When adolescents create and act in their own plays, something more than a production and performance results. As Jan Mandell and Jennifer Wolf attest, the power of the arts in learning can lead to a real passion for justice and the courage to question. For teachers, it can mean new ways of thinking about the gifts and talents of their students as learners and explicators of their own skills and knowledge.
This book documents what happened when Wolf traveled to Minnesota to observe and participate in Mandell's drama classes. Quickly, both began to dive into research to question more intensely what occurs in the classroom, document the social nature of student learning, and study teacher change and conditions of professional development. Their focus is on how the accumulation and adaptation of knowledge takes place as students and teachers act together in their learning.
Mandell and Wolf offer a highly practical model of teacher research as well as a detailed method of performing arts education. They include in every chapter academic essays, classroom activities, theatre exercises, and interviews with students. They supply more support in the appendixes-an annotated bibliography, sample lesson plans, coaching statements, research guidelines, and more.