Strutting and fretting, a drama education retrospective
This article views through memory work my own practice as a Drama Education lecturer
and how it has come into being and evolved through the impact of influential teachers,
events and processes. The theoretical basis is an existential one as I interrogate what it
means to be – to be who I am, to be a teacher educator and to be a teacher educator in
drama. I use a narrative inquiry approach, drawing on constructs of narratology in my
methodology. A narrative approach recognises that identity is not constructed
autonomously, but in relation to others (Nicholson, 2005). Now on the brink of retirement,
I look back at my career and bring memory forward to try to arrive at an understanding of
the forces that shaped my work and how the critical emancipatory pedagogy that I now
espouse was an unforeseen yet logical outcome of my life’s influences and my constant
yearning towards self-improvement and self-awareness. I make use of a self-interview as a
means of shaping memories into a story that captures significant periods and people in my
education. Elements of critical events theory are employed to ask what I did, why I did it
and what the implications of those actions are for my current and future practice and for
drama pedagogy in general.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
(T S Eliot)
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