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Drama Education in the Lives of Girls

Drama Education in the Lives of Girls: Imagining Possibilities

Kathleen Gallagher
With a Foreword by Madeleine Grumet
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    Drama Education in the Lives of Girls
    Book Description:

    Through drama girls can explore their particular sexual, cultural, ethnic, and class-based identities. Gallagher's research offers pedagogical alternatives in an increasingly mechanistic and disempowering period in education.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7406-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)

    Many of us remember growing up in classrooms surrounded by scores of other people. Most were other students, maybe thirty or more, in public-school classrooms. Despite the numbers, the profusion, the jumble of kids, class proceeded as if we were all one student. That was the alchemy of the expert teacher, transforming a motley group of kids into a coherent unit. Desks were in rows, nailed down to the floor. Eyes front, everyone.

    The sixties and seventies brought in an ethic of individuation, and a belated and often reluctant recognition of diversity. In teacher-centred classrooms, teachers were now exhorted to...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. Prologue Drama: A Picture of Our Knowing
    (pp. 3-12)

    The illustrious Mrs Aphra Behn, living in the seventeenth century, was the first woman in England to earn her living as a professional writer, and one of the first women writers to refuse to adopt a male pseudonym. Despite the bleak outlook of her ʹwomanʹs tragedy,ʹ she indeed resisted boundaries and imagined other worlds.

    This book is about imagining other worlds. It will explore what drama can be, and often is, for girls. With the perceptions and voices of girls in a publicy funded, heterogeneous, urban, single-sex school as my steady guide throughout, I hope this book will shed new...

  6. Chapter One Drama and Girls
    (pp. 13-42)

    Researching in oneʹs own classroom requires a teacher to think explicitly about how one listens to and reflects upon oneʹs students. Nancie Atwell (1987), a teacher-researcher who investigated writing, reading, and learning with adolescents, explains that teacher research is not a secret we keep from students for fear of skewing our findings. Instead, it is a model for our students of how adults can function as life-long learners and of learning as a social activity. She believes that when teachers invite students to become partners in inquiry, to collaborate with them in wondering about what, and how, they are learning,...

  7. Chapter Two Creators of Worlds
    (pp. 43-84)

    Together, we snatched our stories out of nothingness and saved them from extinction. There is, I think, something of a Simone de Beauvoir in all young women. Doing drama and building stories creates a restlessness and a tension in the room; it is about ascertaining the imperatives of the group. The social intercourse in drama is about more than being sensitive to others; it is about being sensitized by the actions and words of others. My endless hours of videotaped lessons of our drama activities together revealed four distinct areas of learning and helped me to understand and frame the...

  8. Chapter Three Research in the Classroom
    (pp. 85-112)

    The thrilling and critical task of ʹdeconstructionʹ began after our several months of working in role, creating worlds, and writing and thinking about those worlds. We began by talking about selfhood when I asked the girls how they see themselves in the drama class, as compared with their other classes. Of the nineteen students interviewed, seventeen saw themselves as ʹvery differentʹ in drama class compared with their other classes in the school. Their explanations of the reasons for this difference clustered around two general themes. The first had to do with the more informal or relaxed setting of the drama...

  9. Chapter Four Teacher Roles and the Curriculum
    (pp. 113-130)

    Gavin Bolton (1984) uses the term ʹloving allyʹ when discussing the function of teachers (34). This certainly reflects the shift from the concept of teacher as disseminator of knowledge to a kind of child-centredness at the heart of the teacherʹs work. It is also clearly about the childʹs relationship to the world. If we are interested in an approach that places the child in the centre of our work with them, then we must begin by acknowledging certain fundamental things about the world we live in and the institutions we teach in.

    Kathleen Weiler (1988), in her studies of gender,...

  10. Epilogue
    (pp. 131-136)

    Fischer, whose book was founded on the conviction that art has been, still is, and always will be necessary, warns that we are inclined to take an astonishing phenomenon too much for granted, that art reflects our infinite capacity for association, for sharing experiences and ideas. He holds that humans want to be more than individuals, that they strive toward a fullness of life that our individuality with all its limitations cheats us. Simply put, people strive towards a more comprehensible, more just world, a world that makes sense.

    Arts education surely no longer needs to provide rationales for its...

  11. References
    (pp. 137-150)
  12. Index
    (pp. 151-155)