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Title: Dorothy Heathcote's use of drama for education : in search of a system
Author: Zannetou-Papacosta, Maria.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3576 7832
Awarding Body: University of Central England in Birmingham
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2002
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The excellence of the work of Dorothy Heathcote was first made known beyond the field of drama teachers by BBC television in the 1960s. Since that time, her travels abroad and the writings and teaching of others, world wide, have acknowledged her as a forceful model of the teaching of Drama in Education. Many of those who have written about her work are former students who have enjoyed the benefit of working closely with her, sharing her thoughts and observing her working with children. They have written about many aspects of her approach, comparing it with other famous practitioners such as Brecht, analysing her concepts and techniques and describing her methods. No one, however, has attempted to examine either her practice of teaching or her writings in order to discern her work as a system. Her example has been followed by hundreds of teachers all over the world who eagerly welcomed this innovative way of working and attempted to implement it in their classrooms. While her charismatic personality has aroused admiration in many teachers it has on the other hand overawed some, as it seemed to encourage responses from children that were beyond the viewers' expectations. Nevertheless, to enable teachers to recognise the essential pedagogy that lay behind her performances and to enable them to adopt her approach requires an analysis far more searching than has existed hitherto. This research thesis aims to satisfy those who might search for a system in the teaching of Heathcote and is deeply rooted in extensive and very detailed observation of her classroom practice. Although familiar with her actual classroom practice, I used the extensive archive of three hundred and twenty hours of videotapes that exists at the University of Central England (UCE), through theresearch method of 'grounded theory', in order to produce verifiable results. From my observations I have been able to identify the Key Features of her work - the Structural Elements of the Lesson and the Internal Key Features - the teacher's Key Skills and their associated functions to finally arrive at the discovery of the Emergent Dramatic Form Teaching / Learning System that encapsulates the totality of Heathcote's methodology. The different emphases of the dynamic of the Structural Elements of the Lesson within this system are explored through four different Methods, namely the Improvised Playing Role, the Questing Role, the Mantle of the Expert and the Rolling Role. I have been able to consult Dorothy Heathcote herself to be assured that the conclusions reached about her intentions and achievements were acceptable and not contradictory. Finally, I believe that through this research Heathcote's pedagogy can be made accessible to all teachers by relating her approach to their own classroom practice
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Drama Education