Drama Education in the Lives of Girls: Imagining Possibilities
Published: April 2001© 2001
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 144 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 8.79
144 Pages, 6.00 x 8.79 x 0.49 in
In this book, Kathleen Gallagher presents a multi-case study of adolescent girls who are learning through drama about their particular sexual, cultural, ethnic, and class-based identities in relation to the broader world around them. By examining the power and possibility of drama in schools to animate the processes of learning, Gallagher's research offers hope for meaningful reflection on pedagogy in what she sees as an increasingly mechanistic and disempowering period in education. This work is a unique contribution to the fields of equity studies and the arts in education, as it provides a new lens through which to examine gender, diversity, and schooling. Experiencing the drama curriculum as a process and method, the students learn by taking on different roles. This re-positioning of the learner generates new and rich experiences in the dialectic of life and art and the discourse of the "world as a stage" metaphor.
Combining research and classroom practice in a public Catholic girls' school over an eighteen-month period, the author illustrates how drama provides a fertile ground for the intellectual and emotional development of girls, as they draw on their own lives and experiences in order to create their fictional worlds. She demonstrates how the collective action of drama in the classroom can support girls in becoming the authors of their own experiences. This compelling book reveals the liberatory possibilities of drama education for the vastly diverse and complex group, adolescent girls. The doctoral research on which Drama Education in the Lives of Girls was based received the American Alliance of Theatre and Education's most distinguished scholarly research award for 1999.
'In times in which the arts are under increasing attack, this book makes a convincing case that drama education can unlock the creative potential of students. It is an important contribution to the contested area of what education can and should be.'Margrit Eichler, professor of sociology and equity studies in education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and Director of Women's Studies and Gender Studies, University of Toronto
'A splendid volume ... This book recognizes how reflective teaching and classroom-based research empowers teachers and puts them in a position to reassert their role at a time when their knowledge and professionalism is being marginalized and trivialized ... as well as a reminder to all teachers that listening to stories of young people is an effective learning tool for both teller and teacher.'Walter Pitman, former president of Ryerson Polytechnic University, Director of the Ontario Arts Council, and author of Learning the Arts in an Age of Uncertainty.
'Kathleen Gallagher ... describes and celebrates a way of teaching and a way of being in the classroom that is reflective, democratic and empowering.'Cecily O'Neill, Ohio State Education Journal
'Kathleen Gallagher understands teaching from the inside out and the outside in. We who teach both girls and boys need to listen to her carefully. She knows who we are.'David Booth, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto
'An important and formative contribution to drama education research. I found Gallagher's qualitative analysis of drama in the lives of girls a compelling read.'Philip Taylor, Director, Centre for Applied Theatre Research, Griffith University, Australia
- AERA Outstanding Book Prize (Div B), American Educational Research Association