The paper examines two quite different examples of drama and theatre education in order to identify how drama curricula are shaped both by external forces and by a common pedagogic and artistic tradition or trajectory. The paper argues that the first and most significant shaping of curriculum is in response to the ideological and political imperatives of the government in power and that this shaping shifts in response to shifts in the field of power. However, the paper argues for maintaining a critical and pro-social pedagogy as the core of any drama curriculum whatever its technical appearance might be. This pedagogy is identified through the two cases and placed in a wider context of pedagogic and artistic thought and practice with the suggestion that by better understanding how the rich traditions of drama and theatre education sit within a broader struggle to give young people pro-social and critical pedagogic and artistic opportunities, drama can strengthen its resolve during periods of curriculum reform
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