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Title: Taking the initiative : the role of drama in pupil/teacher talk
Authors: Carroll, John
Issue Date: 1986
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The study takes as its focus the techniques of Drama-in-Education as developed by Dorothy Heathcote and analyses the classroom discourse produced by teacher's and pupils when they are engaged in unscripted 'In-role' drama. The study asserts that the specific spoken genre produced by the framed discourse of Drama alters the semiotic context of the classroom in such a way that the language interactions of both pupils and teachers differ from the commonly accepted "recitation" pattern of much classroom discourse. The drama discourse was examined from the following perspectives; 1. The data was classified in terms of M.A.K. Halliday's Systemic Linguistics in order to establish the basis of a specific spoken genre for 'In-role' drama. 2. The data was then statistically compared, with the aid of a specifically developed computer based classification system, to a large sample of non-drama classroom discourse (The Primary Language Survey 1980-81). The research findings showed that 'In-role' drama is some 20% more about societal concerns and correspond1ngly less about material facts than is traditional classroom discourse. The study also showed that the use of drama techniques enabled teachers to shift the focus of communicat1on from centrally controlled participant structures to a more flexible context, which in turn allowed a greater range of classroom verbal initiatives on the part of the pupils. A central issue that emerged from the data was the degree to which cognitive and affective responses are inseparable In the Intellectual development of primary school pupils. The language of the drama genre was seen to comb1ne these elements 1n a way that 1s absent in most classrooms. It 1s claimed that expressive language, espec1ally In the explorations of interpersonal power and authority which were a characteristic of the more open discourse of the drama frame, enabled pupils to move into higher order areas of abstraction and language competency. It is recommended that the Inclusion of Drama-in-Educat1on strategies within the pr1mary syllabus would go some way to redressing the 1mbalance in what 1s seen as an overly pos1t1v1st1c curr1culum. It 1s further argued that "In-role' drama prov1des a powerful alternative teaching/learning strategy to the "recitation" methodology still prevalent in many pr1mary schools.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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