Developing Dramatic Facilitation Practice across Formal and Informal Pedagogic Contexts
Evans, Sarah Rose
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis examines how drama facilitators adapt and assess their praxis so that it can be applied effectively in different learning contexts. This research analyses the good praxis of established facilitators with comparatively little documentation to disseminate their approaches. MED Theatre, Magic Carpet, the Shakespeare Schools Festival and West Exe Technology College employ facilitators who adopt a personalised approach to their praxis, transitioning across the spectrum of formal and informal learning to engage a diverse range of learners. The concepts of formal and informal learning are defined at the outset and the particular problems they can present drama facilitators are contextualised. Finding the right tools and assessment procedures is a significant challenge in a pedagogic landscape characterised by conflicting theories, a broad range of learner needs, and multiple perceptions of what actually counts as evidence of learning to justify praxis. With an increasing number of facilitators sustaining themselves by operating within a variety of learning settings there is an emerging need to identify what skills, knowledge and considerations support the process of becoming this kind of extended professional. Initiating my investigation, I explore how the role of a drama facilitator has emerged through movements in the fields of education, Community Theatre and the arts in Chapter One. The main pedagogic theories and approaches to assessment that a drama facilitator must engage with to personalise praxis are presented in Chapter Two. Supporting the development of this expanding field of praxis, the four case studies analysed illustrate how facilitators have sustained careers as extended professionals whilst negotiating educational policy, different learners, and assessment criterion. This thesis contributes to the argument for sustaining and developing links between formalised learning and informal social learning. I challenge the competitive perception of system-centred and learner-centred approaches, re-framing them as inter-related processes in cases of good practice. Finally, I identify how facilitators are attempting to forge further community links, interrogating how this emerging field 4 may be developed by drama facilitators who share a commitment to developing the quality of learning opportunities offered in the UK.
PhD in Drama