Traditionally drama in schools has been seen either as a learning medium with a wide range of curricular uses or as a subject in its own right. This paper argues that the importance of drama in schools is in the processes of social and artistic engagement and experiencing of drama rather than in its outcomes. The paper contrasts the pro-social emphasis in the ensemble model of drama with the pro-technical and limited range of learning in subject-based approaches which foreground technical knowledge of periods, plays, styles and genres. The ensemble-based approach is positioned in the context of professional theatre understandings of ensemble artistry and in the context of revolutionary shifts from the pro-technical to the pro-social in educational and cultural policy making in England. Using ideas drawn from McGrath and Castoriadis, the paper claims that the ensemble approach provides young people with a model of democratic living
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