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Aligning Ontology, Context and Need in a Professional Learning Model in Creative Body-based Pedagogy: Research challenges and opportunities

3 June 2016


11.00am - 12.30pm
MC2-07, Mawson Centre
Mawson Lakes

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Presented by Assistant Professor Katie Dawson and Dr Stephanie Cawthon, University of Texas, Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s Drama for Schools (DFS) program is an applied theatre professional development program in drama-based pedagogy shaped by theories of critical pedagogy and constructivism. DFS partners graduate students and university faculty from the College of Fine Arts and the College of Education with in-service educators in primary and secondary education to explore the potential of the arts to shift the learning culture of classroom.

This interactive lecture examines how DFS uses a contextually responsive research approach in each of its local, national and international school site partnerships. Specifically, we focus on two research projects: (1) An interstate partnership with an early years primary school that focuses on arts and literacy and utilizes Facebook and an online learning design document to manage research from a distance; and, (2) A local, multi-school, creative learning initiative that uses arts-based research tools to examine the impact of a two week intensive training model over time. Using these two cases, we will illustrate how the research methodology and lines of inquiry both reflect the ontological nature of the DFS program and honor the unique contexts and needs of individual partnerships. Creative Body-based Learning strategies will be used throughout the session to engage participants in active, co-constructed meaning making and discussion.

Katie Dawson

Assistant Professor Katie Dawson researches professional learning in arts integration and teaching artist pedagogy and practice. Through her role as Director of Drama for Schools, at The University of Texas at Austin, Dawson leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners who examine the use of drama and body-based pedagogies in range of learning environments. Dawson received the Creative Drama Award and the Winifred Ward Scholar Award from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education along with multiple teaching awards from her university, where she serves as a Provost Teaching Fellow. Her scholarship has appeared in numerous US and international journals. Katie’s co-authored book, The Reflexive Teaching Artist: Collective Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field, received the 2015 Distinguished Book Award from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education.

Stephanie Cawthon

Dr Stephanie Cawthon investigates issues of equity and access in education from multiple vantage points. Cawthon is a US expert on issues related to standardized assessment and students who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly in the context of US accountability reforms such as No Child Left Behind. Cawthon also explores assessment issues such as the effects of accommodations or item modifications on test scores for students with disabilities and English Language Learners. She is the Associate Director for Research and Evidence Synthesis at pepnet2, a Technical Assistance and Dissemination project that serves individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.  In addition, Cawthon is a part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners looking at the potential of drama-based instruction for students from diverse backgrounds. This project focuses targeting teacher's pedagogical knowledge through innovative, kinesthetic, and collaborative teaching strategies.





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