Volume 17 Number 22 July 23, 2016

Teachers’ Reconceptualization of Young Children’s Identities and Abilities Through Research-Based Drama Professional Development

Sultan Kilinc
Arizona State University, USA

Kathryn Chapman
Arizona State University, USA

Michael F. Kelley
Arizona State University, USA

Korbi Adams
Childsplay Theatre Inc., USA

Jenny Millinger
Childsplay Theatre Inc., USA

Citation: Kilinc, S., Chapman, K., Kelley, M. F., Adams, K., Millinger, J. (2016). Teachers’ reconceptualization of children’s identities and abilities through researched-based drama professional development. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 17(22). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v17n22/.


This study examines how the Early Years Educators at Play (EYEPlay) professional development (PD) program transformed preschool teachers’ reconceptualization of children’s learning identities and abilities. The EYEPlay PD model was a yearlong program, which integrated drama strategies into literacy practices within classroom contexts. Cultural-historical activity theory and Holland’s (1998) identity theory were used to understand how EYEPlay PD practices mediated teachers’ conceptualization of children’s learning identities and abilities. Twelve semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted with 19 preschool teachers. The data were analyzed via constant-comparative and interpretive methods. The study findings show that the EYEPlay PD activities mediated the teachers’ reconceptualization of the children’s learning identities and abilities in relation to developmental age and dis/ability status.

Visual Abstract

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