Book recommendations? Drama teaching?

Question:My daughter is just about to start on a PGCE Drama course and I want to buy her a book. She doesnt have a book list yet, as she got in at the last minute from the waiting list. Anyone have any recommendations? Doesn't necessarily have to be Drama related, just secondary teaching related. Thank you!

Answers:
If you are going to be teaching drama to your daughter (I do not know what PGCE means) then I would highly recommend you consider any work by Dorothy Heathcote (Drama as a learning Medium), Gavin Bolton, Nelly McCaslin, or David Booth. You might also consider doing an Amazon.com search on "drama". That will help you. Jonothan Neelands also has an outstanding book called "Structuring Drama Work". Drama, however, generally has to be taught with several other students available.

Hope some of these recommendations can help. Also check out Cecily O'Neil..

OH! I see she is getting her certification! That's GREAT! You might consider the following books then (these are ones that I think have helped me the most:

Drama and Diversity (Sharon Grady): A book that centers around diversity in drama and theatre, and helps the teacher reassess and question our own ways of viewing the world, helping to create on ongoing environment for inclusion and respect among teachers and students.

Signs of Change: New Directions in Secondary Theatre Education (Joan Lazarus): this book is by far one of the best I have read in helping teachers (new and old hands) put into practice a kind of critical pedagogy able to empower and create ownership over the artistic process for students. There are lesson plan ideas in addition to reflections on Lazarus' own personal experience.

The Drama Classroom (Philip Taylor--one of my professors at NYU): This book looks at teaching drama in the primary education and junior high school: it helps the teacher to stick by what Taylor calls ART: Action, Reflection, Transformation. Taylor relates his own experiences from teaching, and also relies on his work with and research of the practice of Dorothy Heathcote (mentioned above). He applies specifically the use of Process Drama in the classroom, and walks with the teacher in her process of becoming a REFLECTIVE Practitioner, i.e. a teacher who can reflect on how and what she does in the classroom and modify her actions appropriately (given her observations of her students) so that she can meet her students where they are while also stretching their imaginations and abilities.

I hope some of these recommendations help; of course, the ones above (that I wrote earlier) also hold true still--they are all great books for a future teacher in Drama/Theatre. I am starting my first teaching job this Fall--wish me luck!

From someone who knows how hard writing lesson plans and teaching can be.
I don't really know your goals. If you want a fictional book to represent drama I would say any of the great American authors such as Poe, Twain, etc.

I can't remember the author but Where The Red Fern Grows is good too.

You can also never fail with Shakespeare.

I don't know your parameters. If a "book" per say, is not required then I would go with numerous classical short stories that illustrate drama.

My favorites are of course most any of Poe's short stories, and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Of course there are always a plethora of movies as well. I think that The Village does a good job of this. Not that I am a HUGE fan of M. Night Shamaylan, but really any of his stories do a good job of this.

As far as non-fiction text books, I have no idea. There are an abundant selection of these types of books, (the students will feel that all are equally as boring). Is your aim to teach them about drama or to pick a great book they probably wont read?

That's why I lean towards a short story or movie, your chances of getting them involved are better. If a short story is not long enough, you could always have them do a comparison by assigning several stories.

I endorse reading, but a movie is something you could do together that widens the perspective of her future class.

To add life to Shakespeare, go with Hamlet and show her the movie with Mel as well. If you attend a play of any of his works that is also just as good.

Also, as a teacher I would never do a lesson on Harry Potter since it is so controversial: you could easily have her read them though (if she hasn't already)! A student is more than allowed to bring it and report on it, though the teacher may not want to lead a class discussion on the books.

In the end I quess after all this babbleing I would go with Shakespeare. I cannot stress enough that doing this together is HUGE. She may remember this for the rest of her life.

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