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Drama in higher education for sustainability: work-based learning through fiction?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0609-6595
Number of Authors: 12018 (English)In: Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, ISSN 2042-3896, E-ISSN 2042-390X, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 337-352Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to highlight the use of drama in the context of professional learning for sustainability, and specifically, a drama workshop on sustainability for in-service teachers. The workshop was designed to explore environmental problems from several perspectives, by using drama techniques like bodily expressions, visualisations and role-play.

Design/methodology/approach - Data are drawn from questionnaires evaluating the effects of a drama workshop delivered in Helsinki in 2017. In total, 15 in-service teachers answered open-ended questions. Responses from experienced teachers were chosen as particularly interesting in relation to work-based learning.

Findings - The findings demonstrate that drama work contributes to education for sustainability in terms of increased self-awareness, critical reflections and signs of transformation; experienced professional learners bring their workplace context into the university, which enriches teaching and learning; and sustainability is a non-traditional subject in need of non-traditional teaching approaches.

Research limitations/implications - The results of this small-scale study are only valid for this particular group.

Practical implications - The study gives an example of how applied drama can contribute to learning for sustainability in higher education.

Originality/value - This paper contributes to a growing literature concerning how drama allows participants to work on real problems, from a safe position in a fictive situation, providing both closeness and distance. When students become involved in an as-if situation, it leads to increased motivation and practice-oriented learning. As the content of sustainability can be challenging, drama work offers a meaningful context in which concepts and issues can be explored. Fictive situations may contribute to more realistic learning experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, no 3, p. 337-352
Keywords [en]
Role-play, Education for sustainability, Applied drama, Drama workshop, In-service teachers
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159179DOI: 10.1108/HESWBL-03-2018-0034ISI: 000440938300009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-159179DiVA, id: diva2:1241561
Available from: 2018-08-24 Created: 2018-08-24 Last updated: 2020-01-23Bibliographically approved

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