creative drama, theatrical design, eduction, applied theatre
The purpose of this action-research study is to explore a new pedagogical tool for myself as a teaching artist: Applied Design. My ideas around Applied Design are rooted in the field of Creative Drama, and grew out of a desire to explore theatrical design in the same process-centered way that Creative Drama explores informal and improvisational drama techniques. To this end, I attempt to determine how the use of Applied Design affects both student engagement and student understanding when applied as an interdisciplinary tool to Language Arts curriculum. For the purposes of this study, I introduced Applied Design as a discovery teaching methodology through a one-week Language Arts unit in a local fourth grade classroom. I collected data from the students, their classroom teacher and myself through questionnaires, written work and personal observation. As I examined the data, I discovered positive relationships between Applied Design and both student engagement and student understanding. Students responded to the discovery teaching methods enthusiastically, and embraced each design project with a dedication that appeared to inspire students to push through difficult moments in effort to complete each given task. Although the length of the study and amount of data generated limited my ability to draw widespread conclusions, the evidence suggests that further study in the applications of Applied Design is merited. This study also begins to discuss what such future study might look like, in effort to push the exploration of Applied Design forward. Ultimately, this action research study reinforced my conviction that process-centered theatrical design can serve as a useful tool for myself as a teaching artist, and inspired me to move forward in my understanding and exploration of its applications.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Fuss, Alicia, "Applied Design: An Exploration Of Arts Integration Through Theatrical Design In The Fourth Grade Classroom" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4347.