Year: 2019

Author: Irugalbandara, Ayomi

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Creativity and adaptability are widespread concerns in 21st-century education. However, in Sri Lanka, specific life skills such as thinking creatively, the ability to creatively solve

problems, lifelong learning and reasoning and the ability to plan and apply their knowledge are not explicit in the curriculum (Sedera, 2016; The National Education Commission, 2014; World Bank, 2011; 2017). In ‘creative subjects’ such as drama, transmission takes a teacher-oriented approach and does not encourage the students to perform individually or collaboratively. This study, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, has sought to develop creativity and adaptability in Sri Lankan school students. It is the first study to explore an experimental approach to improving drama curriculum and teaching in Sri Lanka through an intervention aimed at improving the creative learning. I implemented an intervention program using process drama techniques for the development of creativity and adaptability skills in students aged 11-12, who take drama as a subject in the grade seven school setting. Its method was a non-randomised control group design with three groups; an intervention group, a control group and an active control group to examine and evaluate an intervention. The program was implemented during twelve consecutive weeks, in weekly two-hour drama sessions by two drama teachers in the intervention schools. Intervention group teachers received prior training in a workshop style setting and, during the intervention program received further training. Intervention students included 57 grade seven drama students and the control group and active-control groups were both cohorts of 50 students. Other data included pre and post-test measures for qualitative data, forty lesson observations and in-depth interviews with twenty teachers, and two students focus groups. Qualitative results suggest a substantial development in the intervention group students. This study adds to the corpus by exploring how Sri Lankan teachers are interpreting and enacting creativity and adaptability.