The Second Curriculum Opera: Arias, assessment and methodological traces

Year: 2004

Author: White, Julie, Dixon, Mary

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Drawing on contemporary forms of qualitative research such as performance ethnography (McCall, 2000), autoethnography (Ellis & Bochner, 2000; Ellis & Flaherty, 1992) and using narrative and writing as forms of inquiry (Richardson, 1990; 1992; 1995a; 1995b; 1997; 1999; 2000), this research project constructs a 'learning through' (Gardner, 1983; 1993; 1995; 1999; 2003a; 2003b) approach to curriculum within pre-service teacher education. During 2002 we initiated the first curriculum opera (Dixon & White, 2003; Dixon, White, & Smerdon, 2003) in our Faculty of Education with thirty-seven students. In 2003 we developed this learning and teaching approach with twice as many students. We also reconsidered assessment of students involved in the opera for overall theoretical consistency. As students increasingly took control, they 'imagined curriculum' (Doll & Gough, 2002) and transformed their exploration of identity in the 'process of becoming' teachers (Britzman, 2003). In this paper, we outline the project and the learning involved. We also indicate future directions for learning and teaching in preservice teacher education as well as the potential uses and misuses of teacher assessment through portfolio.