Teacher in role

Teacher in role

Teacher in role is a method of teaching that utilizes techniques of drama to facilitate education. It is a holistic teaching method designed to integrate critical thought, examination of emotion and moral values and factual data to broaden the learning experience and make it more relevant to everyday life situations.

If the role of a teacher is to teach, the role of a student must be to learn. However, it has been agreed that learning is not only an exercise in reading and reciting facts, but in gaining a deeper insight of events and situations. This is where drama becomes an invaluable tool. Through the use of drama and dramatic conventions a teacher does not only teach and learn the "what" but also the "why" and "how".

What is a role?

We each adopt different 'roles' in everyday situations, these roles change with the situation, we all have numerous roles in life. We can imagine those roles as hats that we wear at appropriate times (eg. Son, Brother, Teacher, Employee etc). These roles have "implied" behaviour, which we all know. It is this implied social behaviour which we can use in drama and dramatic situations to create deeper understanding and meanings.

Mantle of the expert

Mantle of the Expert is a drama in education device designed by Dorothy Heathcote. In Mantle of the Expert, students are in-role as experts in any given area. They cannot be simply told that they are experts, they have to really take on the role, and feel as if they are experts. This can be done through a number of character development games or exercises. The teacher is generally in-role in Mantle of the Expert, and provides a structure upon which the students can build to gradually progress to more independent learning. Mantle of the Expert is described, explained and exemplified in the book 'Drama for Learning: Dorothy Heathcote's Mantle of the Expert Approach to Education', by Dorothy Heathcote and Gavin Bolton. [http://www.mantleoftheexpert.com Mantle Of The Expert Website]
By using role-play, the teacher gives them a way to view and think about a situation using the "implied" behaviour for the role they are given. Also in turn, the teacher can allow the students to become in charge of their own learning and facilitate them in it. We empower the individual making their expertise greater than our own. Through role-playing, they gain knowledge of what the role entails.

External sources

* [http://www.dramaresource.com/resources/techniques/index.htm Dramaresource.com] Description of several effective drama techniques and how to put them into practice
* [http://www.geocities.com/d_matwell01/learning.html] Extensive bibliography of drama in education
* [http://www.ite.org.uk/ite_topics/drama_at_KS1-2/012.php] Teacher is Role, theory and practice

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