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Theorising Drama as Moral Education

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Although it is commonly assumed within schools that drama has a place within moral education, there is very little theory or analysis to support the assumption. This article sketches a theoretical framework to show how and in what ways drama can make a distinctive contribution to the field. Drawing upon Stenhouse (1975) it proposes a broad distinction between moral instruction and moral induction and analyses drama's potential contribution to both areas. In so doing, it draws links between the cultural practices of the theatre and those of the drama classroom, analysing the moral potential of the dramatic experience through five theoretical lenses. These include the enacted nature of dramatic narrative; the association between drama and the learning of rules; the communal function of drama as a public artform; dialogue and dialogism in drama; and the relationship between emotion, reason and moral engagement in drama.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-12-01

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