Drama convention approaches and primary-secondary transition : pupils' and teachers' views

  • William Don Barlow

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study was undertaken in the west coast of Scotland and contributes to literature in the fields of Drama (with particular focus on Drama Convention approaches), and primary-secondary transition. The research questions were: 1. How do young people understand and respond to the Drama Convention approaches used in this study to explore primary-secondary transition? 2. How do primary teachers understand and respond to the Drama Convention approaches used in this study to explore primary-secondary transition? 3. How does the evidence from the thesis correlate with literature?The investigator devised three Drama structures that addressed a fictional Primary seven pupil's transition to secondary school. Data was gathered through a research diary, pupil focus groups, pupil questionnaire and exit cards, teacher observations of pupils' interactions with the Drama structure, a teacher semi-structured interview. Data was analysed using an interpretivist stance, within a case study approach, through iterative thematic coding. The participants indicated that Drama Convention pedagogy is child-centred, motivational and engages young people in transitional learning; the majority of pupils expressed their positivity about transferring to secondary school. Drama Convention approaches developed themes of: citizenship, solidarity, empathy, meta-awareness, multiple perspectives, understanding of bullying at transition, and real-world learning. The thesis contributes to Drama literature by providing an analysis of pupil and teacher voice on thirteen specified Drama Convention approaches (Neelands and Goode, 2016). In addition, the thesis contributes to the transitional literature by indicating that Drama Convention approaches provide an engaging pedagogical approach that empowers young people to discuss their transitional thoughts and opinions in a safe and purposeful learning environment. The implications and recommendations of this study are that further research should be implemented in using Drama Convention approaches as a pedagogical method for primary-secondary transitional learning and that greater support should be given to teachers in developing their understanding of Drama pedagogy.
Date of Award28 Sept 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorSusan Ellis (Supervisor) & Lio Moscardini (Supervisor)

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