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[Xmca-l] Re: Response to Spoilsport: Beyond oppositional dualities indrama in education and dialogic pedagogy to promote learning possibilities



Thanks, Helen

Yes! - central to any drama is that we can imagine "What if …?” and then using social imagination (and dialogic imagination!) collaboratively embody and dialogue as if we were elsewhere, as if we were other people, as if we had more (or less) power - that’s empowering! But never losing the knowledge and experience of us-as-people asking those questions, reflecting on what we’re experiencing, and wondering what these imagined experiences might mean for me (me too!), for us, for others, for the world ...

I’ve recently been working with an after-school group of 6 and 7 year olds as if we’ve been with Odysseus - using multimodal tools: fabric, pictures, some key artifacts, as well as our bodies and relationships we’ve been imagining sailing and rowing and singing, we’ve been in a shipwreck saving one another, dreaming of home, being turned to pigs by Circe, having the power to turn others into something, trying to convince Circe to turn people back, wondering whether to risk being killed by the monsters we’d just embodied or stay and party with Circe … and all the while engaged in inquiry about topics of interest to the children (and taken into angles that come from them): what do friends do - and not do? what dangers might we risk (or not) to go home? (oh, and we’re often reading bits of text in context as the children have all been labelled as ‘struggling readers’ and aren’t doing so well on those tests ...)

In my practice I tend to move in and out of any imagined world a lot, especially early on. To build that shared awareness of "we are always in two time-spaces at once" with one being foregrounded over the other at will - like what children do when they play without adults.

That's what Vygotsky stressed - that in playing it’s the meaning of our actions and the objects we use that we pay attention to - not the acts and things in themselves. And when we’re in dialogue with others (or often on the way to dialogue with these young children) then the potential for meaning-making about action in imagined events in the imagined-and-real world expands exponentially, especially since we can move in time and space - we’re not stuck with one or two chronotopes but can explore and move among multiple possible perspectives on events. While at the same time each person is always able to see through the perspectives of their life experiences - about what “home” is like for me, what my “friends" do with me, what “dangers” I’ve faced etc. to make new meaning that goes beyond the limits of the everyday world ...

However, with me present and both playing along with the children and stepping out of the imagined world, I can mediate agreement about cultural norms (e.g. we listen when anyone is speaking to the group) and what’s happening socially so that no one is being left out and no one is dominating with ideas about what might happen (e.g.we can choose whether or not to go searching for food) or what something might mean (e.g.Circe might be an evil witch - how might we find out?).

I also want to build the knowledge from the beginning that each person chooses to step into (and out of) imagined worlds and that anyone can step out (or sit out!) at any time. That no one is being coerced and those participating are agreeing to make this imagined reality happen together - something that Gavin Bolton stressed years ago - the sense that we are making this happen to ourselves. One older boy who had been brought into the room sat at a table - and chose to look at pictures in the books - I’d just bought a model of a Greek ship for him to make to find he had been suspended … maybe he’ll be back next week. Another older boy knew about Poseidon when I was sharing illustrations from versions of Homer’s story - he wanted to show the younger children how he-as-Poseidon could use a trident to bring about a storm - that we then embodied as part of another shipwreck! Oh, and one week a younger boy snuck in to join his friends!

This week we’ll be meeting the Cyclops (those who choose to join in …!)

Brian

BTW if you want my take on how drama (and specifically what I call dramatic inquiry) can be dialogic - see my 2014 book published by Routledge: Transforming Teaching and Learning with Active and Dramatic Approaches.

[cid:image001.png@01CE44CA.B3EB06D0]

Brian Edmiston, PhD
Professor of Drama in Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
Columbus, OH 43210
edmiston.1@osu.edu<mailto:edmiston.1@osu.edu>
go.osu.edu/edmiston<http://go.osu.edu/edmiston>

'To live means to participate in dialogue: to ask questions, to heed, to respond, to agree, and so forth. In this dialogue a person participates wholly and throughout his whole life: with his eyes, lips, hands, soul, spirit, with his whole body and deeds. He invests his entire self in discourse'
Bakhtin, 1984, p. 293

On Mar 1, 2016, at 6:38 PM, Helen Grimmett <helen.grimmett@monash.edu<mailto:helen.grimmett@monash.edu>> wrote:

I think what is being missed, is that the playing out of the 'imagined
situation' is not the whole extent of a 'drama in education' lesson or unit
of work. The imagined situation provides an opportunity for children to
'try out' and experience different roles, perspectives, opinions, emotions
and actions, with the safety net of knowing that everyone has agreed that
this is 'pretend' and that they are able to 'step out' again and back to
their real lives. However, the equally important element of the DiE
lesson/unit is the dialogue that can take place after everyone steps out of
the imagined situation - where all of the feelings, thoughts and actions
that were expressed or experienced during the 'play' can be revisited,
discussed and debated from a more detached position and where
understandings of others' perceptions can be further explored, and
alternative responses and meanings can be constructed.

So, yes, it is necessary for the players to buy in to the imagined
situation and agree to play along within the 'rules' of the roles they are
playing in order to keep the drama functioning, but the whole point is that
everyone knows that there will soon be a time where they will step out of
the role again and be able to say "When your character did X, it made me
feel Y" or "I never realised how difficult it would be to ..." or "I wonder
what would have happened if ..." etc. In my mind this part of the session
is an equally crucial part of the learning and is why I believe DiE (done
well) is a dialogical pedagogy. It is the very awareness of the different
chronotopes (that we have all agreed we are pretending) that makes this
possible. It is a different kettle of fish altogether when people are
thrust into a 'simulation exercise' and are never quite sure if what they
are experiencing is real or not (especially in light of current events
which mean many children have had to experience confusing school lockdown
and evacuation events), which is why Heathcote put so much emphasis on
establishing 'agreement' about the situation that was being mutually
created and the roles that were being adopted. I do not find this
oppressing, but rather empowering, that the teacher is endowing students
with the power to 'pretend', to 'try out different ways of being', and to
contribute to both the imaginary situation and the reality of the lesson as
it unfolds in a very dialogical way, that may in fact allow them to develop
a new understanding of who they currently are and who they might
potentially be.

Cheers,
Helen







--
*Dr HELEN GRIMMETT *
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<mailto:helen.grimmett@monash.edu> <name.surname@monash.edu<mailto:name.surname@monash.edu>>
monash.edu<http://monash.edu>


The Practice of Teachers' Professional Development: A Cultural-Historical
Approach
<https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/professional-learning-1/the-practice-of-teachers-professional-development/>
Helen Grimmett (2014) Sense Publishers




On 2 March 2016 at 03:42, Dr. Ana Marjanovic-Shane <anamshane@gmail.com>
wrote:

Dear Larry,

I am reading your highly interesting comments and feedback on the ideas I
started to develop in the “Spoilsport” article.  Yes, you are right that I
use the concept of a chronotope - as one of the central concepts in my
study. I understood this concept from MM Bakhtin as a unity of time, space
and axiology, i.e., set of values, relationships, rules and expectations
that exist for the participants in a time-space. Bakhtin described
chronotope in literature as “the intrinsic connectedness of temporal and
spatial relationships that are artistically expressed . . . [S]patial and
temporal indicators are fused into one carefully thought out, concrete
whole.Time, as it were, thickens, takes on flesh, becomes artistically
visible; likewise, space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of
time, plot and history” (Bakhtin, 1994, p. 184).

And while, in literature there may be ONE chronotope within the literary
work, in our lives, and especially in play, education, art, etc - we always
“operate” on more than one chronotope simultaneously - as if they are
laminated layers of the same event. However, these chronotopes relate to
each other in a different way - depending on a situation.

You invoke the concept of being “captured” by the imagined worlds
(chronotopes). I think that it may be true - but we are captured in
different ways and have different means of freeing ourselves up - in
different situations - depending on the relationship in which these
chronotopes are set. My whole argument in the Spoilsport paper is that when
the imagined chronotope becomes a place of “dwelling” it is as
“captivating” as the our chronotope of the real - and that it is hard,
potentially impossible and often seen as illegitimate (non-normative) to
“spoil” this chronotope - to try to break its mangels. Both the imagined
and the ontological chronotope can become oppressive. I think that the
dialogic freedom may come from the possibility to create such a
relationship between the chronotopes that allows their participants to
examine the boundaries and see them in each-others’ perspectives. In that
sense I don’t see the relationship between the imagined and the reality as
a *divide* as you put it, but as a fruitful boundary and dialogic
contact-zone, where a new meaning stems exactly from being able to draw the
boundary between them.

I am intrigued with your last comment about Jewish “Adamic” world
contrasting with the Greek classical world. What did you mean?

What do you think?

Ana


On Mar 1, 2016, at 10:59 AM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

Ana,
In this response the paradigms hinge on the notion of differing
chrono/topes.
* community of players (CoPl)
* reality (RC) or ontological
* imagined (IC)

Therefore, the theme of being *cast out* may be playing with a theme of
*falling away* or being *cast out* from the garden of Eden as a chronotopic
theme.
There seems to be a theme of what dominates *over* what becomes its
opposite.
Ana, you suggest both drama and dialogical chronotopes INVOKE OR SUMMON
UP imagined worlds. I will add the metaphor that both *capture* or are
*captured by* imaginal worlds. This is the *capta* aspect of. Chronotopes.
Now to *be* summoned or invoked or embodied or endowed are polar
opposites in your horizon of understanding.
A clear di/vergence of the imaginal and ontological and community of
players chronotopes.

I question if BOTH the imaginal AND ontological exist within a relation
of con/vergence as primary prior to becoming differentiated into polar
opposites.
This version of the imaginal/reality *divide* plays with the notion of
*apposition* prior to the forming of polar opposites with one side
*capturing* the other side by dominating over the other, placing the other
side *under* or relagated to the *shadows*.
The play of the Jewiish *Adamic* world contrasting with the Greek
classical world seems to have a place in this turn taking
Larry

-----Original Message-----
From: "Dr. Ana Marjanovic-Shane" <anamshane@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎2016-‎03-‎01 12:41 AM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Response to Spoilsport: Beyond oppositional
dualities indrama in education and dialogic pedagogy to promote learning
possibilities

Dear Sue and Brian and all,



First – thanks for taking the time and effort to respond to my paper. I
take your response very seriously. I have some questions for clarification
and also some more comments regarding what I think is a “paradigmatic
difference” – rather than an arbitrary dichotomy between the two approaches
to education that I outlined in my paper.

Please see my responses below, between your words - in blue!



Ana





__________

On Feb 29, 2016, at 1:09 AM, Susan Davis <s.davis@cqu.edu.au> wrote:

As scholars and practitioners committed to the use of drama for
educational purposes we wish to respond briefly to Ana Marjanovic-Shane’s
article: “Spoilsport” in drama in education vs. dialogic pedagogy. Our
intention is to provide some of our shared professional understanding of
drama’s use in educational contexts that we hope will illuminate some of
the misunderstandings we find in this article. At the same time, we look
forward to future productive dialogue about what we regard as potential
overlaps between these pedagogical approaches.

We need to stress from the start that there is no unified field named
‘drama in education’ that would extend to those who work within playworlds,
or practice psychodrama and so forth as claimed by Marjanovic-Shane. We
confine our remarks to the field that we are knowledgeable about and from
which Marjanovic-Shane draws her example: a classroom use of drama
described by Heathcote as ‘drama in education’ or ‘educational drama’ and
more recently as process drama, applied theatre, and dramatic inquiry,
among other terms.  In fact these fields of practice have arisen from very
different communities in progressive school education, educational
psychology, early childhood, and play all of whom independently discovered
the power of using drama in their practice. There have only recently been
some nascent interactions between these groups (see for example the book
‘Dramatic Interactions in Education’ <
http://www.bloomsbury.com/au/dramatic-interactions-in-education-9781472576
910/> which we published last year) to find areas of common interest and
concern.

ANA: Yes! This is what I also addressed in my article: I defined “Drama
in Education” for the purposes of my article exactly that way – many
different approaches “all of whom independently discovered the power of
using drama in their practice”.

As with those who identify with the field of ‘dialogic pedagogy’ we look
forward to more fruitful discussions and debates about research, practice
and approaches which work for the benefit of students and participants in
learning processes.

There is no space in this response to show in detail why we resist the
dichotomy established in this article, believing such are rarely helpful.
However, we do can not agree with Marjanovic-Shane’s conclusion that any
dramatic pedagogy cannot be dialogic or that there are irreconcilable
paradigmatic differences between these pedagogical approaches.

In our view, she is correct in identifying that a pre-requisite for
using drama in classrooms is an implicit, if not explicit, agreement to
play the “game of drama” and in effect to begin to create an ensemble and
enter into social worlds. However, rather than characterizing such social
agreement as somehow different from real life, we argue that there is
little difference from the tacit agreement to join in the “social drama” of
everyday life (Turner, 1974), as for example university students do by
agreeing to participate in a discussion. However drama has the additional
sphere of possibility that can be physically and conceptually explored
through the activation of ‘what if’ in action.

Unlike discussion, drama is a social art that can only be created when a
group comes together willingly to collaborate in dramatizing life events.
There is indeed a consensus but only about agreeing to work together or to
focus dramatizing on a particular storyline, topic, or concern; there is no
consensus assumed about the meaning of the work.

Ana: In my view – there are several planes (or to use Bakhtin’s concept
- “chronotopes”) of meaning making in all educational events. Above, you
are referring to two of them: a) group relationships and group dynamics of
the co-authors: “when a group comes together willingly to collaborate in
dramatizing life events”; and b) “meaning making” – I assume that you refer
here to what each participant understands about the created dramatic world.

I want to stress that in my article I was describing precisely these
group relationships rather than the participants’ understanding of an
imaginary dramatic world. What I claim in my article is that there are
fundamentally different group relationships, i.e. that the pedagogical
chronotope (not the dramatic world) in which the participants of drama in
education live, is fundamentally different from the pedagogical chronotope
in which the participants of dialogic pedagogy live. In drama in education,
the consensus about “dramatizing on a particular storyline, topic, or
concern”- is necessary in order to build this particular dramatization. On
the other hand, in dialogic pedagogy such consensus about what is "a
particular storyline, topic or concern" – is not necessary at all. In fact,
I claim that the most productive and the most welcome aspect of dialogic
pedagogy is the very dissent about what is being “discussed” in the first
place.

Using drama in a classroom does not assume that a student cannot choose
not to join in or cannot opt out at any point. Participants may present or
raise different views that may be addressed dialogically. Agreeing to join
in is not an experience of being “trapped” by a teacher with no exit in
sight.

Ana: I would respectfully disagree here. This phrase and understanding
of what should be taking place in drama in education, comes directly from
Dorothy Heathcote. I actually just quoted her in my paper: “The proper
tools of drama are emotional reaction and the state of being trapped, a
state from which one can escape only by working through the situation.”
(Heathcote, Collected writings on drama in education, 1984, p. 91, italics
mine).

Nor does it mean that a teacher would label someone a “spoilsport” to be
“cast out.” We have conducted many practical sessions when not only have
people chosen to sit out, some of whom have later chosen to join in, but we
have protected young people from others in a group ready to “discipline”
them.

Ana: My arguments about the explicit and implicit values of the drama in
education approach are actually based exactly on this point: In my view, if
a person is under a threat of being “disciplined” just because they
disagree with the majority – either by openly opposing their opinions, or
their ways of acting, or by withdrawing collaboration, and if such
opposition is not supported and addressed by the teacher as a legitimate
and a serious bid to differ – then the group regime and the pedagogical
approach are, in fact, not dialogic, but rather monologic and, yes,
authoritarian! If a teacher has to protect someone from the others in a
group that wants to “discipline” him/her, then the group values that
prevail are based on “who ever is not with us – is against us”. Doesn’t
that mean that there is no active pedagogical support of dissensus?

Just as a person who does not join a theatre group cannot create a
performance, or a preschool child choosing not to play with others may
engage in other activities, not participating in drama just means that a
person cannot contribute at that time to the collaborative creation of
events in an imagined world.

Ana: Exactly!  Thus this person’s ideas, reasons, points of view,
desires, values, etc. are not pedagogically engaged. This person is NOT
within the pedagogical scope of this approach. This is, actually, what
means to be “cast out” from a pedagogical event – the person is just NOT
IN.  They are OUT. Moreover, this is also often interpreted as that
person’s (bad) choice! (As you say — “a preschool child choosing not to
play.”)

Marjanovic-Shane uses a highly selective video extract from a 1971 drama
session featuring the master teacher Dorothy Heathcote to infer that
Heathcote dragoons students into a drama within which their choices and
alternative views are closed down. However, as O’Neill shared in the
keynote address Power-sharing: Teacher power and student choices, where she
describes another more recent 2007 drama conducted in the U.S., Heathcote
worked with all major offers children made, never adopting an authoritarian
position but asking participants to consider the consequences of their
actions. When a group of boys invented a bomb which ‘blew’ up a celebratory
event in a drama, Heathcote said: “There is nothing we do in this room that
isn’t happening somewhere in the world” (Heathcote in O’Neill 2014, p 26).
Even though others in the room were horrified and expected her to castigate
the boys involved, Heathcote respected and worked with the material they
offered, drawing out significance, considering the implications and working
dialogically with very alternative views from her own.


Ana: Since you describe it, I want to briefly analyze this case —
Heathcote’s 2007 drama workshop in NYC. In my view, it actually presents
more evidence for the hypothesis I developed in my article. (I am attaching
O’Neil’s keynote address to this e-mail - for the curious ones)

In my analysis of the event you outlined above (fully described by
O’Neil), three major questions/comments come to mind:

1)    First: If in Drama in Education approach students can dialogically
contribute to creating an imaginary world (as you claim) – offering their
own opinions, ideas and positions, then why would a teacher ever be in a
situation to “castigate students for their actions” – in the first place?
What was “wrong” with “blowing up a celebratory event” in the imaginary
world? Why were the others in the room [graduate students who observed
Dorothy’s master class] horrified? Shouldn’t the spectators be actually
very curious about this sudden turn of the events in the imaginary world,
which at that point is being truly collaboratively created?

2)    Second, O’Neil's very detailed and documented description of
Heathcote’s workshop in 2007 -  testifies to a subversive resistance of the
several boys – and their constant attempts to resist Dorothy’s pre-set plan
of this imaginary world. This unacknowledged, yet very felt resistance, at
the end of the workshop lead to their “sabotage” of Dorothy’s invented
world – by “blowing it up”. As O’Neil writes:

“One of the graduate students noted in her journal:

Noel and his buddies are constantly scheming and plotting and indulging
in behaviour which some teachers might consider destructive. However it’s
clear to me that their purpose is not to destroy or sabotage the work but
to remain within the rules which have already have been established.”
(O”Neil, Power sharing – teacher power and student’s choices, 2014, p. 20,
italics mine)

My questions/comments here are about the legitimacy of the students’
genuine contributions to making of the imaginary world. From the testimony
of an observer (a graduate student), it seems that the boys’ contributions
were limited to Dorothy’s pre-set frame, and that their attempts to change
that imaginary frame were in fact not legitimate for the students - but
perceived as “constant scheming and plotting and indulging in behavious
which some teachers might consider destructive".  That is exactly what I
claimed in my article.

3)    Finally, O’Neil also describes how Dorothy reacted to this
imaginary bomb:
“But Dorothy took this moment and grounded it in reality. As the bomb
happened Heathcote’s response was:

Just now you have echoed an interview I heard on your local radio this
very day, with a young Muslim radical. He said, ‘I will kill when the
Mullah tells me. It will be the will of Allah. I do not care who will
die.’” (p. 95)

In my analysis, Dorothy’s reaction in that moment was extremely angry
and punitive. She addresses the boys not any more within the imaginary
world, but “grounded in reality.” She compares them —  the 8th grade boys —
to the terrorists, who could say “I do not care who will die”. Thus, she
openly blames the boys for what they did to “her world” - they destroyed
it. They were spoilsports!

However, in spite the fact that Dorothy compared the acts of these 8th
grade boys within a dramatic world to the actual terrorists - meaning it
FOR REAL (grounded in reality), everyone (grad students, other drama
educators, Cecily O’Neil, etc.) praises Heathcote!! They praise her for not
“telling the students off”, for being able to withhold her anger and her
outright punishment. No one is taken aback with her anger which shows its
dark face in her aggressive and vindictive dubbing the boys as “young
Muslim radicals who can say - I do not care who will die”  — dubbing them
not as fictional characters in the play — but “grounded in reality”!!!

I think that the actual “chronotope” of drama in education pedagogy
calls for being “horrified” with such an open dissent and calls for some
kind of “castigating the boys”.

As you say further:


Marjanovic-Shane assumes that a teacher’s authority in drama is
authoritarian and that a leader of drama is in danger of becoming a fascist
dictator. Whilst it is certainly possible for a teacher to misuse her
authority oppressively or with very limited choice for how people might
participate (as in the Ron Jones simulation example she uses which has
never been seen as a lighthouse model of drama in education)

Ana: yes, I do.

that is never our intention nor would it be endorsed in the literature.
It is true that at times Heathcote can quite rightly be described as acting
in ‘authoritative’ roles within dramatic contexts, but she fiercely
resisted pressures to take on authoritarian teacher positions.


Ana: I respectfully disagree -- the case above does not support your
assumption.

Indeed, Heathcote (1984) herself is quite clear that as a teacher she
intends to “bring power to my students and to draw on their power” (p.21).
Heathcote saw the teacher’s role as one that should not bully or take away
power from others, but rather that should enable them to develop their
agency. Her commitment to endowing power and agency to others is shared
through an interesting insight in her paper Contexts for Active Learning.
Here Heathcote revealed that her drama and teaching strategies were all
developed so she would never have to be in a position to “tell people off”
(Heathcote, 2002, p.1). However, counter to many romanticised notions of an
open, free for all classroom, this version of the democratized classroom
was not a hands-off model with students making all the decisions. Rather,
she envisions a classroom with episodes that were highly interventionist
and carefully structured. These often involved provocations and active
negotiations, with Heathcote playing multi-functional roles, constantly
selecting and making decisions, but always working to ensure that the
students were invested, contributing, and collaboratively developing work
that would be meaningful in multiple ways for all participants.

Ana: I agree with you that Heathcote was a master in creating very
intricate, multilayered, and incredibly complex worlds in which she would
involve the students in very collaborative and meaningful ways. I also
agree that there is a lot of room for creativity in such a setting, and
especially when Dorothy Heathcote created it, since she herself was
incredibly creative in making the fictional worlds for the students. But,
these dramatic worlds were HER worlds – not the students’ worlds. The
students were welcome – but they were never co-authors of these worlds as
“consciousnesses of equal rights” - among whom a meaningful dialogue can
happen. Their contributions to these worlds were appreciated by her only as
long as they agreed with Dorothy’s own vision. The students were invited to
explore and investigate Dorothy’s worlds – but not to co-create them as
equals and co-authors. In that sense, dialogues within these worlds were
dialogues of “the heroes”, who were invented and created by Dorothy as an
author – I draw here on Bakhtin’s analysis of the author-hero relationships
– where the author is the one who has a “surplus of vision” and knows more
than his/her characters. Because of that, a genuine authorial contribution
of a student is limited, and the students’ own positions, ideas, desires,
values, intentions, etc. – are not examined as such: they can only serve in
the function of creating this dramatic word – of which they are not the
owners. The focus, in other words, is not on what the students genuinely
think, understand, desire, value, etc., and why, but the focus is on how
well has this imaginary world been built. Can the students learn in that
situation. Of course. Can they critically test their own ideas, values,
desires, postions? Perhaps, but it is out of the focus and scope of the
dramatic world.

Heathcote intended not just to create dramatic experiences but also to
create spaces in which all might dialogue and reflect to explore for
multiple possible meanings in the work: “If you cannot increase the
reflective power in people you might as well not teach, because reflection
is the only thing that in the long run changes anybody” (Ibid, p. 104).
Finally, Heathcote was emphatic that all participants in drama, “be
recognized fully as individuals with rights [including] the power to affect
a situation, and to respond in a growing complexity of ways to that
situation” (Ibid, p. 153).

It is unfortunate that the Spoilsport article seeks to compare examples
of praxis in an apples and oranges way to draw out unwarranted
generalizations about all drama in education. She compares examples of
teaching on different topics, for different purposes, and with access to
very different data: a short segment of a 45 year old videoed drama with
children is compared to an extended sequence of exchanges and events in a
higher education institution taught recently by the author. The drama
example analyzed is a brief extract from the first few minutes of a BBC
film about Dorothy Heathcote made for commercial not educational purposes.
Missing from the film is all of Heathcote’s out-of-role negotiations and
reflections with these children all of whom had been labeled as
“delinquent” and had in effect been “cast out” into this special school for
youth.

Marjanovic-Shane misses the point that Heathcote was playing with the
children, including through her early use of power in role, not to force
them to do what they did not want to do but rather the reverse.
Marjanovic-Shane further assumes that in drama, participants do not “test
their own ideas ­ their truths” and that teachers do not seek out or value
“dissensus.” Yet that was Heathcote’s aim as it is ours. Heathcote’s
intention in this session was to work with the children to create fictional
experiences in which by working together the boys were not only able to
work out ways in which they might outwit an authoritarian


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