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Imagination as critical education : introducing theatre/drama into the maltese curriculum

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Title: Imagination as critical education : introducing theatre/drama into the maltese curriculum
Author: Sammut, Carmel
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Creative Writing/Theatre
Copyright Date: 1997
Abstract: This thesis is the result of my personal search to find ways to harness the creative processes of participatory theatre and process drama to create a site for critical thinking. As a teacher in my home country, Malta, I realised the limitations of our educational system that does not cater to teachers who would like to use theatre/drama as learning/teaching mediums. The position of theatre/drama teacher does not exist within the Maltese education system. Therefore, I had to opt to travel to a foreign country to find an opportunity to combine the dynamics of theatre/drama with my teaching background. My experiences in using both process drama and participatory theatre have led me to conclude that there are many commonalties between the two creative processes. In the first chapter of this thesis, I compare the philosophies of process drama and participatory theatre and how the two can be combined to create a holistic and edifying experience for all participants. Moreover, I illustrate how different theatre directors engaged in collective creations have the same beliefs as drama in education practitioners: participants/actors in dramatic processes are to rely on inner resources and confront their own realities to construct a richer fictional world. The aim of the second chapter of this thesis is to show how theatre/drama can benefit the educational sphere. Drama/Theatre combine both consciousness and physicality and thus engage the whole being of the learner both at an interpersonal and intrapersonal level. Educational drama and theatre take into consideration the different learning styles of individuals and so involve the participant through aural, visual and kinaesthetic modes that enhance the possibility of new learning and critical awareness. After looking at the characteristics of the drama/theatre teacher in Chapter three, I then proceed to propose a program aimed at Maltese educators working with 11-16 year olds using both process drama and adapted participatory theatre techniques. I suggest a gamut of activities that focus on factual learning, personal development, awareness of social issues and development of communication and theatre skills. My intention is to include students from the initial phase of the process and then to present the co-created scenarios to other students. I would like to create an "open" performance where the voices of the audience can intermix with those of the actors. Finally, in my concluding chapter I take a closer look at the implications for the Maltese educational system if theatre/drama educators are introduced into individual schools. The advantages of having both a Theatre in Education team and drama/theatre educators are exposed and explored.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/6369
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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