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Ideas to Action - exploring the opportunities of cross curricular Drama

Jo's M.Ed thesis focused on using Drama for cross-curricular creative learning. The focus was supporting teachers to integrate Drama within their curriculum. 

The findings of the Ideas to Action Research encourages longer term CPD (not just a one-off workshop) - use of team-teaching, where the Drama specialist helps plans and delivers lessons with their colleagues, peer observations and mini catch up sessions (a break time re-cap on soundscapes etc) creates the best results. The teachers then become advocates for Drama in their own subject/year team areas. 


The Ideas to Action Project is a study exploring to what extent Continued  Professional Development (CPD) can enable non-drama-specialists to  incorporate Drama in Education (DiE) within their teaching pedagogy.  

A Literature Review provides an overview of CPD and how it can be perceived  negatively if imposed upon teachers. The need for a creative curriculum  (Robinson & Aronica, 2016) is established and placed within the context of  the UAE, where the study took place.  

The research was undertaken over a period of six months between January  and July 2018, in a British International School in Abu Dhabi. A mixed methods  approach was undertaken, using quantitative data in the form of  questionnaires and qualitative data, semi structured interviews and  observations. Observations were recorded in a Research Journal and Critical  Friends filled in specifically designed forms. Questionnaires and semi  structured interviews took place at the start and end of the study to allow for  analysis of change.  

After a whole school questionnaire established an interest in DiE, eight  teacher-participants embarked upon the Ideas to Action project. During this  time, they undertook a 2-hour CPD workshop, followed by team-teaching and  lesson observations with the facilitator. At the end of the project they re-grouped to share their experiences and learn from each other.  

The findings suggest that when participants volunteer for CPD which is  differentiated for them and done with them (Fullan & Hargreaves, 1992), the  outcomes successfully benefit the teachers and by extension their pupils. DiE  was found to be an effective pedagogical tool for enhancing learning, when  carefully planned for and delivered with confidence. For the facilitator,  introducing and consolidating Drama, whilst enhancing participant  confidence, made use of the shared skills common to both CPD and DiE.



Cranleigh Abu Dhabi logo, Ideas to Action logo, Trinity College Dublin logo
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