Brian P. Coppola, Joseph S. Krajcik
Many years ago, I was teaching drama to a rather boisterous class of 12-year-olds. There was nothing particularly remarkable about the lesson; the class was working in groups and dramatising part of a Greek myth. The atmosphere, I remember, was lively but quite productive, except for one group who were struggling to make sense of the task. They disagreed on pretty much everything, and no one in the group was willing to forfeit their own ideas or accept someone else’s perspective. I observed the group from a distance, waiting for the right moment to intervene as the arguments escalated. I did not need to wait long, and two boys came to tell me that they just could not work together and asked to move groups. My response was that of most drama teachers, I suspect, I wanted them to stick it out and workout what was going wrong. ‘We just can’t co-operate’, offered one boy, adding, ‘arguing is just our natural selves’. It is an explanation I have been pondering in different ways ever since.
Emma Weitkamp (JCOM)
As academic communities across the globe are increasingly encouraged to share their knowledge outside the ivory towers of academia, it becomes ever more important to create a bridge that crosses continents and disciplinary boundaries. Sitting, as it does, at the nexus between science communication practice and research, JCOM has a vital role to play as just such a knowledge sharing platform.
Bridget Kiger Lee (Book reviewer)
Transforming teaching and learning with active and dramatic approaches: engaging students across the curriculum, by Brian Edmiston, New York, Routledge, 2013, 342 pp., ISBN 978-0-415-53101-6
How drama activates learning: contemporary research and practice, edited by Michael Anderson and Julie Dunn, London, Bloomsbury, 2013, 313 pp., ISBN 978-1- 4411-3634-3
Read together, these books provide practitioners and researchers with writings from many of the most experienced and thoughtful voices in drama in education. Yet they have very different intentions. Edmiston gives readers an in-depth understanding of dramatic inquiry in classrooms. Anderson and Dunn provide broad snapshots of drama and education research. In the end, the reader is left with a range of ideas to consider but also is compelled to build upon and continue the forward momentum of the theory, research and practice of drama.