An experimental investigation of some effects of classroom drama on personality.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The study seeks objective experimental support of the use of drama in education as a significant means of aiding personality development. An historical review is made of educational theory and practice relating to child drama, followed by an examination of contemporary practices and theories. An analysis is given of readings relating first to drama as an aspect of play, treating, a number of theories of learning, and then to role and personality theories. A synthesis of views is advanced as a model of the way in which drama's use of interaction with others may provide a developmental framework. It may enhance pupils' stimulus-seeking and their need to experience effective competence in dealings with their environment, so opening a channel to heightened creativity and 'self-actualization'. The hypotheses seek to confirm that junior secondary pupils undertaking a drama programme will show enhanced scores on certain personality variables when compared with non-drama pupils. Concepts tested include self-acceptance and self-inconstancy; conditions assessed are creativity, empathy, extraversion/introversion and neuroticism. Experimental and control groups are described, selection and creation of tests detailed and a record of the experimental programme is presented. The findings neither prove nor disprove the hypotheses; interruption of the experimental programme may have muted the measurable effects of drama. Despite their lack of statistical significance, many changes are noted as broadly supporting the educational usefulness of drama. Lines of future research are suggested.