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  1. To Act, Or Not To Act?Drama In The Classroom Lauren E. Duerson ED-7201 Fall 2011

  2. Table of Contents • Statement of the Problem • Review Of Literature • The Pros • The Cons • Educational Theorists • Current Implementation • Hypothesis Statement • Participants • Implementation • Appendix A, B, C • Resources

  3. Statement of the Problem • Economic recessions create widespread budget cutbacks that greatly effect the public school system. As a result, job retention and hiring consists of multi-subject and special needs teachers verses those who specialize in the arts such as drama. (Rotherham 2011) • No Child Left Behind Act legislation has created a focus on math and literacy achievement in the United States of America with a goal of general and mass achievement by 2014. (Chapman, 2005; Wallis, 2008; Willis, 2007) • Testing is the determining factor in student and teacher success. Therefore teachers and administrators are forced to teach to the test with a focus placed on math, science, and literacy. This means that social studies and the arts are not covered in classrooms in the same detail as the other subjects, if at all. (Rebell & Wolff, 2011) • Positions hired are directed towards special education and multi-subject teachers (Rotherham & Phillips, 2011)

  4. Review Of LiteratureThe Pros • Drama improves the cognitive ability to remember, therefore, by acting in a story or history’s dramatization, children retain and understand more of the story’s concepts and content. (George. 2000) • Drama improves personal self-confidence for teachers and students. Drama improves social skills between peers and creates communication with teachers and students. Drama can improve physical and emotional abilities through expression and movement. (George, 2000; Kovacs, 2009) • Drama encourages children to question material, create images, determine the importance of details found in the texts, and encourages further inference and synthesis of reading. (Rosler. 2008)

  5. Review Of LiteratureThe Pros • The arts, such as drama allow children to participate through movement, which is crucial for non-native speaker participation. (Ulbricht, 2011) If it was once lived, drama can help create that life again. (Healy, 2008) • ‘The arts have the ability to contribute to particular insights in various types of learning.’ (O’Donoghue, 2009) • The arts promote conflict resolution and varied experience those ‘living in someone else’s shoes’. (Wilhelm, 2006; Miller, 2011) • The arts create various new educational and cultural experiences can be made without leaving the classroom. (Kornfeld & Leyden, 2005)

  6. Review Of LiteratureThe Cons • No Child Left Behind Act counts three subjects as ‘core’ subjects, therefore there is no balance between the arts and tested curriculums. Tested subjects always win attention over non-tested. (Chapman. 2005) • Instructional time is taken away from the subjects that students are tested on when teacher focus on social studies and the arts. If test scores drop in other tested curriculum areas, teachers are scrutinized. (Wills, 2007; Manzo, 2008) • Some teachers are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the arts processes, curriculum, and standards, therefore they do not wish to teach learning through dramatic practices. (Stanfa &O Shea, 1998; Miller, 2011) Teaching known subjects is preferred when teachers are not prepared. (Fresch, 2003) • Dramatic presentation and implementation (as well as action research) in the classroom can take more preparation than other subjects of the curriculum. (Sanders, 2006)

  7. Review Of LiteratureThe Cons • Some teachers find that they do not wish to introduce lessons that can possibly give up classroom control, which drama can produce. (Styslinger, 2000; DiMartino, 2010) • Assessment to determine lesson success can be difficult for teachers to judge from dramatic involvement/ interpretation alone. (Morris, 2003)

  8. Educational Theorists • Lev Vygotsky: • Social interaction plays a large role in cognitive development. Only once social interaction has occurred can an individual understand on a personal level. • Teachers should collaborate with the students to help facilitate meaning and learning. (Hausfather, 1996; Kam, 2011; Schmidt, 2011) • Howard Gardner: • Multiple intelligences includes bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, where entire body is used to solve problems in the process of learning. • Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence, which includes understanding one’s own motivations and the motivations of others in the process of learning. (Freese, 1998) • Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy: • Bloom’s taxonomy presents another educational theory that looks at higher levels of understanding and learning within development at various stages. . • Bloom's taxonomy can be one mean of helping achieve such desired goals, such as researching student comprehension and understanding of varied subjects, and in particular through social studies (Freese, 1998)

  9. Current Implementation • Margaret Goodnow- Has students choose a civilization in order to create a play. ‘The Golden Apple’ was utilized to socially have students find cooperative solutions to problems while learning about other cultures and historic peoples. (Goodnow, 2004) • Brenda Rosler- Fifth-grade teacher in an urban community found that drama infused lesson plans unite classes, and create leaders in social studies learning. (Rosler, 2008)

  10. Hypothesis By integrating dramatic role-playing activities within social studies lessons over a six-week period of time to twenty-eight students at Public School X in Brooklyn, New York, students will increase test scores in the social sciences curriculum.

  11. Participants • Second grade classroom of school P.S.X • 28 SOAR program students (age range from 6-7) • 8 boys, 21 girls • Classroom Teacher with 15+ years of general subject teaching experience

  12. Instruments • The researcher will get permission from the principal and coordinating teacher, and will then send a consent form to the parents explaining the study. To test the effectiveness of dramatic role-play in social studies lessons in the classroom, students will be asked to participate in a variety of role-play activities that tie into the standard curriculum. Students will be given written tests before a lesson is generated in order to see what information the students posses, and will be given a written test to see the effectiveness of the lesson in information retention.

  13. Appendix A- Parent Release Form • Dear Parent/ Guardian, • I am currently a graduate student in the Childhood Education Masters program at Brooklyn College. I am conducting a research study to see if children benefit from using dramatic practices such as role-play during lessons in the social studies curriculum. Therefore, I am requesting your permission to use your student’s data for my research study. All of the lessons will be administered during your child’s scheduled classroom instruction for this subject, and all standards and lesson objectives will be addressed and accomplished. • All results of the study will be reported as a group study, which means that all students’ names and all corresponding information will remain completely anonymous. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at Leduerson@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 650-703-8227. Thank you in advance for your support! Sincerely, Lauren Duerson I give __________________________________________________________ (Student’s name) permission to take part in the research study. •  ______________________________________________ ________________________________________ • (Parent/ Guardian Signature) (Date)

  14. Appendix B- Teacher Release Form • Dear Teacher, • I am currently a graduate student in the Childhood Education Masters program at Brooklyn College. I am conducting a research study to see if children benefit from using dramatic practices such as role-play during lessons in the social studies curriculum. Therefore, I am requesting your permission to use your class to administer and collect data for my research study. I am requesting to use your class of second-grade students, in which I will incorporate social studies instruction with dramatic role-play, for one 50-minute period, 2 times a week, for 6 weeks. All of the lessons will be administered during your students’ scheduled classroom instruction for this subject, and all standards and lesson objectives will be addressed and accomplished. • All results of the study will be reported as a group study, which means that all students’ names and all corresponding information will remain completely anonymous. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at Leduerson@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 650-703-8227. • Thank you in advance for your support! • Sincerely, • Lauren Duerson •  I give __________________________________________________________ (Student’s name) permission to take part in the research study. • ______________________________________________________ ________________________________________ • (Teacher’s Signature) (Date)

  15. Appendix C- Principal Release Form • Dear Principal, •  I am currently a graduate student in the Childhood Education Masters program at Brooklyn College. I am conducting a research study to see if children benefit from using dramatic practices such as role-play during lessons in the social studies curriculum. Therefore, I am requesting your permission to use your student’s data for my research study. I am requesting to use one class of second-grade students, in which I will incorporate social studies instruction with dramatic role-play, for one 50-minute period, 2 times a week, for 6 weeks. All of the lessons will be administered during your student’s scheduled classroom instruction for this subject, and all standards and lesson objectives will be addressed and accomplished. • All results of the study will be reported as a group study, which means that all students’ names and all corresponding information will remain completely anonymous. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at Leduerson@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 650-703-8227. •  Thank you in advance for your support! • Sincerely, • Lauren Duerson • I give the student __________________________________________________________ (Student’s name) permission to take part in the research study. • ______________________________________________________ ________________________________________ • (Principal’s Signature) (Date)

  16. Resources • Chapman, L. (2005). No child left behind in art? Art Education,58(1), 6-16. • DiMartino, S. (2010). A note to beginning drama teachers. Stage of Art, 16(3), 18-22. • Freese, J. R. (1998).An old friend of the social studies teacher. Canadian Social Studies, 32(4), 124-26. • Fresch, E. (2003). Children preservice teachers teach: effects of an early social studies field experience. International Journal of Social Education, 18(1), 67-80. • George, N. J. (2000). Beneficial use of dramatics in the classroom. The New England Reading Association, 36(2), 6-10. • Goodnow, M. (2004) Bringing history to life in the elementary classroom. Montessori Life, 16(3), 34-35. • Hausfather, S. J. (1996).Vygotsky and schooling: creating a social context for learning. Action In Teacher Education,18(1), 1-10. • Healy, J.W. (2008). The world’s a stage. Teaching, 37(6), 28-30. • Kan, K. H. (2011).How Singapore adolescent students embody meaning with school art. Studies In Art Education, 52(2), 155-70.

  17. Resources • Kornfeld, J. & Leyden, G. (2005). Acting out: literature, drama, and connecting with history. The Reading Teacher, 53(5), 230-238. • Kovacs, P. (2009). Education for democracy: it is not an issue of dare; it is an issue of can. Teacher Education Quarterly, 36(1), 9-23. • Lynch, P. (2007). Making meaning many ways: an exploratory look at integrating the arts with classroom curriculum. Art Education, 60(4), 33-38. • Manzo, K K. (2008). Analysis finds time stolen from other subjects for math, reading. Education Week. 27(25). 6. • Miller, E. (1996).Understanding the universal: using drama to create meaning. The New England Reading Association Journal, 32(3), 7-12. • Miller, M. (2011).Fight or flight: coping with the anxiety of an inner city theatre teacher. Incite/Insight, 3(1), 29-30. • Morris, R. V. (2003). Acting out history: students reach across time and space. International Journal of Social Education, 18(1), 44-51. • O’Donoghue, D. (2009). Are we asking the wrong questions in arts-based research? Studies In Art Education, 50(4), 352-268. • O Shea, D. J., & Stanfa, K. (1998). The play’s the thing for reading comprehension. Teaching Exceptional Children, 31(2), 48-55.

  18. Resources • Phillips, A. (2011). Even before layoffs, schools lost 135 arts teachers. The New York Times. 1-2. Retrieved from: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/even-before-layoffs-schools-lost • Rebell, M. A., & Wolff, J. R. (2011) When schools depend on handouts. The New York Times, 1-3. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/opinion/when-schools-depend-on-handouts.html • Rosler, B. (2008). Process drama in one fifth-grade social studies class. The Social Studies (Washington D.C.), 99(6), 265-272. • Rotherham, A. J. (2011). Budget cuts in the classroom: what’s on the chopping block? Time Magazine, 1-3. Retrieved from: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2079421,00.html • Sanders, J. H. (2006). Performing arts-based education research: an epic drama of practice, precursors, problems, and possibilities. Studies In Art Education, 48(1), 89-107. • Schmidt, L. (2011). Putting the social back in social studies. Social Studies Review, 50(1), 45-47. • Styslinger, M.E. (2000). Relations of power in education: the teacher and Foucault. Journal of Educational Thought, 34(2), 183-199. • Ulbricht, J. (2011). Changing art education’s master narrative. Art Education, 64(3), 6-10.

  19. Resources • Wallis, C. (2008). No child left behind; doomed to fail? Time Magazine. 1-3. Retrieved from: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1812758,00.html • Wilhelm, J. D. (2006). The age of drama. Educational Leadership, 63(7), 74-77. • Wills, J. S. (2007). Putting the squeeze on social studies: managing teaching dilemmas in subject areas excluded from state testing. The New England Reading Association, 36(2), 6-10.