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Research Seminar November 4th 2019

The Arts Education Research Group are hosting a Drama Seminar as part of the research seminar series 2019-2020.

Two speakers from the Southern Hemisphere, Dr Christine Hatton of the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and Juliet Cottrell, New Zealand will be presenting on their research.

Dr Christine Hatton will be talking about Dorothy Heathcote’s 'Rolling Role' drama based approach to education, and Juliet Cottrell about using drama to enhance writing and literacy across the curriculum.

Venue: The Trinity Long Room Hub | Trinity College Dublin

Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

All Welcome

Dr Christine Hatton - Title: Dramatic intentions: using imaginative inquiry for change (Dorothy Heathcote’s Rolling Role)


This presentation examines the pedagogical possibilities of reviving Dorothy Heathcote's rolling role system of teaching in contemporary schools. It will consider a recent school-based project that repurposed her rolling role teaching system to transform students' understandings of sustainability, change, compassion, ethics and environmental stewardship. It will focus on a current research study of The Sanctuary Project, a new rolling role project where students and teachers from multiple classes worked through a drama-led transdisciplinary inquiry. The drama learning experience explored the story of the bar-tailed godwits, the migratory shorebirds who circumnavigate the globe on the East Asian Flyway between Australia and New Zealand, and on to the Yellow Sea and Alaska. Through the fiction, the project invited students to consider the complex challenges facing local and international wetland environments, and also to make critical links with the human parallels to the godwits story, considering those people also seek sanctuary across international borders.

Keywords: Drama pedagogy; rolling role; environmental education; technology


Dr Christine Hatton is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. She teaches in the field of drama and creative arts education and is a passionate advocate for drama learning and curriculum, and she has a keen interest in teacher artistry and development. Her research has explored topics such as playbuilding pedagogies, gender in the drama classroom, applied drama, and drama with digital technologies). She has a background in a range of arts-based research methods such as narrative inquiry, ethnodrama, duoethnography and critical autoethnography. Recent publications and research projects have focussed on contemporary theatre for young audiences and the applications of Heathcote's rolling role system of transdisciplinary teaching and the impacts of artists in schools. Her recent project work focusses on using rolling role in to explore environmental education and sustainability in schools. She was the chief investigator, with Mary Mooney, in the Fresh AiR Initiative Research Study (2014 – 2016) funded by Arts NSW, a longitudinal study which examined the impacts of sustained artists-in-schools residencies ( ). She has co-authored with Sarah Lovesy the book Young at Art: Classroom Playbuilding in Practice (Routledge, 2009), a text often used by pre-service teachers around the world. With Peter Duffy and Richard Sallis she has co-edited and co-authored the recent publication Drama Research Methods: Provocations of Practice (Brill Publishers, 2018).

Juliet Cottrell - Title: Walking beside. Ka mahi tahi matou (We are working as one) Drama and literacy learning


This presentation will focus on the Drama New Zealand Primary Network of Expertise project: School based collaboration to build teacher capability in using drama to enhance literacy.

The aim of the pilot project was to increase the capability of teachers to engage their students in writing and literacy, and to assist their students to achieve success as writers, by building drama into their literacy programmes. The structure of the pilot programme placed an expert teacher in 18 classrooms across New Zealand, once a week for eight weeks and included pre and post programme group workshops. The presentation will outline the structure of the programme, highlight the 'foggy patches' we ran into on the way and the elements that 'illuminated our path', summarise the outcomes from the research that took place, and outline the future of the project in New Zealand.


Juliet Cottrell, Masters in Drama Education and Applied Theatre (Hons), B.Ed., Dip.T., is an experienced classroom teacher and specialist primary and middle years drama teacher. She has produced and performed in a number of theatre in education and Applied Theatre projects and facilitated teacher workshops on integrating drama in the classroom. She has also been engaged at both Griffith University and QUT in Australia where she taught pre-service primary and early childhood teachers. In New Zealand she runs The Drama Workshop - after school drama classes for children and teens and in-school professional development. Juliet is currently working on the Drama New Zealand NEX Drama and Literacy project providing professional development for teachers across New Zealand.