SPARKING LEARNING IN SCIENCE AND DRAMA: SETTING THE SCENE
Jo Raphael, Peta White & Kitty van Cuylenburg
In this chapter we ‘set the scene’ for the diverse science-drama links represented in this book. We consider the various approaches to science and drama and how they are combined, aligned, infused and adapted to generate understandings, insight and engagement in learners. We begin by looking broadly at the discipline areas of arts and sciences, focusing on what they share. Drawing from our personal experiences, we test and reject the notion of a dichotomy. We argue that bringing drama together with science helps students think across the boundaries of disciplines. We recognise that when planning for the future of education it is necessary to understand that students of today live in a time of unprecedented social, economic and environmental change and challenges, alongside opportunities presented by an explosion in scientific knowledge. We explain the ways that bringing science and drama together can help to develop the skills, attitudes, values and creativity that young people will need to thrive in and shape their world. In this chapter we acknowledge that pedagogy of science drama is under theorised and explain how each chapter within this volume makes a contribution towards understanding and exemplifying science and drama as pedagogy. We identify various science/drama models, and propose symbiosis–mutualism, commensalism and parasitism—as a way of understanding the relationship between drama and science disciplines when connected for learning. In particular, we unpack the idea of symbiosis, with a focus on what each discipline can bring to the other. Ultimately, we describe our temporal pedagogical model of intertwined synergy for sparking and generating learning in science and drama.
Science, Drama, Interdisciplinarity, Transdisciplinarity, Symbiosis, Pedagogical models
MUTUALITY AND INTER-RELATIVITY OF DRAMA AND SCIENCE
Tricia Clark-Fookes and Senka Henderson
Drama and science are often considered as pedagogical binaries: one concerned with rationality and the other affect. This chapter will explore the notion of mutuality and the inter-relationships between the two disciplines. Neither discipline in service of the other, but one enriching the other. This positions the two disciplines as mutual and symbiotic. Demonstrated in this chapter is a theoretical approach to interdisciplinary unit design that draws on an understanding of the mutuality of the two disciplines, using the Mantle of the Expert and 5Es Inquiry Model. The unit titled ‘Inter-relationships in Our World’ brings together the content from Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) at Year 9 in both drama and science.
Drama, Science, interdisciplinary, Mantle of the Expert, 5Es Inquiry Model
THE SCIENCE DRAMA PROJECT: MEANING IN THE MIDDLE
Kitty van Cuylenburg
Under the theoretical framing of experiential education (Dewey, 1910) and constructivist learning (Vygotsky, 1978), this research seeks to explore the intersection of Science and Drama, to consider how interdisciplinary teacher practice might develop a more meaningful student experience and understanding of Science as a Human Endeavour (VCAA, 2016) for middle school students in Victoria, Australia. This research uses Self-study Methodology to situate myself–a teacher in my practice–in exploring the research question through self-reflection, dialogue and critical analysis. Data collection methods include using interviews, focus groups and a reflection journal, and engaging with Applied Thematic Analysis to find connections through the collected data. As a teacher-researcher I reframed my understanding of the problem: finding meaningful learning for students was not a result of interdisciplinary practice. I must first consider a pedagogical foundation for student voice, confidence, and authentic connection. I must enable students to ask a human question, and then revisit the experience with students at a later date. Meaning was found not in the moments of the program, but in the meditation on it, and illuminated the critical nature of supporting students to reflect on their learning and experiences.
Science Drama, Interdisciplinarity, Pedagogy, Self-study Methodology
THE TREATMENT OF DR LISTER: INVESTIGATING AND REVISITING A FAMOUS PRIMARY SCIENCE-BASED DRAMA
With ongoing calls to make science learning more engaging for students while building teacher confidence and capacity to teach it, there is value to be found in working with drama-based inquiry models to frame and activate science-based learning. The Dr Lister drama provides an historical model that was documented by renowned drama educators Dorothy Heathcote and John Carroll and other drama educators in the 1980s. An analysis of that work provides the basis for this chapter and may serve to expand contemporary approaches to science education and learning. The use of drama and other artforms provides creative ways to engage children with science learning. Such a transdisciplinary approach also builds student understanding of the multiple roles of artist, scientist and entrepreneur which are integral to the success of any innovation. We can learn from these models of practice to engage in new investigations and inquiries and encourage students to be the creative problem-solvers needed for the current era, when the threat of pandemic and microorganism-based challenges once again has risen to the fore.
Drama pedagogy, Science history, Dramatic framing, Teacher in-role
DRAMATISING THE S AND M IN STEM
Kathryn Paige, Leni Brown, Lisa O’Keeffe and Robyne Garrett
Interdisciplinary science and mathematics learning can be enhanced via the dynamics of drama in the form of creative and body-based learning (CBL). This pedagogical approach allows pre-service teachers to be engaged personally, to express their own ideas and to help students discover meaningful connections to mathematical and science concepts. A professional learning program that was generated through collaboration between a group of South Australian and Texan academics in the areas of mathematics and arts highlighted the potential of CBL to provide new and innovative pedagogical approaches to the teaching of science and mathematics curriculum. This chapter documents strategies in which science and mathematical concepts form the basis of interactive scenarios, role-plays and drama games that offer pedagogical alternatives for teachers and pre-service teachers to engage their own students in developing conceptual understanding. Practical strategies which have been modelled with pre-service teachers, primary teachers and their classes are described. These strategies include: ‘The Truth about Me’; ‘Alphabet Relay’; ‘People, Shelter, Storm’; and the sum of internal angles through the ‘Human Geoboard’ and the ‘Sir Cumference Quest’. Dramatising gears, electrical circuits, dichotomous keys and equitable distribution of world resources allows a focus on particular science and mathematics concepts.
Creative body-based learning, Science, Mathematics, Professional learning, Drama, Pre-service teachers
RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE: DEVELOPING PRIMARY CHILDREN’S CAPABILITY TO ENGAGE WITH SCIENCE THROUGH DRAMA
Delia Baskerville and Dayle M. Anderson
Using drama to position children as expert scientists working on a given commission, supports them to learn about Nature of Science (NoS). Our research working with primary children uses this approach drawn from Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert (Heathcote & Bolton, 1995) to support learning about NoS. The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) places learning about NoS as overarching and compulsory with the purpose of developing children’s science capabilities for citizenship (Bull, 2015; Ministry of Education, 2007). However, children often struggle to develop and identify learning about NoS that is useful for scientific literacy (Lederman & Lederman, 2014; Allchin, 2014). Drama offers creative ways to consider real world issues. Our research therefore aimed to integrate drama and science in equal partnership to help children learn about NoS; we wanted to develop children’s science capability while building their understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change and ways to respond. This chapter presents the refinements made when using two drama tools during the three iterations of this drama-science inquiry process, and identifies the support children need to develop capabilities and understandings about science that help them in engaging with science-related issues such as climate change.
Nature of science, Drama, Integrated curriculum
NEW EDEN: MEDIATING PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ CONCEPTION OF EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
In this chapter the author examines the use of Mantle of the Expert (Heathcote & Bolton, 1995) as a model of integrated curriculum design for pre-service teachers (PSTs), so they can deliver pedagogical approaches enabling their pupils to think critically about the impact of their lifestyles on the environment. Drawing on the pedagogy of dramatic inquiry (Heathcote & Bolton, 1995), primary teacher educators positioned PST’s as a range of experts, working for the fictitious ‘Waste Not Want Not Company’. In these roles, PSTs gained insights concerning the interplay between environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainable development (Colucci-Gray, Camino, Barbiero & Gray, 2006). As naturalists they mapped habitats within a forest setting; as recreations officers they identified possible social and educational uses of the forest; as scientists they analysed water quality; as planners they considered the development of a settlement New Eden, and as agentic environmental advocates they prepared delegate materials for a World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development. Using these approaches, teacher educators simultaneously provided PST’s with a model of integrated curriculum design for subsequent emulation on their school-based placements.
Dramatic inquiry, Education for sustainable development, Mantle of the Expert
ICE AGE IS APPROACHING: TRIGGERING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ INTEREST AND ENGAGEMENT IN GAMIFIED OUTDOOR PLAYFUL LEARNING ACTIVITIES
Pirkko Siklander and Sari Harmoinen
Higher education (HE) is required to educate educational experts who can design teaching and learning processes, which trigger students’ interest, motivate and engage them. Although research has shown the importance of triggers, particularly in challenging situations, academics still lack practical and theoretical examples on how to design inspiring learning experiences. In addition, little is known about the connection of playfulness, gamification and engagement in HE learning processes in outdoor contexts. The aim in this chapter is two-fold. First, we describe a gamified design, which was implemented in higher education studies, in an international master’s degree program. The design was implemented in the forest, and the students studied three concepts–engagement, gamification and collaboration–both by reading scientific articles and through their collaborative experiences in the forest. Second, to analyse students’ engagement in the gamified activities, and see which elements positively trigger their interest and engagement in the activities and which on the other hand negatively affect their interest. The data obtained comprises students’ self-evaluations throughout the activities. In addition, students’ reflections after the course were considered. The results show that the most important triggers are: 1) collaboration and learning together; 2) activity itself, particularly when it is novel and provides feelings of success; and 3) gamification outdoors. Other-directed and intellectual-creative playful triggers were the most evident. Implications for educators are discussed.
Triggers, Engagement, Nature, Playfulness, Gamification
TRANSDISCIPLINARITY: SCIENCE AND DRAMA EDUCATION DEVELOPING TEACHERS FOR THE FUTURE
Jo Raphael and Peta J. White
The following chapter describes what can happen when teacher educators collaborate: a drama pedagogue and a science/sustainability educator. Working together to combine science and drama produced a learning experience for their students that enabled them to experience the ethical dimensions of controversial issues while also learning the science embedded in them. This is considered a transdisciplinary practice as the learning resulted from the combination of both science and drama to produce a space for learning beyond either and both disciplines. Jo and Peta, colleagues and teacher educators applied self-study methodology to explore their practice and resulting student learnings. These teaching and learning practices, by transcending disciplinary boundaries, engaged students and enabled learning and insights difficult to achieve through monodisciplinary approaches. The process can be characterised by the metaphor of symbiosis (commensalism or mutualism). These transdisciplinary pedagogies that embed science understandings through drama strategies are advantageous for pre-service teachers. When these future teachers can experience these practices in a setting where collaboration is modelled and valued, they report a positive influence on their future practices.
Science education, Drama education, Interdisciplinarity, The future of work, Sustainability
ART-SCIENCE EDUCATION IN THE ANTHROPOCENE: EMBODIED METAPHOR WITH PUPPETS AND PERFORMANCE
Shelly Hannigan and Joseph Ferguson
The Melbourne Zoo’s campaign for endangered species (Melbourne Zoos, n.d.), calls for the public to learn about and act on the plight of endangered species. In response to this campaign, researcher-educators designed, implemented and evaluated a sequence of lessons in which art (particularly drama) and science were enmeshed. This learning sequence was designed to support year 10 students from an all-girls school to: 1) learn about endangered species, 2) create puppets of these endangered species using recycled materials, 3) use these puppets in a small mobile ‘theatre in a suitcase’ performance so students could, 4) communicate the story and plight of their assigned endangered species to a young audience (primary and pre-school children, and their parents).
This learning sequence is shared and discussed as a model of teaching and learning art and science education. In doing so, we discuss the power of metaphor that supports young people to connect with science through appreciating the natural world and its species as a ‘shared world’; a world with which they are deeply connected. We argue that these learning experiences offer students an opportunity to respond to environmental issues that when done in interdisciplinary and activist ways can potentially address ecological grief and anxiety issues. We share examples from our data analysis to show how the inclusion of arts with science provided opportunities for students to engage with materiality and for bodily experiences as they created and ‘brought to life’ puppets as metaphorical beings in effective, affective and engaging ways.
Anthropocene, Art-science education, Endangered species, Metaphor, Performance