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Critical myths in drama as education

By Michael J. Finneran

Abstract

Drama as education is a relatively young concern, which has been primarily occupied with developing a strong tradition of practice. As a result it has suffered from a dearth of theoretical and critical engagement. This situation has led to the existence of a range of unquestioned beliefs and practices that underpin much of the governance, traditions, knowledge and operation of drama in educational settings. The thesis examines the existence and location of the community of drama as education, reviews the discourse of the community, and seeks to understand previous attempts at demythologising.\ud This thesis proposes a critical understanding of the idea of myth in order that it can be used in a positive and beneficial manner. Utilising a post-modern critical research methodology, it constructs a bricolage of theoretical perspectives that collectively are used to locate, identify and interrogate areas of myth. A new typography of myth reveals four dominant areas of operation, and examines the manner in which myths impact upon the educational and cultural institutions in which they occur. The forces that conceive of, operate and perpetuate myth are understood to be language, power and ideology. These elements operate in conjunction with each other, with human agency at the helm.\ud The thesis is in nine chapters. Chapter 1 sets the scene and introduces the range of the research. It is followed by Chapter 2 which seeks to put in place a range of theoretical perspectives upon which the methodology is constructed. Chapter 3 provides further theoretical insight into the location of the research, and Chapter 4 constructs a critical mythic bricolage, defines its usage, and proposes a contemporary typology of myth. Chapter 5 identifies the ‘Point of Entry Text’ – the primary school drama curriculum in the Republic of Ireland, and deals with the category of governing myths. Chapter 6 is concerned with traditional myths, Chapter 7 examines epistemological myths, and Chapter 8 teases out operational myths. Finally, Chapter 9 looks to the future of myth after demythologising, and seeks to begin engaging with the inevitable process of remythologising

Topics: LB, PN2000
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1987

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