davis" <s.davis@cqu.edu.au>
>> > >Sent: ‎2016-‎02-‎24 3:34 AM
>> > >To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> > >Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Of Possible Interest to the XCMA/CHAT Family
>> > >
>> > >Thanks Robert,
>> > >It’s great to have the book published as part of your series.  The
>> is
>> > >called “Learning that matters: Revitalising Heathcote’s Rolling Role
>> > >the digital age”.
>> > >
>> >
>> > >/
>> > >learning-that-matters/
>> > >
>> > >For those who haven’t heard of Heathcote before, she was a ‘master’
>> > >teacher who achieved international recognition for her teaching
>> > >in the 70s and 80s - in particular for pioneering processes such as
>> Mantle
>> > >of the Expert - which use role and fictional contexts to position
>> children
>> > >as ‘experts’ and active agents in investigative processes. She also
>> > >invented this system called ‘Rolling Role’ which is a form of
>> > >trans-disciplinary learning - where multiple classes work with the
>> > >common context, but from their particular frame or subject
>> > >The beauty of it is that no one group ‘owns’ the outcome, but groups
>> > >regularly ‘publish’ and share artefacts and outcomes throughout the
>> > >process, with each group having to use and ‘roll’ the work of what
>> > >gone before.  It was a system she believed was perfectly suited for
>> > >revisiting in the digital age… so that is what the book hopes to
>> > >with… the Vygotskian and CHAT work was very helpful in
>> and
>> > >understanding this work.
>> > >
>> > >At times reading the work of Vygotsky and Heathcote it felt like they
>> > >could have been writing about education today!
>> > >
>> > >Educational experience, no less than theoretical research,
>> > >teaches us that, in practice, a straightforward learning of concepts
>> > >always
>> > >proves impossible and educationally fruitless. Usually, any teacher
>> > >setting out
>> > >on this road achieves nothing except a meaningless acquisition of
>> > >mere
>> > >verbalization in children, which is nothing more than simulation and
>> > >imitation
>> > >of corresponding concepts which, in reality, are concealing a vacuum.
>> In
>> > >such cases, the child assimilates not
>> > >concepts but words, and he fills his memory more than his thinking.
>>As a
>> > >result, he ends up helpless in the face of any sensible attempt to
>> > >any of
>> > >this acquired knowledge. Essentially, this method of
>> > >concepts, a purely scholastic and verbal method of teaching, which is
>> > >condemned
>> > >by everybody and which advocates the replacement of acquisition of
>> living
>> > >knowledge by the assimilation of dead and empty verbal schemes,
>> represents
>> > >the
>> > >most basic failing in the field of education. (Vygotsky 1934/1994a,
>> > >356-7)
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >So – getting rid of the dummy run. On the face of it you
>> > >have a rather interesting paradox in drama, because it looks like
>> is
>> > >entirely artificial and that the whole thing would be a dummy run –
>> are
>> > >only
>> > >pretending actually.  And we use words
>> > >like pretend and play and in our culture it does suggest that it’s
>> > >ephemeral
>> > >and there’s no real work/life purpose for it…. So it seems to me we
>> > >to
>> > >look and see what it is that makes something NOT feel like a dummy
>> > >It seemed to me that one of the important aspects of not
>> > >being a dummy run is that it matters now, we feel like its urgent
>> > >(Heathcote 1993, Tape 9)
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >Cheers
>> > >Sue
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >Dr Susan Davis
>> > >Senior Lecturer | School of Education & the Arts | Higher Education
>> > >Division
>> > >CQUniversity Australia, Noosa Campus |
>> > >PO Box 1128, Qld 4566
>> > >P +61 (0)7 5440 7007 | X 547007 | M +61 400 000 000| E
>> s.davis@cqu.edu.au
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >On 24/02/2016 12:14 am, "Robert Lake" <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu>
>> > wrote:
>> > >
>> > >>​Susan Davis has published a book that weaves LSV, Dorothy Heathcote
>> and
>> > >>CHAT
>> > >>into one seamless, present tense unfolding of "rolling role". If
>> > >>would like to write a review of it I can get you a copy. It has been
>> five
>> > >>years since Heathcote's passing and I suspect her work will become
>> > >>and
>> > >>more  important in this era of standardized everything.
>> > >>
>> > >>*Robert Lake*
>> > >>
>> > >>https://www.sensepublishers.com/media/2709-learning-that-matters.pdf
>> > >>
>> > >>
>> > >>For a sense of the dynamic of  Dorothy's pedagogy, scroll to about 5
>> > >>minutes into this.
>> > >>
>> > >>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owKiUO99qrw
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> --
>*Ana Marjanovic-Shane*
>Dialogic Pedagogy Journal editor (dpj.pitt.edu)
>Associate Professor of Education
>Chestnut Hill College
>phone: 267-334-2905