Teaching and Learning in an Undergraduate Ethnodrama Course

Mello, Robin
April 2008
Arts & Learning Research Journal;2008, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p115
Academic Journal
In this study, I examine the impact of arts-based methods and constructivist teaching practices on student learning. I focus on a general education theatre course designed to introduce students to the process and practice of ethno-theatre making. The efficacy of the systems and curricula employed and how the course was conceptualized and assessed are core aspects of the paper. Findings indicate that careful course construction and design, prior to implementation, significantly influenced students' theatre making skills. Students also benefited from interacting with others and investing in the process of creating inclusive ethno-dramas. Moreover, students profited from the process of listening to others' stories and they were able to produce pieces of ethno-theatre that were meaningful and transformative. Finally, the power of arts-based inquiry—autobiographical, heuristic, ethnodramatically and ethnographically-based art—in and of itself should be recognized and that empathic learning through listening and theatre-making can lead to significant shifts in perception and awareness on the part of learners.


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