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Title: Power of play : facilitating ensemble 'third space' for active citizenship in Shakespeare education
Author: Kitchen, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 0384
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Ensemble pedagogy - i.e. teaching and learning which is active, democratic and theatrebased – is increasingly recognised as a valuable approach to teaching Shakespeare, and more broadly as a pedagogy which fosters active and democratic citizenship. However, research has demonstrated when ensemble pedagogy is applied in ‘default pedagogy’ mainstream school contexts it can become ‘domesticated’ and lose its democratic focus. This research draws on the long-held interest in children’s play in theatre and drama education practice to suggest a focus on play in ensemble pedagogy could re-centre understandings of the approach around it’s democratic genesis. In order to do this, concepts from the socio-cultural second ‘paradigm’ of play research were drawn on to conceive of playfulness as a subjunctifying mode of discourse. Through a series of critical ethnographic studies of schools participating in the annual UK ensemble-based Shakespeare Schools Foundation performance festival this study seeks to explore and articulate the role of play as a subjunctive mode of discourse in ensemble pedagogy, particularly in relation to its democratic aims. The results suggest that participants utilised playful discourse to undertake reflexive identity work and to actively and collaboratively play with Shakespeare as a performative text. I theorise this can be understood as the creation of an ensemble third space for active citizenship within their school contexts. Though there was variation in the extent to which this was achieved in the schools, the active citizenship enacted in these ensemble third spaces can thus be read as an act of social hope. With its co-constructive, generative quality, this framing of ensemble pedagogy resists the metric and miracles rhetoric of domestication and is the core contribution of this thesis. These findings hold implications for further space, identity and discourse focused research in theatre and drama education, and for developing ensemble pedagogy training approaches in Shakespeare education and beyond.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater ; PR English literature