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Drama In The National Curriculum Education Essay

The purpose of this study is to understand where Drama stands in instruction within England at present. It searches for its ‘ reference within the National Curriculum and interprets what this means for the instruction of the topic. It looks at primary and secondary schools ‘ current tendencies towards Drama as a discrete topic, and argues the benefits and disadvantages of it holding its ‘ ain topic heading within the National Curriculum.

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1. Play in the National Curriculum.

The National Curriculum website provides the most up to day of the month information on how Drama is placed within the course of study. At first glimpse Drama is absent but reference of it can be located, chiefly within the topic of English. [ See Appendix One for a description of the demands and activities for Key Stages ( KS ) 1 & A ; 2. ( National Curriculum, 2011a ) ] . Whilst there are purposes and aims published for KS1 & A ; 2, at KS3 & A ; 4 there is reference of selected dramatists as topics to be studied and the outlook that at least one Shakespearian drama will be explored in deepness at each phase ( National Curriculum, 2011b & A ; degree Celsius ) . References to the usage of Drama appear under Literature [ See Appendix Two ] ( National Curriculum, 2011d ) .

For England the Teachernet ( Teachernet, 2011 ) , DFES Drama Objectives ( DFES, 2011 ) and QCDA ( QCDA, 2011 ) resources have been/are being decommissioned with emended high spots looking in the National Archive. In fact most of the Government resources advocated by the Initial Teacher Education web site for English are no more ( ITE, 2011a ) . The Department of Education web site is replacing it, but the lone suited stuff found for Drama is an point for the Speaking and Listening component at KS1 & A ; 2 dated 2004 ( Department of Education, 2011 ) .

In Ireland play is within the ‘arts ‘ sector, alongside ocular humanistic disciplines and music. The strand is “ Drama to research feelings, cognition and thoughts, taking to understanding. ” They expect that when this topic is taught right it can assist kids at a immature age to understand/relate and cover with life state of affairss that can happen ( Irish Curriculum, 2011 ) . Whilst Drama is placed steadfastly in Arts Education as a three with the ocular and aural mediums, there is small support to be found in their Curriculum Planner as good ( NCCA, 2011 ) . Compare this to 52 resources for Drama in the Scots Curriculum ( Scottish Curriculum Resources for Drama, 2011 ) . In Northern Ireland Drama is mentioned in Language & A ; Literacy and has its ain topic within The Humanistic disciplines and resources are good provided ( N. Ireland Resources, 2011 ) .

At KS1 & A ; 2 the statutory topics that all students must analyze are art and design, design and engineering, English, geographics, history, information and communicating engineering ( ICT ) , mathematics, music, physical instruction and scientific discipline. Religious instruction must besides be provided at KS 1 and 2 ( National Curriculum, 2011e ) , although there is a non-statutory plan of survey. From the National Curriculum ( 2011e ) for Religious Education there are the following two points:

1 ) . Research how spiritual beliefs and thoughts can be expressed through the humanistic disciplines and pass on their responses.

2 ) . Using art and design, music, dance and play to develop their originative endowments and imaginativeness.

Art and design does non advert play until KS 2 as follows from the National Curriculum ( 2011f ) : Researching a scope of get downing points for practical work [ for illustration, themselves, their experiences, images, narratives, play, music, natural and made objects and environments ] .

Yet doing marionette theaters, and besides making atmosphere in sounds, illuming, backgrounds and costumes for full size dramas would do the topic more merriment whilst specifying a practical intent for the work.

Drama in a similar manner should be a fertile land for scenery and particular effects within Design and Technology yet it is non mentioned at all ( National Curriculum, 2011g & A ; 2011h ) . Music and Physical Education in a similar vena have a relationship to Drama through Dance but there is no recognition for it. History could conceivably utilize period play to exemplify points and the grasp of truth in the texts and authors ‘ prejudice would so be covered in Drama. Stenhouse ( 1981, p.29 ) is against the thought that Drama is for learning other topics in the course of study and rejects the imagined worlds of Drama for the attested worlds of pure history. ICT could supply a multi-media back bead similar to that of exhibition trade bases and modern public presentations that use computerised effects and elephantine screens.

When the National Curriculum was being formulated instructors were vocal in their disapproval of the many course of study topics being loaded into the National Curriculum, such that topics were curtailed following Music and Art ( Baldwin, 2011 ) . As the ( NCCCE, 1999, p.75 ) study provinces ‘ … there are more than 10 topics in the universe. ” It besides notes that Dance is non found with athletics, games and sports after instruction and that Drama is non merely verbal. ( NACCCE, 1999, p.76 ) points out that of all the states in the QCA/NFER INCA archive, England was alone in holding 10 distinct topics from KS 1-4.

“ When the National Curriculum was introduced, specialist play practicians thirstily awaited the National Curriculum for Drama. They are still waiting. “ A ( Baldwin, 2011 ) .

Drama as portion of English in the National Curriculum.

One of the on-going arguments about the nature of English Centres around its relationship [ sic ] the originative humanistic disciplines. “ Is English an Humanistic disciplines based, originative subject, or a much more functional, competence led capable? “ , and “ Is Drama itself an Humanistic disciplines based subject or a method of instruction, a signifier of larning? ” ( ITE, 2011b )

The function of play in the course of study remains in pattern really much in uncertainty. It is believed that future employers have been unhappy with general educational criterions of school departers.

A contributionary factor to this low appraisal ( for the topic ) has been the political displacement from a broad position ( of the centrality of aesthetic and artistic experience in instruction ) towards a more vocationally – orientated position in which the secondary course of study is seen instead as a feeder of commercial, industrial and post-industrial demands as they have been immerging in recent old ages. ( Morton, 1984, p.56 ) .

The Arts Council England ( 2003, p.6 ) explains that all students ‘ minimal statutory entitlements for the survey of Drama are acknowledged within the National Curriculum for English. Harmonizing to Ashcroft & A ; Palacio ( 1995, p. 196 ) , “ The national course of study steadfastly places play within the English sphere. ” Neelands ( 2008, p.1 ) refers to the National Curriculum as the English Model where, “ Drama was foremost introduced into the secondary course of study through the English course of study and timetable ” . He divertingly cites the fact that Shakespeare was English to explicate how we arrived at this alone place, which has non been followed elsewhere in the universe except possibly Wales ( Welsh Curriculum KS 1 ( 2008 ) & A ; Welsh Curriculum KS 2-4 ( 2008 ) where Drama is mentioned within English and to a lesser extent Welsh.

Drama as a topic in its ‘ ain right is non present in the primary course of study, but as a portion of English or R.E, or supplying other countries and cross curricular subjects. Even though Drama is absent from the course of study for primary schools, it is still present through the activities and lessons which are taught utilizing play, “ … many primary schools already include plaies in their course of study, without recognizing that the activities the kids are involved in are really drama. ” ( Humanistic disciplines on the move, 2010 ) .

For High School instructors, it can be a job for them to cognize what to anticipate of students come ining KS 3, this is because of the deficiency of continuity in Drama across all the Primary Schools, hence merely an educated conjecture can be made on the students ‘ anterior play experiences. Neelands ( 2004, p.9 ) offers 6 points of common mention which can be found in Appendix Three.

Harmonizing to Neelands ( 2008, p.2 ) statistics show that,

aˆ¦many schools in England do offer play as a separate timetabled topic in Key Stage 3 and this makes play the lone ‘subject ‘ in the English system which is ‘unregulated ‘ in footings of a nationally agreed course of study beyond the mentions to talking and listening in the Orders for English ” .

So merely at KS 3 do some students get the chance to take Drama as a separate topic but it is still an unofficial 1. Whilst this offers a complete freedom in how the topic is taught and presented [ see Neelands ( 2004, p.5 ) for three different attacks at secondary degree ] , it besides means there is small in the manner of a safety cyberspace for its practicians that criterions, appraisals, guidelines and official support can supply. So it would look that Drama has become a Cinderella topic that is busy working in the shadows whilst the Ugly Sisters of English and Religious Education take all the recognition.

1.2 How we got to where we are now.

“ Most of what immature people know of the universe, they know through representations of it. ” ( Neelands, 2008, p.9 ) , proposing that schools have a moral duty to assist determine the citizenship of their stundents.

“ There is small clip allotted in the day-to-day modus operandi for play in early childhood instruction scenes, due to the force per unit area that many instructors feel to cover excessively many stuffs in excessively small clip. ” ( Jones and Reynolds, 1992, p.7 ) . This suggests that caput instructors and instructors are forced to concentrate their concentration and resources on the topics the ‘really affair ‘ For illustration, those topics that are recorded as National statistics, demoing how many A* – Degree centigrade pupils have obtained ; in peculiar on Maths, English and Science.

Drama being mentioned in the course of study saw a assorted reaction.

Some celebrated the “ fact ” that Drama would now hold to be taught. Others were speedy to indicate out that there was a cardinal defect here. There were few trained Drama instructors left. The world has been, that barely any Drama is go oning ( in Primary ) A despite the fact that it is deemed statutory. ( Baldwin, 2011 ) .

Yet Neelands ( 2008, p.1 ) states that, “ In the English instruction system, all pupils in the 5-16 age scope have an entitlement to drama within the National Curriculum Orders for English. ” Baldwin ( 2011 ) the president of the International Drama/Theatre & A ; Education Association provides a background to how Drama fell from grace, how a timely reaction to the stiff course of study being built capable by topic stopped it being included at the 11th hr and so, as it was no longer a topic, support for it fell off. Practitioners were left high and dry, as Drama was no longer portion of Ofsted unless a fee was paid to measure it, which in one instance ended up being marked as a ‘Satisfactory ‘ P.E. lesson. Dearing tried to soften the course of study but so came the restraints of the National Literacy Strategy which concentrated on reading and composing for the ‘Literacy Hour ‘ at the disbursal of speech production and hearing. However Winston & A ; Tandy ( 2001, p.75-86 ) in their chapter entitled ‘Drama and literacy ‘ supply some thoughts for including Drama within the hr.

Then at Secondary degree we find a menu blanche where anything goes with Drama either as a separate topic taught by a Drama specializer or as a go oning add-on within English or as another entity, which possibly suits the more marked different watercourses of ability. Neelands ( 2004, p.5-6 ) noticed that the assorted beginnings of national counsel for Drama, for illustration the specific mentions to Drama in the Programs of Study for English showed a general understanding for the purposes and aims for Drama, such as:

Play as personal, societal and moral instruction

Drama as English

Drama as a topic in its ain right.

As stated earlier he cites three really different secondary schools each exemplifying one of these points as their single attack to Drama.

The demands of a nationally prescribed course of study put considerable force per unit area on instructors to “ suit everything in ” ; each topic has it ain outlooks and makes its ain peculiar demands. Finding the clip for Drama, nevertheless extremely you and your category may value it in its ain right, can be difficult- the more so if we are traveling to give the Drama clip to develop, intensify the kids ‘s engagement and apprehension, and make a satisfactory decision. ( Winston & A ; Tandy, 2001, p.54 )

Ashcroft & A ; Palacio ( 1997, p.6 ) infer that longer functioning instructors will happen the prescribed nature of the National Curriculum and all its alterations to be a bone of contention. On the other manus –

The deficiency of nucleus counsel for Drama, the parallel development of Drama within English with its development as a distinct Arts topic, together with the diverseness of theoretical accounts of course of study and appraisal to be found in schools make it a peculiarly debatable country of English learning for trainees. ( ITE, 2011c )

Particularly as:

School Drama Co-ordinators disappeared about nightlong, as did LEA Drama Advisers and consultative teachers.A Drama courses became few and far between, trusting more and more on professional administrations, which were and are run voluntarily, by progressively stretched full clip instructors and lectors. ( Baldwin, 2011 ) .

Chapter TWO – Arguments FOR DRAMA BEING A

DESCRETE SUBJECT

“ As portion of a wide and balanced course of study, play has a important part to do ” ( Winston & A ; Tandy, 2001, p.73 ) . “ Drama, more than any other topic in the course of study, mirrors life as it is lived and experienced ” ( Winston, 2004, p.18 ) . Please see Appendix Five for some positive consequences Winston ( 2004 ) notes as being seen in kids ‘s composing due to their engagement with Drama. “ At least a national understanding provides some external, comparatively nonsubjective and seeable stuffs to discourse ” ( Neelands, 2004, p.6 ) .

However, the absence of a nationally agreed model for Drama gives two points of concern ;

The single Drama instructor has no external model to follow, therefore the success of the Drama category is wholly at the clemency of the ability or deficiency thereof of the instructor ;

How Drama is perceived at the school may good be based on the caput instructors ‘ preferences and biass.

To exemplify this point I found at X High School, where the writer has experienced Drama via a teaching preparation twenty-four hours arrangement, it was noticeable that Drama is thought of as a high precedence topic. This was thanks to the Head realising that in a catchment country of high poorness Drama provided involvement and look for kids that found reading and composing hard. The school used Drama besides as a selling tool to advance itself to the wider community and its governors. It held one-year Drama productions, school assemblies were punctuated with Drama in the signifier of amusing studies or more serious pieces designed to entertain and inform, it supported fund-raising activities etc. Drama here is a timetabled topic throughout all the twelvemonth groups, and is offered as an A-level topic.

As Ashcroft & A ; Palacio ( 1995, p. 196 ) advocator, “ Primary school students can develop through play an extended scope of linguistic communication utilizations, including the bulk of those referred to in the national course of study. ” “ aˆ¦drama is a societal procedure of doing meaningaˆ¦the model and method of play provides a alone context for developing a sense of individuality and productivity. ” ( Morton, 1984, p.37 ) .

“ All Our Futures ” had already clearly recognised the importance of Drama, both as a originative instruction and larning medium and as the most powerful pupil incentive: A ” OFSTED informations on student response to larning indicates play to be at the really top in actuating acquisition ” ( NACCCE, 1999, p.77 ) . Drama in instruction can assist pupils learn and understand whatever is required, in ways that are emotionally, aesthetically and cognitively connected and meaningful to kids who are natural dramatic participants. ”

Chapter THREE – ARGUMENTS AGAINST DRAMA BEING A

DESCRETE SUBJECT

“ aˆ¦drama is a procedure that can non be divided into a series of distinct and accessible results in the sort of manner that course of study theoreticians have managed to make with many other topics in the course of study ” ( Young, 1981, p.94 ) . Baldwin ( 2011 ) provinces:

Trainees are likely to meet a diverse scope of agreements for play within schools. In the absence of national orders and a statutory capable model, schools are free to plan their ain local fluctuations of a play

course of study based on the specific value given to drama in a peculiar school. Cynics were heard to mumble, that with an appraisal driven course of study emerging, procedure based play would be excessively debatable for SCAA ( as it was so ) to cover with.A

Appraisal in Drama has ever been slippery as so much goes on cognitively and emotionally during the Drama procedure that is non easy or even possible to assess.A It is noted that this statement appears amongst many professionals, but no suggestions as to what standards could be used is suggested. Is this because they believe there is to be none.

Baldwin, ( 2011 ) continues. “ Assessment records were being revealed as lists of statements of attainment tick boxes and needed to be based on easy discernible, extrinsic results ” proposing that Drama specializers were non certain they wanted such a meaningful and aesthetic art signifier measured and graded in this way..

Neelaands appears to belie his issues by saying

The local course of study can be based on a extremely idiosyncratic and ideologically motivated choice. What is taught may be left to the caprice of an single instructor and may reflect personal biass and involvements instead that the comprehensiveness of deepness of survey which is a student ‘s entitlement ( Neelands, 2004, p.6 ) .

Yet harmonizing to Neelands on the Initial Teacher Education web site ( ITE, 2011d ) ,

The non-statutory Framework play aims might usefully organize the footing of the programme of survey for play at KS3. However, these specific aims are improbable to be considered sufficient as nucleus aims for play as a discrete topic because they do non cover physical, ocular, design and proficient facets of play.

This suggests that although the concerns of Patrice Baldwin are relevant, the concerns of the ITE is that without a defined construction and specific aims, the importance of Drama could be overlooked. This point of position is rejected by Way ( 1967, p.12 ) who

points out, “ If we make drama another topic, so we make another ‘progressive heterosexual line ‘ – in fact many consecutive lines, one for babies, one for juniors, and so on through the different age groups. ”

Again, because of its ‘uniqueness ‘ there is a concern over how Drama can be ‘measured ‘ i.e. marked. Way ( 1967, p.3 ) wrote, “ Education is concerned with persons ; play is concerned within the individualism of persons, with the singularity of each human kernel. Indeed this is one of the grounds for its intangibleness and its immeasurability. ”

As Drama is non in the National Curriculum as its ain topic, it might be seen as unimportant. With the force per unit areas on schools to be ranked via conference tabular arraies on the nucleus topics of English, Maths and Science, it is possibly non surprising that schools focus on these topics to the hurt of all else. However, the topic still has its ain written scrutinies and an external tester is called in to tag public presentations. It is hence ill-defined as to the grounds behind why the topic is deemed by some to be hard to measure.

Decision

“ Ultimately, play is a valuable tool, but foremost the tool itself must be fashioned. ” ( Way, 1967, p.7 ) .

There appears to be a divide in international pattern over whether Drama should be used across the course of study or as a topic within its ain right and/or as portion of the humanistic disciplines docket.

There were those who thought that if appraisal was traveling to be the name of the game, so play could and should be made to suit, in order to guarantee its topographic point in the new curriculum.A And there were those who breathed a suspiration of alleviation that play did non suit and had been left outside the new course of study,

where at least it would let a greater freedom of pattern and content, within the broader course of study ( Baldwin, 2011 ) .

Therefore, unless the person schools value Drama, and promote Drama instructor preparation, the concern is that the degree of learning Drama will non be sufficient to add any value to learning within the school as a whole. Harmonizing to Ashcroft and Palacio ( 1995, p.203 ) there are two types of Drama within the National Curriculum spectrum, one being public presentation based activities, such as assemblies and school dramas, and the other being educational Drama, which involves kids in the active creative activity and geographic expedition of state of affairss based on fact or fiction.

“ … it is regarded by many instructors as a larning method instead than a capable country because it can be employed to present many facets of the course of study really efficaciously. ” ( Ashcroft and Palacio, 1995, p.204 ) .

Art is utile, non because it is true but because it is genuinely enlightening. It is because play – as – art maps in this manner that a dramatic work can non be explained, paraphrased or deconstructed into essays. Like any other art signifier, play is alone and non – convertibleaˆ¦ it resists crassly useful attempts to corral it into the service of geographics, history or direction preparation every bit much as it refuses to be the biddable retainer of personal, societal, or political instruction. In a secular age, the utility of play lies in its ability to joint significance in peculiar direct and accessible ways so that we, in bend, can do better sense of the universe in which we live. For these grounds, play is an indispensible portion of the humanistic disciplines course of study. ( Hornbrook, 1991, p.40-41 ) .

Whilst we can non anticipate the committedness of the National Theatre at every Primary School ( Turner et al. , 2004 ) they offer a theoretical account of best pattern that can be used within the topic of Drama to truly convey out the assurance and mind of immature kids and this should be the ultimate end whether Drama is housed within English or is a topic in its ain right.

Does this so mean that play is yet another topic that has to be fitted into an already overcrowded course of study? No. Drama is non another topic ; theater might be, with its land work in history and its survey of dramatists and their plants but non drama. Drama is every bit intangible as personality itself, and is concerned with developing people. Indeed, it is every bit necessary to fling educational conventions as to ignore theatre conventions ( Way, 1967, p.7 ) .

The statements will ramp on but merely the will of the authorities can do a difference to the place Drama as a topic or non-subject is in. The decision drawn from all the grounds in this study is that Drama should be included as a topic in its ain right in the National Curriculum, but non as the course of study presently stands. There appears to be deficient construction and no unequivocal manner that the success of students taking Drama can be measured. To seek and ‘fit ‘ it into the current course of study could curtail its utility as a holistic well being tool for the personal growing of students. How could this be measured in academic footings? There could be students who come alive as histrions and give fantastic public presentations, but can non interpret this successfully into a written piece of work. How does one step personal growing? How can we tag a pupil who has grown in assurance, can show themselves better than before the debut of the Drama lesson, and interacts good with other pupils in the category? Whereas before the usage of Drama they may hold been counter, covering with personal issues which had no voice except in eruptions of violent behavior.

One can put trials to mensurate the cognition of the literacy greats, the hunt for significance in the plants of the dramatists but should this prevarication here or within the kingdom of English Literature, such that it can non be used as a grade of success or failure for Drama pupils.

The decision gathered is that this testing should be left within the English topic, therefore leting pupils of Drama more freedom to show themselves through this fantastic medium. It has been shown that Drama is a utile tool in the apprehension of other topics, but it should foremost be enjoyed and understood in its ain right.

The greatest job for Drama being included in its ain right in the National Curriculum appears to be the manner the success of topics are presently judged. There does non look to be current processs that can reasonably mensurate the true success and positive impact Drama can hold on a pupil ‘s life. For illustration with a Mathematics test there is a definite right reply with Markss available for demoing your workings out, but what is the ‘right ‘ reply in Drama?

The division between the instruction professionals as to the inclusion or non of Drama in the National Curriculum can be understood after researching and look intoing this inquiry. The concerns are that the importance of Drama within the schools is presently dependant on the will of the caput instructor and the ability, passion and committedness of the Drama staff. Drama instructors ‘ sing schools who category Drama as a ‘fill-in ‘ topic and non that of import will hold experienced first manus the statement that Drama should be included.

It could be really corrupting to the Drama instructor who feels that their work, nevertheless committed they are, possibly seen as unimportant. However those Drama instructors sing and basking a school that appreciates Drama and uses it throughout school life for illustration in assemblies, community assemblages and the one-year school public presentation may bask the freedom of the topic non being included in the National Curriculum, as they do non experience threatened about the cogency of their instruction accomplishments.

There appears to be no straightforward decision over Drama ‘s inclusion in the National Curriculum, nevertheless it must be pointed out that other parts of the British Isles make Drama a topic in its ain right and supply first-class support for it. Possibly there are lessons to be learned from the manner they have gone about this by an exchange of thoughts on best pattern. For illustration what standards are they utilizing to mensurate Drama ‘s success as a topic ; are more or less pupils taking Drama as a topic at Secondary degree ; has its position had a positive or negative consequence on the instructors? Without cognizing the replies to these inquiries and many more besides we can non keep these states up as reflecting illustrations.

There needs to be a manner of seeking to take the best from the statements for and against Drama ‘s inclusion in the National Curriculum. For illustration this research has shown that most of the Drama professionals feel that both the topic and they benefit from its inclusion to set them on a flat playing field with other topics. They believe that they may be taken more earnestly and have more support from developing being given. The concern of its inclusion appears to be that it could smother the really creativeness and freedom of look some professionals believe Drama should be. They all appear to hold that Drama can non be measured in academic footings as easy as other topics as no ‘marks ‘ are awarded for pupils personal development.

Therefore after research and probe into this inquiry, the concluding decision is that Drama should be included in the National Curriculum as a distinct topic but merely after the creative activity of relevant success standards is added. Once there is an acceptable measuring expression in topographic point Drama would so profit from inclusion. As it stands at present at that place does non look to be sufficient stairss in topographic point to recognize Drama pupils ‘ success.

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