Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Drama and Theatre Pedagogy for the Primary and Middle School

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education

DESCRIPTION This study-unit develops fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with planning and teaching Drama and assessing children's learning. It addresses such questions as: Why is Drama important to children's learning? How does the Drama teacher design quality learning experiences that encourage individual responses from a diverse range of learners? How does the teacher assess achievement?

Part of the study-unit will take place off-campus in schools/ drama/theatre locations where a drama/theatre activity of a pedagogical nature will be organised by the lecturer. Students will have the opportunity to systematically observe experienced practitioners at work. The visits are preceded by a lecture with the lecturer/s when readings and tasks will be set to explore and analyse various issues relating to Drama teaching such as classroom management, lesson planning, schemes of work, classroom organization and other professional issues (eg. criticial pedagogy -Freire). Discussions, reflections, analysis will take place with the lecturer and possibly the practitioner after each visit.

Study-Unit Aims:

- To develop an understanding of the place of drama in education and to provide a firm foundation from which to teach the subject.
- To give students the confidence to teach for creativity and the tools to communicate and facilitate lessons using drama strategies to teach Drama effectively.
- To familiarise students with the process of drama and how this can be applied to educate in a holistic sense, by promoting the personal, moral, social, spiritual, creative and cultural development of all pupils.
- To hone skills as teachers and reflective practitioners through an exploration of individual learning styles
- To generate a processfolio of strategies, techniques, experiences that can be used as a resource in their Teaching Practice.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- demonstrate a critical understanding of drama education (including the ways in which students learn in the arts) and the unique pedagogical skills required to be an effective drama teacher;
- develop dynamics of eliciting, visualisation and role-play techniques;
- consider some of the issues and dynamics involved in the various student groupings in the classroom;
- decide which of the various roles a teacher needs to adopt during drama;
- select and justify the use of resources and approaches for the effective teaching of Drama;
- evaluate his/her own practices and relationships between teaching methods and broader educational philosophies;
- critically reflect on his/her professional values and beliefs about the teaching of Drama.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- use effective pedagogy skills to teach drama and for creativity;
- develop schemes of work for drama;
- plan and organise drama lessons for creative drama/process drama/devising drama for classes at primary/middle school level;
- plan drama lessons that feature building-block aspects of theatre and performance practice;
- deliver drama lessons in diverse school environments at primary/middle school level;
- use strategies for classroom management;
- use various drama conventions;
- design a curriculum that is appropriate to specific age-groups for the primary and middle years in diverse educational contexts.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

- Fleming, M. (2003) Starting Drama Teaching. London: David Fulton Publishers.

Supplementary Readings:

- Bolton, G. (1984) Drama as Education Longman.
- Fleming, M. (1997) The Art of Drama Teaching David Fulton.
- Fleming, M 2000 Teaching drama in primary and secondary schools: an intergrated approach David Fulton.
- Johnson, A, & O'Neill, C., (eds) (1984) Dorothy Heathcote: Collected Writings Hutchinson.
- O’Toole, J. & Dunn, J (2002), Pretending to learn: Helping children learn through drama, Pearson Education, Australia.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 No 40%
Analysis Task SEM2 No 60%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.