Call For Papers: The Reflective Teaching Artist: Collected Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field

The Reflective Teaching Artist: Collected Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field
By Daniel A. Kelin, II and Kathryn Dawson
To be published by Intellect Books

As the teaching artist profession grows and diversifies, collecting and sharing foundational wisdom by long-time practitioners will help support the work of early career drama/theatre teaching. This book will provide a recommended framework for reflective drama/theatre teaching artist practice as a resource for individuals in the college/university, professional theatre and/or arts organization settings. To illustrate the framework, accessible case studies of demonstrated practices written by drama/theatre teaching artists from a range of contexts will be shared. We hope to inspire students, teaching artists and arts organizations to explore the depth and breadth of drama/theatre teaching artist practice through reflection on and clarification of their core philosophies and beliefs.

Seeking insight into your process

We seek case study submissions from drama/theatre teaching artists that describe a specific drama/theatre program, project, production or residency workshop, focusing on the choices, philosophies, external influences, pedagogies and theories (learning, cultural, gender, queer, etc.) that shape the drama learning experience design, implementation and assessment. A clear focus on how and why choices are made throughout the practice is desired. Case studies should reference most, if not all, of the Component Criteria outlined below by the book’s authors.

Submission proposals

Please submit a 250-word summary of your proposed submission that makes considered use of the Component Criteria provided in the book outline below. Include the guiding question/s, the context and purpose (specific need/condition of participants if useful), and philosophies, external influences, pedagogies and/or theories that contributed to the planning, implementation, and assessment of the program, project, production or residency workshop.

Send submissions or inquiries to:

Daniel A. Kelin, II, Education Director, Honolulu Theatre for Youth/Teaching Artist, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Kathryn Dawson, Clinical Assistant Professor and Director, Drama for Schools, University of Texas at Austin

Deadline for 250-word description: March 15, 2012

If selected, we will provide you with guidance on developing your submission to 1500 words. A first draft will be due August 1, 2012. If your submission is selected for the book, you will receive contributor credit and byline.

Book Description

The purpose of this book is to: 1) encourage early and mid-career drama/theatre teaching artists to consider and define philosophies and approaches that inform their practice; 2) provide a set of questions to guide the teaching artists’ reflection about their practice through the lens of related, accessible educational and drama/theatre theory; and 3) help teaching artists connect their practice to a wide-range of better practices shared through case study examples from fellow practitioners.

Book Structure

SECTION ONE—Defining the Field

What is drama and drama-based practice? Who does it? When and where is it done? Who participates?
This section defines specific terms related to the practice of guiding students in and through drama. Terms come from the area of drama/theatre and education, providing teaching artists an ability to discuss and describe their practice to both audiences.

SECTION TWO—Preparing to Practice

Defining your goals and your process: Why are you doing it? What makes this work necessary and relevant? What constitutes quality and effectiveness?
This section presents a flexible set of components that contribute to quality, effective lessons with either drama-focused or drama-based learning experiences. A series of questions related to the context (location and population) and personal and/or programmatic goals will encourage readers to interrogate previous practice and consider how educational theory might inform future choices.


1) What core values, learning theories, or philosophies inform your drama learning experience?

2) Which established practices (educational and drama/theatre) or methodologies inform your instructional design?

3) How does context shape your instructional design?

4) What are the learning goals?

5) What compelling question is being explored?

6) How is prior knowledge/experience accessed?

7) How is power shared and negotiated?

8) How is the aesthetic of Drama/Theatre embedded within the instructional design?

9) How is time to create, perform, and respond balanced within the instructional design?

10) How is student achievement assessed?

11) How does this experience impact what you know or want to know about teaching artist practice? How will it shape your future work?

SECTION THREE-Examples from the Field

What does quality, effective drama/theatre teaching artist practice look like? Who facilitates it? Where is it done and why?
The book will conclude with a collection of case studies written by practicing teaching artists from various orientations, experiences and geography.

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