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Centre for Urban Schooling

Acting Together

Ensemblebased classroom learning as a model for democratic living 

In this talk, Jonothan Neelands reconsidered the idea of ensemble as a bridging metaphor between the rehearsal room, process drama, and the classroom. He suggested that through these pedagogies of choice, engagement and change, which characterize the process drama tradition, all classrooms could become the beginnings of democracy: potential sites for encouraging and modeling active and participatory forms of democratic living and learning together.

Professor Neelands has trained teaching artists at the New Victory Theater in New York since 2005. He also runs a Post Graduate Award for RSC actors, training to work in schools. He is the author of several texts for teachers and students, which have influenced the development of drama in recent years including Structuring Drama Work, Beginning Drama 11-14, Key Shakespeare 1 and 2 and Advanced Drama and Theatre Studies. His latest publication is Improving Your Primary School Through Drama

Professor Jonothan Neelands is a National Teaching Fellow, Chair of Drama and Theatre Education and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick. He is an experienced trainer and workshop leader with a national and international reputation for delivering high quality professional training and development opportunities. Research interests include: participatory theatre and democracy; cultural and creative learning; the politics of cultural and education policy‐making; teaching in urban settings; the sociology of educational disadvantage and the articulation of a pro‐social pedagogy of arts education.

He is an associate of the CAPITAL Centre for creativity and performance in teaching and learning, which is a joint initiative between the University of Warwick and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is closely involved in the RSC’s Stand Up For Shakespeare campaign to improve the quality of Shakespeare teaching at all ages and stages through an ensemble and rehearsal room pedagogic approach.

Click here to view the video of Dr. Neelands' lecture.

FESJ is supported by a generous donation from the Ruth and Alexander Dworkin Tolerance Fund
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