A philosophical investigation into drama in education
The investigation into drama in education in this thesis is conducted through an exploration of four central concepts: aims, learning, meaning and feeling. Philosophical misconceptions related to those concepts are criticised; justifications for the subject are examined; and widely accepted methods of describing the development of the subject are challenged. Chapters one and two establish the framework for the study by considering the nature and role of philosophy in education and the problems and confusions within drama in education. It is argued that philosophy has an important role in education in the investigation of subjects. Chapter three argues for the importance of aims not as terminal goals but as recognition of the teacher as intentional agent. By distinguishing aims from the values and functions of drama, the development of the subject can be described with more clarity. Chapter four highlights problems associated with the notion of drama for learning' and argues that to be coherent, the idea demands an adequate conception of learning and intention and also needs to be linked with the concept of teaching. Chapter five examines ideas of form, consciousness and intention in relation to meaning. Confusions related to those concepts are examined. A unifying concept of aesthetic meaning which includes the consciousness of the participants as one of its constituents is recommended. Chapter six argues that a misconception of the way 'emotion words operate in our language pervades thinking and writing about drama. Problems associated with the concept of expression are examined and writers, who draw on outmoded expression theories of art, thus failing to give an adequate theoretical view of feeling in aesthetic education, are criticised. It is argued that in drama a coherent view emerges if participants are viewed as percipients in terms of the feeling content. An extension of this view which is linked to challenges to objectivist aesthetics is to see creative engagement in drama in part as a means of educating aesthetic response to art.