TCD Hosts Drama Conference

Posted on: 23 February 2009

Drama For Learning: How it can inspire Students in the 21st century

The Association for Drama in Education in Ireland (ADEI) celebrated its tenth anniversary on February 19-21st last with a conference and series of master classes in Trinity College Dublin.

The conference and classes were led by two renowned teachers in the field, Professor Dorothy Heathcote (formerly of the University of Newcastle) and Professor Cecily O’Neill (formerly of Ohio State University and a native of Dublin).

Primary and secondary school teachers, researchers and practitioners with an interest in drama and theatre in education gathered for a weekend of lectures and practical demonstrations of how drama could be used effectively in the classroom to enhance learning and develop students’ potential. School children also participated during some of the classes.

Commenting on the significance of the conference, Dr Carmel O’Sullivan, of TCD’s School of Education, and one of the conference organisers said: “The event provided  key interest groups with an opportunity to hear from two of the most inspirational and radical thinkers in the field. Under Professor Heathcote and Professor O’Neill’s guiding contribution during the three-day event, it is anticipated that a new way of thinking about and practicing education will be heralded among a wide range of relevant  groups.”

About Professor Dorothy Heathcote
Professor Dorothy Heathcote has inspired generations of students, teachers and educationalists. Essentially self-taught, she was a practitioner and disseminator of a unique methodology based on the use of drama as a tool to stimulate social and academic learning. She continues to develop new models of education, such as her revolutionary dramatic-inquiry approach to teaching and learning encapsulated in the well-known ‘Mantle of the Expert’ system of education.

About Professor Cecily O’ Neill
Professor O’Neill is acknowledged as being the creator of what has become known as ‘process drama’, where the emphasis is placed on the actual process of children learning in and through their participation in the drama experience, rather than solely on performance. She has made important contributions to the writing of key national statements on the arts in the school curriculum in Ireland, Britain, Australia and the United States.

About  ADEI
Since it was founded in 1999 the association has provided high quality continuing professional development to teachers throughout Ireland, north and south. Under a dedicated and hard-working committee the association has attracted some of the world’s leading theorists and practitioners in the field of drama and theatre in education who have inspired countless numbers of teachers. This impact has filtered successfully down through the education system to motivate young learners in schools.