The teacher as co-creator of drama. A phenomenological study of the experiences and reflections of Irish primary school teachers
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This dissertation explores the ‘lived’ experience of seven primary school teachers co-creating drama in an Irish context. Co-creating drama can best be described as the coming together of teacher and students in a creative enterprise. The experience centres on the notion of the teacher as a co-artist, whereby they enliven qualities of creativity such as a “willingness to play, experiment, be a partner with learners, and to take risks” (Craft 1997, p89). Co-creating is distinguished by the autonomous behaviour of the students and the artistic act of creating something of value to the group. It resonates distinctly within the theoretical frame of constructivism, as well as with more current inquiries of collaborative and creative drama practices. Classroom drama in an Irish context remains largely under-researched. It is argued that the knowledge base for teacher education should come from the teachers’ experiences in the classroom, but there has yet to be an in-depth study of teachers’ lived experiences of drama education in Ireland. In order to address this, a phenomenological inquiry was conducted into the experiences of teachers cocreating drama, with a view to gaining an in-depth understanding of the experience as perceived by them. Through a series of interventions and interviews, the teachers’ experiences and reflections were explored in order to portray the essence of the phenomenon. The analysis of the interviews has led to a multi-faceted understanding of co-creating drama. Three main themes emerged. The teachers discuss the practical implications of navigating the co-creating experience, the importance of teacher commitment, and the outcomes of co-creating drama.