Performing for Assessment

The assessment of performances is an essential component of Drama education in schools. Jacobs’ PhD study on performance assessment in Drama, found that the relationship between teacher and student has a unique dynamic in artistic fields. Teachers direct their students, assist in the editing process, or challenge the artistic content of student performances. The Drama teacher is required to be both the facilitator of learning experiences and the assessor of creative work. These concurrent roles create tensions and challenges. These tensions and challenges were amplified when the data was re-analysed as a performance text, and presented as a performed work by Year 10 students who regularly engage in drama performance assessment. The student performers emphasized the participants’ perspectives, demonstrating drama students’ struggle for change and artistic growth. They also re-envisaged the teacher participants’ perspectives, highlighting Drama teachers’ influential level of emotional and artistic investment in student work. This presentation uses video recordings of the student performance, along with scripted data, to demonstrate the accessible nature of performed research, and its power in bringing complex issues to light. The performance blended movement, dance and verbatim theatre to weave a fascinating narrative about the experience of performing for assessment.