Exploring ‘grown-up ness in the world’ through dramatic art and literature

Year: 2015

Author: Ewing, Robyn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Many western education systems are currently in crisis given their increasingly reductive and technical approach to learning. At the same time international research increasingly demonstrates the important role that arts rich pedagogies can and should play in and across the school curriculum. This paper discusses the role that embedding educational or process drama strategies in the study of authentic literary texts can enable teachers, children and young people to explore ‘grown-up ness’ in the world. The paper will provide several vignettes to demonstrate how through suspending their disbelief children in early childhood and primary classrooms can ask the big questions and work through real problems, dilemmas and issues about their relationships with others and the environment. The use of drama as critical, quality pedagogy enables the educational ‘moment’ to appear inside the resulting artistic ‘work’ or process.
Educators and children’s understandings of others and the world around them can be extended and deeper learning about what it means to approach the world in a ‘grown-up’ way can result.