A revaluation of the role and functions of drama teaching in secondary education, with reference to a survey of curricular drama in 259 secondary schools
During the past twenty years drama teaching has been developed as a specialist element in secondary school curricula. This thesis reconsiders the central claims which have been made for this and presents a new model of the roles and functions of dramatic activity relating them to the growing demands for educational .accountability. Chapter One provides a general perspective on drama in schools identifying three main phases of development. Chapter Two identifies the major issues in drama teaching now, looking specifically at the notion of individualism and at the apparent antipathies - for example, drama versus theatre, emotion versus intellect - with which it is associated. Chapter Three examines the essential features of dramatic activity: acting-out and social interaction. Chapter Four looks at the relationships in drama and in everyday life between real and symbolic social roles so as to characterise 'acting-out' in more detail. Chapter Five argues a view of knowledge which provides a fundamentally different perspective on many of the key ideas now used by drama teachers, specifically those of individualism, subjectivity and creativity. Chapter Six presents a model of the roles and functions of drama and of theatre in schools looking particularlyat 'self-expression' and its relations to symbolic representation in the arts. Chapter Seven argues for new approaches to assessment and evaluation in the light of this and presents a framework for evaluative action. Chapter Eight examines the varying roles of the teacher in drama, relating them to the notion of cultural education. Chapter Nine looks at the roles of drama and theatre in the secondary curriculum as a whole arguing for a broader cultural and political perspective on the arts and education if these are to be realised.