1st Edition

Transforming Teaching and Learning with Active and Dramatic Approaches
Engaging Students Across the Curriculum

ISBN 9780415531016
Published September 13, 2013 by Routledge
348 Pages

USD $67.95

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Book Description

A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2014!

How can teachers transform classroom teaching and learning by making pedagogy more socially and culturally responsive, more relevant to students’ lives, and more collaborative? How can they engage disaffected students in learning and at the same time promote deep understanding though high-quality teaching that goes beyond test preparation?

This text for prospective and practicing teachers introduces engaging, innovative pedagogy for putting active and dramatic approaches to learning and teaching into action. Written in an accessible, conversational, and refreshingly honest style by a teacher and professor with over 30 years' experience, it features real examples of preschool, elementary, middle, and high school teachers working in actual classrooms in diverse settings. Their tales explore not only how, but also why, they have changed the way they teach. Photographs and stories of their classroom practice, along with summarizing charts of principles and strategies, both illuminate the critical, cross-curricular, and inquiry-based conceptual framework Edmiston develops and provide rich examples and straightforward guidelines that can support readers as they experiment with using active and dramatic approaches to dialogue, inquiry, building community, planning for exploration, and authentic assessment in their own classrooms.

Table of Contents

Brief Contents

Foreword, Shirley Brice Heath


1. Be Active and Dramatic in Dialogue to Transform Learning
2. Build Community
3. Plan for a Journey of Exploration
4. Teach for Authentic and Critical Inquiry
5. Be Tactical and Strategic to Transform Teaching
6. Assess What You Value in Achievement
7. Embrace the Complexity and Simplicity of Dramatic Pedagogy

Afterword, Cecily O’Neill



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Brian Edmiston is Professor of Drama in Education, The Ohio State University, Department of Teaching & Learning, USA.


"Weaving theory and practice into his narrative, Edmiston paints vivid pictures of teachers and students in action as the students deepen their understanding of content while respecting perspectives other than their own … The chapter on assessment with its critique of the current culture of standardized testing is outstanding as it highlights problems and solutions in evaluation. Photographs, tables, and figures enrich different aspects of the pedagogical and social points Edmiston makes. This is an invaluable guide to involving students at all levels of education. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections." - S. Sugarman, emerita, Vermont State Colleges in CHOICE, July 2014

"I would highly recommend this book, a powerful eulogy to the importance of dramatic pedagogy, of personal realisation and coming-to-know – much needed, it seems to me, in a time of curriculum-as-control. Those who will get the most out of reading it will be those who already have an interest in democratic pedagogies, and dramatic and active techniques for teaching and learning – but on the other hand no particular prior knowledge is required. Edmiston is not blind to the difficulties of the approach and he does discuss the problems (or ‘mis-takes’) as well as the successes." - Teaching English, Victoria Elliott, University of Oxford

“This is a courageous book…. It comes in truth from a topic the author knows well:  the world of drama and dramatic pedagogy…. Relish this volume.” - Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University, USA, from the Foreword

“This book is a ‘must have’ for teachers and teacher candidates alike. Brian Edmiston not only introduces you to drama strategies, he incorporates theory and drama research.  He demonstrates, using photos, interviews, and drama techniques how you might co-author a classroom that is active, collaborative, authentic, and responsive to students’ social and cultural needs.” - Kari-Lynn Winters, Brock University, Canada

“Lively and engaging, this book will help teachers to change not just their classrooms, but the whole ethos of schools for the better, and in particular give a new reason for those millions of students whom the system is failing to come to school, enjoy their education, and find it valuable after all.” - John O’Toole, The University of Melbourne, Australia 

“Any teacher who...aspires to excellence will find practical advice, reassurance, and affirmation on every page of this wise and truthful book. The classrooms that are brought to life here are real places, not utopian locations of perfect pedagogy.”Cecily O’Neill, international authority on process drama and the arts in education, UK & Ireland, from the Afterword