Spring 2020 - EDUC 852 G001

Inquiry, Creativity and Community: Drama in Education (5)

Class Number: 3507

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    EDB 7610, Burnaby



This course involves an exploration of basic issues and questions which underlie the nature and provision of drama education in the schools. It includes a critical examination of the claims made in the theoretical literature regarding the nature and aims of drama education and an exploration of the implications for drama education curriculum and pedagogy. Equivalent Courses: EDUC721


Performance in education exists today as a creative, critical, communal, and conceptual practice of inquiry. Performative inquiry in arts education seeks to challenges the status quo, and imagine new possibilities of engagement, venturing across curricular boundaries of creative exploration. Drama in education invites, challenges, and questions social and individual practices of participation, and seeks to voice new ways of engaging participants in their learning and in understanding who they are as individuals, and in community. We will consider performative inquiry as an act of curricular exploration, social and political resistance, and creative presence.  

There will be shared reading groups, and a variety of collaborative drama/movement and related arts activities including role drama, playbuilding, and improvisation which will act as springboards to our conversations and explorations. We will work with the resources within the group, and explore how performative inquiry creates possibilities of new meaning-making in your practice of inquiry and teaching, while creating community.


The course investigates the theory and practice of performative inquiry as an action-space of research and learning. We will look at issues of performative writing, performing pedagogy, and arts-based inquiry through theatre arts and movement, so that participants will have an understanding of drama, theatre, and the integrated arts as action sites of learning, inquiry, community, activism, and performance. Participants will by the end of the course have an embodied theoretical understanding of how meaning making, inquiry, activism, and community becomes possible within what Peter Brooke calls, an empty space.


  • E-Postcards-Write reflective commentaries regarding your experience and learning from the articles and activities in class. Each postcard will be a reflection of a key idea, experience, or event and how it informs your practice, and understandings of yourself as a learner. Choose one quote from your reading that supports or opens your thoughts regarding your experience. Include an image as a performative interplay between text and image. These will be emailed to everyone between classes and submitted with a reflective piece at the end of the course. The purpose of sharing our postcards is to continue our conversation after the class, and during the week(s) in between our meeting, to encourage reflection on what we have experienced together, and to create a collective “textbook” of learning. 30%
  • Performative Inquiry-During the semester, in consultation with the instructor, participants will design and undertake a performative inquiry in an arts form that they wish to explore. This project may be undertaken within the classroom, through your artistic area of practice, or in collaboration with others. A presentation of your work will include written documentation of your inquiry and a sharing of your learning and insights. 40%
  • Reflective Paper-Upon conclusion of the course, drawing from the articles and your experiences within the course, your performative inquiry, and the postcards, write a reflective paper that illustrates your journey, your insights, quotes and moments that “stopped you” (Appelbaum, 1995, Fels, 2010). What does drama in education offer? What matters in your own practice in relationship to what you have learned in the course, what key experiences and ideas will you take with you into your future scholarly and artistic inquiry? 30%



Any additional materials or supplies will be related to the participants’ chosen  performative inquiry and the costs required which will be at the participants’ discretion and responsibility.

Please note that we will be attending a theatre performance together, as yet to be determined. There are the usual risks involved when students are travelling to and from class, in terms of transportation which will be the responsibility of each individual to arrange to meet at the theatre, where the play will be held, and then arrange their own transportation home.  The supplemental fees will be the cost of a theatre ticket and transportation to the theatre (TBA) which will be the responsibility of the student.


Fels, L. & Belliveau, G. (2008). Exploring Curriculum: Performative Inquiry, Role Drama & Learning, Vancouver, B.C.: Pacific Educational Press. (Available from Instructor or in SFU bookstore).

Cohen-Cruz, J. (2010). Engaging Performance. Theatre as Call and Response. London, England. Routledge
ISBN: 0-415-47214-8

Nachmanovitch, S. (1990). Free play, improvisation in life and art. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam
ISBN: 0-87477-631-7

De Saint-Exupéry, A. 1943/2000). The Little Prince. Florida, USA. Harcourt
(many used copies on-line)


Tarlington, C. & Verriour, P. (1991). Role Drama. Ontario: Pembroke.

Tarlington, C. & Michaels, W., (1995). Building Plays. Ontario: Pembroke.

O’Neill, C. (1995).   Drama worlds: A Framework for Process Drama. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Neelands, J. & Goode, T. (2000). Structuring Drama Work. New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html