Date of Award

1-1-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Mr. George White

Abstract

This paper explores and describes the lived-experience of a group of 16-year-old girls in a drama class designed to heighten awareness of values of social justice. The students involved are experienced drama students, with a good knowledge of the theory of role-play and play-making, as well as, sound dramatic skills and techniques. The lived-experience provided the source for the research study that used film as a medium to inculcate notions of justice and equity in the classroom through self-devised drama. Phenomenological research was conducted with a group of seventeen Year II drama students. The students took part in a series of' drama lessons that used a documentary film as stimulus for self-devised drama presentations. Participant observation, as well as the students' own personal reflective journals, were used to collect data that was then coded, collated and categorised into significant statements. The results suggested that a significant number of students understood more about values, recognised alternative actions to resolve conflict, and were generally more empathetic to others after completing the study module. This verified my thesis, that the drama classroom is a good environment to inculcate notions of justice, and that drama students are most receptive to this mode of learning. The results revealed sufficient positive evidence to indicate that concrete recommendations be considered by The Western Australian Curriculum Council for inclusion in Drama syllabi to further strengthen the Council's thrust for a values-based curriculum in Western Australian schools.

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