The aim of this study was to explore how meaning-making activity can be expressed and shaped in the crossover between drama in education and social media. This study concerns the use of empirical material from an educational drama project called #iLive, which was designed and implemented, on four different occasions with a total of 89 students from upper secondary schools in Norway in autumn 2015. The results indicated that operating in the crossover between drama and social media was a way of challenging the aesthetic qualities of drama in education. For instance, it was found that the way in which social media simultaneously frames several platforms for social interaction and blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality was different from working with fiction in relation to the teaching and learning of drama. Meaning-making processes in educational drama often tend to mediate through the vehicle of fiction by asking questions like what is the play really about? Such challenges, and the fresh questions that were raised as part of the project, led me to the philosopher Jacques Rancière’s “aesthetic regime” (2004) and his notion of dissensus. In the analysis, I adapted his theory as a theoretical framework for the discussion of how social media can revitalise the teaching and learning of drama. Based on this, I suggest that meaning-making processes in the crossover between drama and social media can be described as transformative, in that they redistribute and re-negotiate fragments of fiction or reality, and involve border-crossing activities between the notions of art and non-art.
Arts education in Western Australian primary schools consist of learning opportunities outlined by mandated curriculum. However, assumptions underlying this curriculum involving access, resources and support impact schools’ capacity to implement the curriculum without them being adequately addressed by the written curriculum. Drawing on the policy enactment theory of Ball, Maguire, and Braun (2012), four contextual variables (situated contexts, professional cultures, material contexts and external factors) are used to highlight the differences between the written published curriculum and the implemented, practised curriculum. Drawing on interviews with 24 participants across four schools issues of geographic location, use of arts specialists, appropriate learning spaces and the stresses associated with mandated literacy and numeracy testing are reported as contextual pressures by this study. This paper details the disruptive interference of these contextual pressures that we describe as ‘noise’. The provision of a better understanding of this contextual landscape brings schools and teachers away from the ‘noise’ of disruption and closer to curriculum harmony.
This research incorporates various projects to address issues of diversity in a rural Korean community with bicultural children. The interdisciplinary activities in the projects seek to help students better understand their interracial peers, accept diversity, and not engage in bullying and teasing behaviors. In addition, the social psychology projects attempt to help students develop a more open mind about each other’s cultures. It also discusses how educators may be able to develop a more comprehensive and holistic curriculum on the topic of cross-cultural education.
“Strange Fruit”, a song popularized by Billie Holiday in 1939, paints a gruesome picture of racial violence suffered by former African-American slaves following Reconstruction, 1863-1877 (Foner, 2011). While many scholars have analyzed the lyrics of “Strange Fruit”, research that focuses on young people’s reaction to the song is scarce. This study explores the impact of Holiday’s performance of the song on students at a New England Research University. Institutional survey software was used to create an online questionnaire that participants (n= 40) answered in a controlled environment. The findings indicate feelings of disgust, anger, shame and sadness after participants listened to “Strange Fruit”. Although few students could indicate the song’s time-period, many recognized the atrocities committed against African-Americans since slavery and the discrimination that continues. “Strange Fruit”, irrespective of whether the participants knew the background of the song, provokes a powerful reaction against racial violence, one which demonstrates the song’s value as a cross-curricular pedagogical tool for developing transversal competences linked to socially desirable values and principles.