A Study of the Continuing Impact of Concepts Learned During Theatre Arts Education in the Lives of Ten Shaker Theatre Arts Department Graduates

Gallaway, Ned, Educational Psychology - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Covert, Robert, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Education research literature has shown that theatre arts education provides a range of academic and social-emotional benefits to various age groups; however, prior research has not specifically looked at the persistent nature of learned concepts of a high school theatre arts education in the post-secondary lives of graduates. The focus of this study was to discover what concepts learned as part of theatre arts education persisted in the lives of high school graduates, to describe the context in which the concepts were being applied, and to discover if advantages were gained. The qualitative study presents interview data from ten Shaker Heights High School Theatre Arts Department participants who graduated during the period of 1979 to 2005. A review of the theatre arts education literature was completed and the researcher developed a framework for understanding the persistence of concepts learned as part of theatre arts education as based on the conceptual frameworks of Eisner (1999) and McCarthy et al (2004). Learned concepts were identified as theatre-arts based, theatre-arts related, or ancillary and occurred in the contexts of private, private with public spillover, or public. The benefits were identified as intrinsic or instrumental in nature. The content analysis of the interview data uncovered the following emergent themes as persisting after graduation: confidence, technique, self awareness, communication, observation, body as instrument, pedagogy, collaboration, awareness of the other, language emersion, passion for theatre, flexible purposing, expectation of professionalism, process, identity, role of theatre, and social development. A discussion of the findings is presented as well as recommendations for future theatre arts education research.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
Theater education, drama education, theatre arts education, arts education, high school theatre arts education, long term impact of theatre arts education, continuing impact of theatre arts education, persistence of theatre arts education, secondary theatre arts education, Shaker Theatre Arts Department education, concepts learned from theatre arts education, outcomes of theatre arts education, arts education research, theatre arts education research,, drama education research, post secondary impact of theatre arts education, long term impact of theatre arts education
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