Spring 2024 - EDUC 852 G001

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

Class Number: 5646

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Tue, 4:30–9:20 p.m.



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 group work and a variety of collaborative drama/movement and related arts activities including role drama, playbuilding, improvisation, and dance/movement 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. There will also be room for students to develop individual performances and performative responses to reading. We will also attend a performance as a class and you will be encouraged to go to another performance of your own. We will also visit the Surrey Art Gallery together.

Each class will consist of lecture, group discussion, writing, practices of physicality as movement/dance, walking, somatic practices, and connection to the natural world.  It is important to note that we will often meet in other locations in order to facilitate the connection to physicality and creation as well as access to a dance studio and galleries.  There will be several field trips including visits to Surrey Art Gallery, a performance we will attend together and a time to share a site-specific performance at the UBC Botanical Garden on a weekend to be determined. A detailed


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, performance art,  dance and movement, so that participants will have an understanding of performing arts as sites of 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


  • E-POSTCARDS - Write reflective commentaries regarding your experience and learning from the reading 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 in a performance, through your artistic area of practice, connection to learning and can be done alone 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. 30%
  • PERFORMANCE AUTOBIOGRAPHY - This is your opportunity to explore how your own lived experience, story, autobiographical narrative can be woven into a performance. You can utilize any artistic medium whether that is singing, instrumentation, spoken word, poetry, performance art, dance, theatre, visual installation, visual art, comedy, or combination of forms as a vehicle to share parts of your life. This piece can be an integration of taking key moments that are important for you and let them speak through performance. As always, the process is more important than the product. The last two classes (Apri. 2, April 9) we will be designated to share your final work and a one pager of your reflection connected to your work will be handed in. 40%


There will also be a few dates off-campus for field trips

Please note that we will be attending a performance together, most likely the Push Festival. The cost will be around $30 with a group rate. 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 performance 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.

Dates off campus TBD 

January 23 Push Festival  7:30 pm Meet there. https://pushfestival.ca/#show-sound-of-the-beastRevue Stage – 1601 Johnson Street, Granville Island

Dates off-campus that are solidified.

March 5  Surrey Art Gallery 13750 88 Ave, Surrey.

We will meet at 4:30 at the gallery for a tour. https://www.surrey.ca/arts-culture/surrey-art-gallery



Fels, L. & Belliveau, G. (2008). Exploring Curriculum: Performative Inquiry, Role Drama & Learning, Vancouver, B.C.: Pacific Educational Press.

ISBN 978-1-895766-84-4.

Hersey, T. (2022). Rest is resistance: A manifesto. Little Brown Spark. ISBN 978-0-316-36521-5

Nachmanovitch, S. (1990). Free play, improvisation in life and art. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam

ISBN  0-87477-631-7 Online access in SFU Library

Snowber, C.N. (2022). Dance, place and poetics: Site-specific performance as a portal to knowing.Springer/Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 978-3-031-09715-7 Online access in SFU Library

Supplemental Articles supplied.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

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 website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.