Drama and Theatre Education

The Program of Drama and Theatre Education

Relevant programs have currently been set up in some universities and colleges in Britain, Australia and America, among which the University of Warwick, a Top 10 University in Britain, enjoys highest prestige and first-class faculty in this regard.

The program at the University of Warwick aims to providing schools, educational institutions and community centres with courses and teaching methods. Boasting a scientific structure and richly-experienced teachers with wide-ranging interests, it enjoys a considerable flexibility and accordingly satisfies students who come from various academic and cultural backgrounds. Based on students’ professional backgrounds as well as career experiences and aspirations, teachers help them choose topics of term papers and directions of their graduate theses. Through one-year programs of academic study, students are equipped with fundamental theories of drama and theatre education along with teaching and research skills. After graduation, they are capable enough to work as lecturers in the area of drama and theatre education at schools, consultants at theatres, educational officials in governments, head community theatres or apply for PhD.

As a program which integrates academic theories and practice, it attaches great importance to the balance of teaching theory and making artistic work. During my stay there, chairs were arranged in a circle in the first-half class and theoretical learning was conducted; in the second-half period, chairs were all removed and each student was asked to engage in the workshop. Theories were understood by means of practice and teachers imparted drama experience and teaching approaches step by step and hand by hand.

Thanks to a good cooperation with a few drama and educational institutions, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the college arranges workshops and offers students chances to watch dramas from time to time; it also invites distinguished specialists in drama education such as John O’Toole to conduct workshops or give lectures; in addition, it organises students to participate in drama education summits and observe experienced teachers giving class and even assisting them in making practice at local schools. With a variety of teaching and learning forms together with a wealth of practical activities, this program stimulates students to consolidate acquired knowledge, broaden horizons and build resources, thus helping them to lay a solid foundation for their future academic research and teaching.

The principal teacher in this program, Professor Joe Winston, is a leading figure in the field. He is widely published. He takes deep interests in aesthetic education, the role of stories in drama education, application of Shakespeare in teaching and second language teaching with the aid of drama. He has also published many books about drama education, such as Beauty and Education, Beginning Drama:4-11 (which has a Chinese edition), Drama, Literacy and Moral Education 5-11 (also in a Chinese edition) and also edited Drama Education and Second Language Learning. Motivated by a long-term interest in China, he has visited Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou more than once and carried out workshops and other teaching activities there. Exchange with China’s education industry and accumulated experience of teaching Chinese students allow him to develop a better understanding of China’s educational environment and background as well as demands of Chinese students.

Professor Jonathan Neelands, another well-known teacher in the college, serves as the chairman of the Department of Drama and Theatre Education at Warwick and is the prize-winner of the National Quality Teaching Award enacted by the British Higher Education Academy. His sensitivity to education modes under different political systems allows students from different educational backgrounds to have deep insights into education.

Rachel King, a major lecturer, used to be the class manager here. She is quite experienced in dealing with specific problems and urgent requirements that Chinese students encounter in their learning processes. Taking all elements mentioned above into account, Warwick is a second-to-none choice for Chinese students to study Drama and Theatre Education.

I would like to emphasise that as an educational discipline, Drama and Theatre Education is especially created for students who will devote to education in their future career and therefore applicants with only a drama background should think twice.

Since this is an interdisciplinary major, anyone with education or drama background is qualified to apply and applicants with backgrounds in both are preferred. It is not necessary for them to have teacher’s certificates, but they should not only have interests in teaching children, and have interest in working in local schools where they can gain practical experience before going to study in Britain, which will definitely benefit their academic life here. Besides, they are required to submit a personal statement, in which causes for selecting this program are clarified.

MA Drama Education and English Language Teaching (ELT), a new program in teaching English by means of drama, is set up in the college. Applicants interested in it can get more information from the Warwick website.



由於華威與外界一些戲劇及教育機構有著良好的合作關係,例如皇家莎士比亞公司(Royal Shakespeare Company)、伯明翰話劇團劇院(Birmingham Repertory Theatre)等,院系會不時組織交流工作坊和演出觀摩;院系還會不時邀請國際上其他傑出教育戲劇從事者,例如約翰·歐突爾(John O’Toole)等來為學生開展工作坊或進行授課;此外,院系還會組織學生參加相關的(戲劇)教育峰會,及去當地學校觀摩教學經驗豐富的老師進行現場教學,並協助有意願的同學選擇當地的學校進行教學實踐。多樣的教學形式加上豐富的業內活動使得學習生活立體,大大有助於學生鞏固知識、開闊眼界、結識同行、建立資源,為今後從事學術研究或教學工作打下基礎。

該專業的主要授課老師喬·溫斯頓(Joe Winston)教授是該領域的領頭人物之一,他在各種專業期刊上有諸多發表,眾多文章被國內外該領域認作最具職業及專業性的學術文章。他的學術研究領域包括美學教育、故事在戲劇教育中的角色、莎士比亞在教學上的應用以及用戲劇來教第二語言。他出版過眾多教育戲劇的書籍,例如 《美和教育(Beauty and Education)》、《開始玩戲劇:4到11歲(Beginning Drama: 4-11)》(已有中文譯本)、《戲劇、語文與道德教育:5到11歲(Drama, Literacy and Moral Education: 5-11)》(已有中文譯本)以及參與編輯的《教育戲劇及第二語言學習(Drama Education and Second Language Learning)》。溫斯頓教授一直以來對中國十分感興趣,他曾屢次造訪北京、上海、廣州開展工作坊及教學活動。數年來通過與中國教育行業的交流以及對中國學生的教學經驗的積累使得他對中國的教育環境、背景以及中國學生的需求有了很好的了解。

另一著名的授課老師喬納森·尼蘭茲(Jonothan Neelands)教授是華威大學教育戲劇和劇場專業的主席,也是英國高等教育學院所設立的國家級優質教學獎的獲得成員。他對不同政治體制下的教學體系具有相當的敏銳度,使得來自不同政治環境背景的學生對教育能夠產生更加深入更有針對性的理解。

另一主力講師瑞秋·金(Rachel King)曾做過課程負責人,她對處理中國學生在學習過程當中出現的具體問題和需求有非常充分的經驗,這使得對於中國學生來說,華威成為選擇學習教育戲劇和劇場十分理想之地。



另外,院系今年開設了另一門用戲劇方式來進行英文教學的碩士學位課程--戲劇教育與英語教育(MA Drama Education and English Language Teaching (ELT)),有興趣的同學可以去網站搜尋相關信息。

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