UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Wong, Adrian Ho Aik
Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Madonna Stinson
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 
Location of Full text: NIE Library [hard copy] PN3171 Won Author's email: adrian_wong_ho_aik@moe.edu.sg
This dissertation reports on a case study into three teachers’ beliefs and practices of drama education. The research investigated what changes, if any, were there on the beliefs of drama education of the graduates as a result of their engagement in learning about drama education during the Advanced Post-Graduate Diploma in Drama and Drama Education (APGD). The teachers went through the APGD from January 2003 to October 2004. The idea for this research came about as the researcher, who was also a graduate of the programme, experienced a significant and personal change in beliefs and practices during the course. He then decided to investigate whether his peers had similar experiences. The data was collected between March and April 2006. For each teacher, a survey was administered, interviews audio-taped, a lesson plan collected, a lesson video-taped and a stimulated recall audio-taped. The research seeks to understand the complexity of the change in beliefs as a result of the exposure to drama pedagogy during the course. The data from the three teachers were looked at separately as distinct units and then collectively as a case study to find common themes. The analysis is focused on the aspects of the APGD that the teachers felt had impacted on their beliefs about drama education, their changes in beliefs about drama education, the extent of change and the factors that had impacted the change. Analysis shows that there was a change in these teachers’ beliefs about drama education from a view that drama education is only about finished products like plays, stagecraft and “acting” (cognitive/procedural paradigm of drama education) to encompass a belief in the process of learning through drama (social/pedagogical paradigm of drama education). Their experiences of process dramas during the course had the greatest impact on their belief about drama education. Additionally, their learning preferences and motivation also had a strong influence on how they engage with the theoretical and practical aspects of the APGD. Though all three teachers expressed a change in belief about drama education to include the process of learning through drama, there was a difference in the extent of change. Two of the teachers believed in the process of learning through drama but analysis of their critical incidents and reflections reveal that their strong prior beliefs influenced by the examination culture and the dominant paradigm of drama education (cognitive/procedural) in Singapore had a stronger influence; hence they demonstrated conservative change in beliefs. One teacher was found to demonstrate progressive change in her beliefs about drama education as she could articulate the conflict between her old and new beliefs, and acted to resolve the conflict by knowing when and how to tap into her old and new beliefs. As a case, the teachers’ prior beliefs, the examination culture and dominant paradigm of drama education, assessment of students’ learning and their understanding of the process of learning through drama were factors that impacted their change in beliefs.
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