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Tujuan kajian

Ini adalah satu kajian kes kurikulum pendidikan drama untuk kanak-kanak

yang diajar oleh pakar drama. Khususnya, untuk memahami amalan pengajaran
drama yang unik, program drama 9 minggu untuk satu tadika dan dua kelas gred 1
diperhatikan dan pakar drama telah ditemuramah. Aktiviti kelas biasa diajar oleh
guru-guru kelas juga telah diperhatikan untuk memahami drama yang diajar oleh
bukan pakar.

Metodologi
Kajian ini merupakan satu kajian kes berkenaan pendidikan drama dijalankan

di persekitaran semula jadi, termasuk kelas biasa untuk drama tadika dan kelas
drama. Data untuk kajian ini diperolehi di sekolah Bailey yang merupakan sebuah
sekolah swasta yang terletak di sebuah bandar metropolitan yang besar.
Sekolah Bailey mempunyai persekitaran pendidikan yang kaya, termasuk nisbah
rendah pelajar kepada guru dan pelbagai program ko-kurikulum yang diajar oleh
pakar mata pelajaran. Komposisi etnik pelajar adalah 87% putih, 7% Asia, dan 5%
Amerika Afrika. Kebanyakan pelajar adalah dari keluarga sederhana kepada status
sosioekonomi menengah atas.
Pengumpulan data dan analisis prosedur adalah berdasarkan "model
interaktif" (Miles & Huberman, 1994, ms 12.) yang merujuk kepada aktiviti
pengumpulan tiga jenis proses analisis - potongan data ("proses pemilihan ,
memberi tumpuan, memudahkan, pengabstrakan, dan mengubah data yang muncul
dalam nota lapangan atau transkripsi bertulis (Miles & Huberman, 1994, ms 10)
paparan

data

(Miles

&

Huberman,

1994,

ms

11])

dan

kesimpulan.

Data telah dikumpul melalui pemerhatian, temu bual, dan dokumen.

Kesignifikan dapatan

Untuk menjawab apa yang diajar dan bagaimana drama yang diajar kepada anakanak muda, tiga kebolehan istimewa yang ditemui dalam kurikulum pendidikan
drama Miss White. Drama pengajaran Miss White terdiri daripada memanaskan
badan, aktiviti utama, dan segmen penutup, manakala guru-guru kelas hanya
mempunyai satu aktiviti utama tanpa memanaskan badan atau penutupan. Setiap
segmen mempunyai peranan bebas dan, pada masa yang sama, berinteraksi antara
satu dengan yang lain. Pergerakan badan pelajar dalam sesi drama Miss White
adalah semasa aktiviti

pantomim. Selalunya, pelajar-pelajar

diminta

untuk

menyatakan perasaan asas, seperti kesedihan, kegembiraan, kekecewaan atau


malu dengan anggota badan dan muka mereka sambil melakonkan jalan cerita.

Kesimpulan kajian

Pengalaman pembelajaran drama untuk kanak-kanak adalah antara yang paling


pujian tetapi yang paling kurang diamalkan pengalaman pembelajaran di sekolahsekolah (Dillon, 1988). Walaupun guru kelas awal kanak-kanak melakukan aktiviti
drama di dalam kelas mereka cara mereka mengajar mempunyai ciri-ciri yang
berbeza berbanding dengan pakar drama. Dalam kajian ini, pakar drama
menyampaikan pengetahuan dan teknik drama dan mengetengahkan perwakilan
kinestetik kanak-kanak dan ekspresi dalam struktur yang jelas. Sebaliknya, guru
kelas kerap menggunakan soalan dan pergerakan tanpa struktur yang ditetapkan
dalam aktiviti drama mereka. Penyelidik lain (contohnya, Flynn, 1997; Ross, 1989;
Stewig , 1984) juga telah menunjukkan kekurangan pengalaman dikalangan guru
profesional dalam drama dan persediaan yang tidak mencukupi untuk pengajaran
drama. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan bahawa kurikulum sorotan pakar drama ini
khusus pengetahuan dan teknik yang guru-guru kelas tidak menangani dalam aktiviti
drama mereka. Dalam struktur yang jelas dari sudut pembelajaran terdiri daripada
memanaskan badan, aktiviti utama, dan segmen terakhir, penerokaan kinestetik
kanak-kanak serta expresi ditekankan. Kandungan pengajaran pakar drama dan
kaedah menyumbang kepada pembelajaran kanak-kanak dan apa yang diperlukan
untuk

pembangunan

dibincangkan

LAMPIRAN

kakitangan

untuk

meningkatkan

pendidikan

drama

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Journal-Research-in-ChildhoodEducation/204681847.html
Abstract. This is a case study of drama education curriculum for young children taught by a drama specialist. Specifically, to
understand unique drama teaching practices employed by a drama specialist, 9-week-long drama programs for one
kindergarten and two 1st-grade classes were observed and the drama specialist was interviewed. Regular classroom activities
taught by the classroom teachers were also observed to understand drama taught by the non-specialists. The findings indicate
that the drama specialist's curriculum highlights specialized drama knowledge and techniques that the classroom teachers do
not address in their drama activities. Within a well-defined structure of a lesson composed of warm-up, main activity, and
ending segments, children's kinesthetic exploration and representation, as well as expressivity, are emphasized. How the
drama specialist's teaching content and methods contribute to children's learning and what is needed for staff development to
improve drama education are discussed.
Early childhood educators commonly teach all subjects to their students, including math, science, and the arts. However, not all
teachers are trained in the variety of subjects they teach. Each subject has its unique essential forms of cognition and
disciplines (Efland, 1990). Drama education is no exception, in that the discipline of drama education consists of extensive
specialized knowledge and holds its own ways of knowing. A drama specialist is assumed to have special knowledge and
experience in the field of drama that classroom teachers (generalists) may not possess, and as a result of this knowledge, can
teach drama in a different way.
In this educational context, this research explores what a drama specialist teaches and how she teaches it at a private school in
a metropolitan area. I highlight the structure and content of the specialist's drama lessons and her specialized knowledge that
are not found in the general early childhood classroom teachers' practices, aiming to understand what early childhood
educators can learn from a specialist. Thus, although the main purpose of this study is not a comparison between a drama
specialist and general classroom teachers, classroom teachers' methods of teaching drama is juxtaposed to the specialist's in
order to highlight the specialist's unique teaching content and methods. I then discuss how the drama specialist's teaching
contributes to children's learning, and make suggestions for classroom teacher's professional development through
collaboration with specialists to improve drama education in early childhood programs.
Review of the Literature
Drama Education
Although the terms "drama education" and "theater education" have been commonly used interchangeably, there is a technical
difference between them. Theater education deals with an actor's formal performance in front of an audience, whereas drama
education focuses on participants' process of exploration and meaning-making (Schonmann, 2000).
The definition of drama varies among scholars, and its curriculum is different depending on the instructional goals, teachers'
philosophies, cultural and institutional contexts, and other elements. Types of drama activities also vary, including extracurricular activities in school musicals and promotional events; in drama clubs, speech training, self-expression, emotional
development and confidence building; in the early childhood play corners; and as a part of syllabi in English classes (O'Toole &
O'Mara, 2007). Among these diverse types of drama activities and drama education, this research focuses on an operational
drama curriculum taught by a drama specialist at a school.
Drama in the Curriculum
Drama is usually marginalized or absent from the curriculum (O'Toole & O'Mara, 2007) in the current school climate that
emphasizes academic accountability. Even when the arts are included in preschool and kindergarten classrooms, it is primarily
music and visual arts, although it could be argued that drama and dance are better suited to the physical nature of early
childhood learning (Cazden, 1981; Kolb, 1984). There is little time allotted in the daily routine for drama in early childhood
education settings, due to the pressure that many teachers feel to cover too many materials in too little time (Jones& Reynolds,
1992). Brown and Pleydell (1999) argued that age-appropriate drama experiences would not be guaranteed, because most
drama specialists have not been trained to work with young children, and early childhood classroom teachers have few
resources to provide quality drama experiences to their students.
Regarding teachers' qualifications to teach drama, McCaslin (2006) stated that the most important qualities are such personal
attributes as sympathetic leadership, imagination, and respect for others' ideas. Having sufficient knowledge, appreciation of
drama as an art form, and familiarity with techniques are other invaluable assets (McCaslin, 2006). Successful drama teachers
also guide, rather than direct, and are able to work with others, are considerate of others' opinions, and offer their own ideas.
Also, teachers need to invite children to create and maintain the dramatic world, through the use of open-ended questions,
animated expressions, and enthusiastic responses to the children's ideas (O'Neill, 1994). This process involves the coconstruction of an emergent story that requires the teacher to adopt various roles (e.g., motivator, guide, and artist).
I will consider these teachers' qualifications in teaching drama when examining the drama specialist's and the classroom
teachers' drama instructions.
Method
Case Study Approach
This research is a case study of drama education conducted in natural settings, which include a regular classroom for
kindergarten drama and a special drama classroom for 1st-grade drama. Carroll (1996) suggested that the case study
approach is useful in drama when the researcher is interested in and deeply involved in the structure, processes, and outcomes
of a project.
It fits research on drama education well because drama is a non-reproducible experience, by its very nature as a negotiated
group art form. The participants within a drama education session or series of sessions create a unique set of social
relationships that becomes a single unit of experience capable of analysis and study. (Carroll, 1996, p. 77)
Hartfield (1982) and Yin (1991) emphasized that the complexity of interactions and the whole creative sequence can be
examined best through a case study methodology. Thus, the case study method is particularly well suited for this research,
because it attempts to understand the complex instructional processes and the interaction between the teacher and the

students in a natural classroom and school context in an open and flexible manner.
Participant
This study has one key participant--the drama specialist, Ms. White (a pseudonym). The drama specialist for this research was
chosen carefully, because she or he has to have extensive knowledge and experience in the field of drama that regular
classroom teachers may not possess. One of my colleagues, who is an art specialist and had taken drama lessons from Ms.
White for arts interdisciplinary curriculum, introduced Ms. White to me. When I contacted Ms. White, explaining the purpose of
this research and asking her if she would like to participate, she willingly agreed to participate, because she said she wanted
more educators to be interested in drama education and to apply it in their teaching.
Ms. White is a unique combination of professional artist and experienced educator. She holds a B.A. in English literature and an
M.F.A in acting. She has a total of 24 years of teaching experience, ranging from teaching pre-kindergarten children through
adults (up to 35 years old), and she has performed in the opera and theater as a professional company member. Based on her
educational background and professional experience as an actress and as a teacher, she is considered to have specialized and
sophisticated skills and knowledge of the field. She has been a fulltime drama teacher at the Bailey school (a pseudonym) for
12 years. During the period when this research was conducted, Ms. White was teaching one kindergarten class and two 1stgrade classes for a 9-week drama program.
Research Site
The data for this study were collected at the Bailey school, a private school located in a large metropolitan city, during the fall of
2006. Although I contacted Ms. White as a research participant without knowing where she worked, the research site was
considered carefully to make sure it satisfied several requirements. My primary requirements were: 1) the school should
provide drama education to young children in an early childhood program, and 2) drama education should be taught by a
specialist with rich knowledge and experience. In many cases, drama is not provided to kindergarten children, which is my
research focus group, and when it is provided, it is often taught by an artist-in-resident or classroom teachers, not by
experienced drama specialists. The Bailey school offers drama education to kindergarten through 6th-grade students. Drama
education is taught by a drama specialist with an extensive field experience and educational background in drama, as
discussed in detail in the participant section. In addition to these two requirements, the Bailey school has a rich educational
environment, including low student-to-teacher ratio and various extra-curricular programs taught by subject specialists. The
ethnic composition of the students is 87% white, 7% Asian, and 5% African American. Most of the students are from families of
middle to upper-middle socioeconomic status.
Data Sources
Observations
One kindergarten and two 1st-grade drama classes taught by Ms. White were observed for 9 weeks. Kindergarten drama was
observed once a week, about 30 minutes per lesson. Each 1st-grade drama class was observed once a week, about 45-50
minutes per lesson. In addition, I observed full days of regular classroom hours led by the respective classroom teachers to
understand how the classroom teachers taught drama to their students and to highlight the drama specialist's teaching. The
full-day observations (8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. for kindergarten and 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. for 1st grade) were conducted once or twice
a week for 9 weeks.
Interviews
Formal and informal interviews were conducted with Ms. White to gain a better understanding of her drama curriculum and her
teaching practice as well as the school structure and system. Formal interviews in a semi-structured format were carried out
almost every week, 8 times for 9 weeks, for about 50 minutes on average, in her office or in the school cafeteria. Informal
interviews were conducted frequently, before or after her classes, as well as during her preparation time.
The initial areas of interview questions with Ms. White included such topics as her educational background and teaching
experiences, teaching philosophy, expectations for the students' progress in her class, and specific drama activities and
practices. Follow-up interviews were conducted twice after the drama program was over. Each follow-up interview lasted about
an hour, centering around her vision of drama education, long-term and short-term goals, and her experience of teaching
kindergarten students for the first time.
Analysis of Documents
In order to understand the school structure, system, and mission, I also examined school pamphlets and brochures. The
national, state, and district drama and arts curriculum that Ms. White referred to was analyzed in order to understand her drama
teaching in general. The school curriculum map, the teachers' teaching plans, letters to the parents, and evaluation forms also
were analyzed in order to understand her specific drama teaching.
Data Analysis
The data collection and analysis procedures are based on the "interactive model" (Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 12), which
refers to the activity of data collecting and three types of analysis processes--data deduction ("the process of selecting,
focusing, simplifying, abstracting, and transforming data that appears in written-up field notes or transcriptions" [Miles &
Huberman, 1994, p. 10]; data display ("an organized, compressed assembly of information that permits conclusion drawing and
action" [Miles& Huberman, 1994, p. 11]); and conclusion (drawing and verifying conclusion)--that form an interactive, cyclical
process. The interactive model was used for this research because it can provide continuous, iterative process of analysis for
better qualitative validity and credibility, compared to a single, linear analysis process.
Data were collected through observations, interviews, and related documents, as described in the Data Sources section. To
facilitate making direct connections with the research questions and concepts of interest, the data codes (with broad but
concrete categories) were created through the extensive reviews of existing research on drama education and curriculum.
Specific examples of the preset categories defined for this research included drama knowledge, techniques, skills, body
movements, and vocalization. The preset categories and sub-categories and their corresponding codes were developed,
expanded on, refined, and revised multiple times while the study progressed and as new issues emerged. While the inquiry
was in progress, contact summary forms were filled out immediately after completing each field note, such that the key points

were summarized and emerging themes were recognized to guide planning for the next observation. In this process, data
reduction was conducted by generating a conceptual level of coding system (e.g., structure, reflection, expressivity,
representation, and imagination).
Data display as well as drawing and verifying conclusions included follow-ups with the participants, with emphasis on their
interpretations of the data collected, the triangulation of information, and the construction of meaning from the phenomena
observed. Multiple interim reports were made to identify and develop issues, to audit what is known, and to substantiate the
known with the data. Each interim paper was shared with the researcher's colleagues, who worked in, studied, and were
interested in early childhood education and/or arts education.
Findings
To answer what is taught and how drama is taught to young children, three special qualities were found in Ms. White's drama
education curriculum. The first section of the findings discusses Ms. White's well-defined lesson structure, and the second
section is devoted to kinesthetic exploration and representation. The last section centers around expressiveness.
Structure of Drama Lessons
Ms. White's drama lesson is composed of warm-up, main activity, and closing segments, whereas the classroom teachers have
only a main activity without a warm-up or closing. Each segment has its independent role and, at the same time, interacts with
each other as a whole.
Students' use of the body is different between drama and regular academic classes. That is, students' body movements in their
homeroom are minimal and primarily instrumental, but those in drama are exploratory and expressive. For example, in the
regular class, students walk in order to reach their desired destination (e.g., the blackboard, their desks); whereas in drama,
students walk to explore different qualities in their movements (e.g., light, heavy, slow, fast) or pretend to walk to express their
ideas. Drama lessons often begin with warm-up exercises, which help make a smooth transition from academic subjects.
Specifically, yoga is a part of the warm-up in Ms. White's drama instructions. The following vignette describes the 1st-graders
practicing yoga during the third week of the drama program.
Ms. White: We will start to pretend there is strength in the air, and I will pretend to pull out that strength, and then you can feel
it. Feel it at the back; there is a bump right here.
Ms. White: Your face is on the ground. Now, boys and girls! A mad cat. Take a deep breath in. Watch me first.
Ms. White: And then you breathe in with your nose. And stick your tongue out, because you are a doggy now.
Ms. White: Nice job! Eyes up, please. Here is some work. Watch before you move. Your one hand lies out, and the other hand
lies out and reaches to the floor. Let's try again. It's a child's pose. Your hand is flying out, and the other is flying out, and take a
deep breath in and reach and put your forehead on the floor. It's like you wrap your hands around your knees. You look like a
little, tiny baby. Nice job, boys and girls.
While yoga is typically not considered a part of traditional drama education, it has basic and repeated motions shared in
common with other warm-up exercises. Yoga also possesses its unique features, especially its mind-body connection. While
making repeated and slow motions and breathing, Ms. White encourages the students to pay attention to how their bodies work
and what their bodies can do. During yoga, while in a meditative atmosphere, the students concentrate on their movements
without making any unnecessary sound. Afterwards, the students are clearly calm and relaxed. After the basic, short, and
repeated warm-up movements, the students are mentally and physically ready for the drama experience.
Ms. White's main segment for young children is largely composed of storytelling/ story making and acting it out. In particular, a
well-defined connection between drama concepts and practice is present in the main segment. Students learn about the
structure (e.g., beginning, middle, and ending) and the elements of a dramatic story (e.g., setting, characters, conflict, plot, and
background) and different genres of literature (e.g., fable vs. fairy tale). They are also encouraged to apply specialized drama
vocabulary and techniques they learned in their acting. Basic skills are emphasized for clear communication between the actors
and the audience. In addition, students' exploration and representation of their ideas, as well as expression of feelings, are
commonly practiced, which will be explored more in detail in the following sections.
The closing segment mainly constitutes students' suggestions or comments on their activities in an open format. The following
vignette presents a closing session in kindergarten drama.
Ms. White: OK, boys and girls! Before we end the drama today, it's very important for me to hear any questions or things that
you really like today or suggestions that you have.
Adam: I like to pretend to be a chicken.
Molly: I like the story.
Ms. White: Anything else?
Tess: I like the story.
Ms. White: Before we end, can we do a criss-cross apple sauce? I will show you something I like to do when I am tired and
can't think about what to do, maybe I feel crabby.
Bryan: Let's go to sleep!
Ms. White: Well, I can't go to sleep but I close my eyes, ad think about what to do.
Adam: Meditate!
Ms. White: Well, kind of. I get quiet. Close your eyes and put your hands on your knees, and take three breaths. I will open my
eyes because I want you to be safe. Sit up, nice and tall. Take a deep breath in and let it out (repeating three times). Turn
yourself around and look at your teacher. She is going to tell you something important.
Guided by Ms. White's questions, students answer and reflect on what they did, what they liked the most, or what was the most

interesting to them during the activities. They mostly list the names of activities they did or briefly describe their experiences
and preferences, but not in depth. Although connection with students' experiences and expression of personal opinions or
emotions are scarce, verbalization about what they did during reflection helps them transform their kinesthetic experiences into
concrete verbal experiences.
Similar to warm-up, Ms. White's closing provides the students with a smooth transition from drama session to the subsequent
session. The opening and closing of the drama session serve to separate the fantasy of the drama from the reality of the
classroom (Brown & Pleydell, 1999). It creates a boundary around the event and enables students to return to the world of the
classroom. Thus, from a technical standpoint, by wrapping up the lesson, closing gives the students a signal that a drama
session is over and prepares them to move onto the next activity.
Kinesthetic Exploration and Representation
Students' body movements in Ms. White's drama session are explorative and representative, particularly during pantomime
activities. Pantomime is a typical primary activity for Ms. White's young students. Pantomime is defined as acting out without
words (Rosenberg, 1987), and inherently it emphasizes the use of the body more than words. The following vignette shows a
pantomime practice with the 1st-grade students.
Ms. White: OK, tell me about how the lion is different from a person.
After comparing a lion with a human, Ms. White asks a question.
Ms. White: Do you know a slow motion? Can you show me a slow motion?
Ms. White: Thank you, Sophie. That is a very nice slow motion!
Ms. White: Boys and girls, it's time to become a lion. How are they different? They have fur, whiskers, and claws. Show me.
You are a big, golden lion. Show me a soft and sleeping-on-the-grass lion.
Ms. White: Stretch your beautiful golden legs. Slo-o-o-o-w motion. Pat your stomachs quiet. You head through the jungle. Keep
going.
Ms. White: Show me how a lion moves.
Ms. White: Stand up for hunting. Are you ready? Stand up? What do you see?
Justin: A tiny rabbit.
Ms. White: You grasp the tiny rabbit. You bite juicy, red meat. You throw it. You toss it to the sun.
Ms. White: You are so thirsty after your dinner. You walk slowly to the lake and drink water. I want to hear your big lion roar!
Stand up and say, "I am the king of the jungle!" One more time!
The way that Ms. White frames the activity influences students' expression and kinesthetic exploration. Her strategies include
students' brainstorming about characteristics of a character in a story, observation of others' movements, and verbalization of
their observations prior to acting. These practices provide students a chance to think about how to express the character and
perceive subtle differences in the actor's movements and expressions. Then, during pantomime activities, Ms. White narrates
with a wide range of kinesthetic vocabulary (e.g., "stretch," "pat," "grasp," and "crawl"). The combination of movements with
vocabulary helps the students to be more conscious of their own movements during exploration. In addition, her narrative--with
its dramatic changes in the speed, volume, and pitch of her voice--models the students' ideas and facilitates their use of
imagination. Ms. White's encouragement of students' using slow motion during pantomime helps them attend to details and pay
attention to their movements. With Ms. White's systematic guidance, students' movements are not random actions, but rather
represent a state of consciousness involving full engagement and awareness. During an interview, Ms. White emphasized the
importance of the body movements for the young children:
I think using the body more than the word is what I stress, especially when students are young, because it's more universal for
the children. If you take the word away, children are open and explore more freely. It feels good and fun. And then in 2nd grade,
I add more words, more narrations, and captions and subtitles to my lesson. So words kind of melt with the body.
Ms. White believed that young students could be more creative and free without the spoken language. For example, when the
1st-graders were asked to represent a "lake" with their bodies, they showed different ideas: one child lay down on the floor;
another waved his hands; and others lightly rocked sideways or back and forth. The body became an expressive drama
medium for telling the story and expressing the characters' emotions. Thus, Ms. White practiced until the young children had
built up a physical vocabulary and felt comfortable in expressing their ideas with the body. She then gradually increased the use
of words in her lessons.
Expressivity
Often, the students are asked to express basic feelings, such as sadness, happiness, frustration, or embarrassment, with their
bodies and faces while acting out a story. What the students practice is not self-expression, which is defined as expressing
one's inner feelings. Rather, they are encouraged to express a character's emotions and feelings according to the situation of
the story. The following scenario demonstrates the kindergarten students' activity that expressed a character's emotions in a
story.
Ms. White: How did the camel feel when her friends told her she is not a good dancer and lumpy and bumpy?
Maria: (sitting in front) She was sad.
Bryan: (frowning, answers in his husky and frustrated voice) She didn't know what to do!
Ms. White: She didn't know what to do, but she made a decision, didn't she? What did she decide?
Bryan: She danced all by herself.
Ms. White: Did it make her happy?
Bryan: No!
Ms. White: Really? That's not the story that I heard. It may be sad because she decided on dancing all by herself. It's okay,
even though you heard the story differently. You know what? Let's do a ballet. Everybody stands up. Let's do a dance around
the room. Are you ready?
Ms. White: This is a story about a dancing camel. One day, she decided she is going to have a concert for her friends. Show
me her friends' faces.

Ms. White: They must be curious, right?


Ms. White: Okay, so she began to dance for her friends. "She jumps, she turns, and she skips." And freeze. "She looked at her
friends' faces after she took the beautiful bow." Her beautiful bow?
Ms. White: Oh, that's so nice. You show her friends' faces. Look!
Ms. White: Oh my! You are really telling a story. What does she look like?
Presented in the above vignette, Ms. White's special guidance helps promote the students' expressivity. Prior to acting, she
asks questions or leads a discussion about how the character feels. While the students are acting, she invites them to interpret
the situated feelings of the character in the story by demanding their personal involvement with imagination. With Ms. White's
encouragement to use their imagination and connect their experiences, the students elaborate their expressions of feelings.
They usually demonstrate mimetic and conventional modes of representation by describing surface features of the character
they employ (e.g., smiles for happiness, frowns for sadness). However, sometimes they attend to details, moving slowly and
deliberately, in the expressive mode.
To young children, Ms. White barely addresses how to express these feeling in a more sophisticated way, which could have
been achieved by teaching drama acting skills or techniques. During an interview, Ms. White reported that she emphasizes
students' reflections on and interpretations of their own experiences as being more meaningful than expressing emotions using
drama techniques or skills. She believes without reflection, the students' understanding and expression of feelings might remain
superficial. Thus, exploration and reflection can contribute to the students' diverse and expressive movements as well as
building kinesthetic awareness.
Discussion
Ms. White, with her rich education background and professional experience, is considered an insider from the field of drama. As
an insider, what special qualities does she possess that general teachers (who may be categorized as "outsiders" to drama)
most likely do not? What unique drama activities does she provide and how does she practice them? What can we, as
classroom teachers and outsiders of the drama field, learn from Ms. White? In answering these questions, the structure and
content of a drama specialist's curriculum, and her teaching techniques and skills, as well as specialized knowledge of drama
are examined more closely. I will explore here what and how Ms. White teaches differently from classroom teachers and what
her teachings contribute to students' educational experiences.
Having structured segments in Ms. White's drama lesson is different from the classroom teachers' drama activities, which
consist of only a main activity without warm-up or closing. How teachers frame the lesson is known to influence students'
experience. Specifically, having structure in lessons helps make the students' experiences systematic and organized (Stinson,
2002) as well as helping students predict the flow of the lesson. That is, the fixed structure becomes a routine for children and
helps them feel secure in the learning environment and organize their experiences systematically.
Another issue addressed is the body and its movements. Moving the body expressively is generally not encouraged in school;
instead, academic subjects and cognitive development are highlighted (Bresler, 2002). However, drama for young children in an
early childhood program is an exception, as it places the body and its movements at the center. The body is both a subject and
an object and must exist in specific contexts and in specific relation to others (Grumet, 2003). In drama, students can choose
how they move and what they wish to express, and their thinking is encouraged to be realized within the capacities of moving
their body. In order to understand the capacities of the body in drama education, I will use Osmond's classification of "the body
as knower" and "the body as doer" in drama education (Osmond, 2007, p. 1113).
First, regarding the body as knower, drama education invites a focus upon the body to act its knowing, to call up in every action
what a body knows (Osmond, 2007). The concept of body as knower is prevalent in Ms. Wilson's pantomime activities.
Specifically, when the students pretend to get ready to go to school in pantomime, they recall what they do every morning and
represent it with the body. Each student expresses different activities, including brushing their teeth, eating breakfast, packing
school bags, and kissing and waving goodbye to their parents. What we know is an accumulation of sensory experiences that
bring us to that knowing as our bodies are developed and shaped by those experiences that mold it. Grumet (1988) claimed
that all knowledge is ultimately body knowledge, even the knowing that seems rooted exclusively in language.
Next, the body as doer means that the body does what it knows by making meaning the grounds for action in drama education.
When the students pretend to be a lion or a mouse, their initial expressions are usually conventional and mimetic. However, as
they are guided by the teacher's questions and comments, the students' knowledge and ideas about the topic are revealed with
more subtle and detailed expressions. The introduction of pedagogy that uses drama into a communal act makes the body as
knower the central figure in the sharing and the negotiating of meaning, and the "body-knowers" become "body-doers." Doing is
a necessary consequence of knowing; it is the action and reflection of people upon their world in order to transform it (Freire,
1972). The relationship between the body as knower and the body as doer can be achieved by concentration and memory of
emotion before dramatic action, thus integrating lived experience naturally (Boleslavsky, 1949). The body must first be
understood as a site of knowledge that is specific to the lived experience of each individual.
Since different forms of representation develop different skills, the students need to be provided with multiple choices of forms
of representation to develop diverse skills (Fyfe, 1994). Representing students' ideas in various forms, including visual, verbal,
numerical, and auditory, increases the resources available to the student for making meaning. When resources are rich, the
number of avenues for learning expands. Representational media (mostly used in drawings in Reggio Emilia schools) is known
to deepen the children's understanding of a theme or a concept (Forman, 1994). The teachers and artists actively work with the
children to help them see many possible modes of correspondence between them. Like drawing, the student's body and its
movements are tools for expressing what she knows and what she feels. In drama, the body itself is the medium. The
substance of body is molded through gesture, voice, motion, and pace in the doing of what is known.
The last issue explored in this section is an emotional aspect in drama education. At schools where academics and intellectual
growth are generally emphasized, the emotional aspect of children has too often been ignored. Furthermore, there has been a
lack of invitation for the students to communicate feelings through artistic means (Bresler, 1998). Although the importance of
expressivity has been highlighted in the arts education literature as well as in state goals, expressivity has been rarely a part of
the operational curriculum. Bolton (1977) suggested that one of the significant characteristics of drama is a special quality of

feeling along with a special sense of time and quality of meaning. That is, drama explores situated feelings.
Ms. White's guidance of the students' interpretation of a character's feelings, by having them reflect their own experiences,
helps them elaborate their expressions in a more detailed manner. In order to have a feeling, one must be able to distinguish
one state of being from another (Eisner, 1982), and have the requisite imagination and cognitive thinking skills to perceive and
articulate the ideas of the feelings (Shusterman, 2004). Thus, reflection on and connection with students' own experiences by
perceiving through their senses and imagination enables them to be expressive.
Implications for Drama Education for Young Children
Drama learning experiences for children are among the most highly praised but the least practiced of learning experiences in
schools (Dillon, 1988). Even when early childhood classroom teachers incorporate drama activities in their classrooms, the way
in which they teach has distinct features compared to that of the drama specialist. In this research, the drama specialist
conveys drama knowledge and techniques and highlights children's kinesthetic representation and expressiveness within a
well-defined structure of the lesson. By contrast, the classroom teachers frequently used close-ended questions and prescribed
movements without a structure in their drama activities. Other researchers (e.g., Flynn, 1997; Ross, 1989; Stewig, 1984) also
have pointed out classroom teachers' lack of professional development experiences in drama and insufficient preparation for
drama teaching. Gabb (1994) stated that a dichotomous framework clearly delineates between drama specialists' artistic,
informed endeavors and classroom teachers' unsatisfactory efforts and techniques.
In practice, inservice teachers are typically provided one-time drama workshops, which are structured as pre-packaged lectures
and demonstrations without a close connection to classroom practice or substantial follow-up. Consequently, teachers' desires
to meet complicated organizational demands and diverse students' needs and interests can be easily overlooked (Hargreaves
& Fullan, 1992). However, in order for classroom teachers to use drama in their classrooms, a firm foundation in drama skills
and techniques, as well as in the art form, should be provided such that the teacher is able to apply them to address diverse
needs in the classroom and use it as an important part of her teaching repertoire.
Yaffe (1989) argued that strong staff development is essential through collaboration between the drama specialist and
classroom teachers to move from skills to applications in the field of drama. Especially considering the current school climate,
which greatly emphasizes academic accountability, drama education integrated with core subjects is strongly recommended to
provide high-quality drama education and to improve students' academic achievements. Thus, if a classroom teacher provides
curriculum content and a drama specialist focuses drama sessions on those required learning areas, they can explore ways to
merge drama teaching techniques and curriculum demands together. It is not necessary for teachers to have a background or
experience in drama to use drama in the classroom, but it requires staff development and a willingness to try something new on
the teachers' part. Cooperation could reinforce and increase the knowledge and insight that individual teachers bring to their
work, especially when they are focused on professional responsibility and the central tasks of education.
(submitted 8/27/08; accepted 12/31/08)
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Su Jeong Wee
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign