KNOW THE CONTENT AND HOW TO TEACH IT

 

Drama is a highly practical subject, and having the professional experience as a practitioner in the performing arts uniquely strengthens my ability to guide students through new ideas and skills. I am flexible in my approach to learning, and able to adjust my methods to find the best processes for each student. 

2.1 APPLY KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT AND TEACHING STRATEGIES OF THE TEACHING AREA TO DEVELOP ENGAGING TEACHING ACTIVITIES.

Referring back to the Year 7 Voice Unit (Evidence 2) discussed in Standard 1, this program was developed to encourage students to develop an enjoyment of my subject area along with building their vocal techniques, and so all activities employed were aimed to be engaging to the students. I continually change up warm up activities to appeal to the students and choose them according to whichever skill need most improvement as well as providing an array of options for the students to then be able to select from. 

2.2 ORGANISE CONTENT INTO COHERENT, WELL-SEQUENCED LEARNING AND TEACHING PROGRAMS.

Due to staff changes at the end of 2019, I was responsible for curriculum planning for the Drama department in 2020. Assessment tasks and dates had to be chosen for the this year (2020) and year long programs with task descriptions needed to submitted prior to the arrival of an incoming new Head of Department. Referring to the 2020 student booklist, previous successful programs, and SCSA, I planned the learning programs for years 7-12 through building the Assessment Outlines for each year group (Evidence 6). Each task for every year group was built to build on prior knowledge and linked to the next task involved - a scaffolded skill building progression. 

An example of this is the Year 9 Program. Starting the year with monologues allows the student to explore their use of voice as an individual, developing a full range of techniques they can then explore in Greek Theatre, when they get to share those techniques with others in unison chorus work and stylised movement for performance. From this they move onto contemporary stylised movement for performance in 'Hoods', continuing to use and build on their vocal skills learnt in Term 1 and finishing with a summative assessment for Showcase where they can develop their own works utilising all the skills learnt through the year. 

As is shown in my Year 9 Term 1 Outline (Evidence 7) and my Year 9 Greek Theatre program (Evidence 8), each program of study is then broken down further, to ensure the sequencing makes sense. 

I continually assess the effectiveness of the sequencing of my programs and the relevancy of the content I include to ensure the learning experience is optimised for all students. This is evidenced by my unit of study on radio plays on TeachersPayTeachers. I wrote this program a number of years ago and updated this year. Found HERE. 

2.3 DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT LEARNING AND TEACHING PROGRAMS USING KNOWLEDGE OF CURRICULUM, ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

This year I have had some good opportunities to reflect on my program designs. The Assessment Outlines I planned were based on previous reporting timelines, and due to COVID had to be adjusted. We did this as a team within the department. The evidence I have supplied and discussed so far supports my ability to design and implement learning and teaching programs effectively, but I did have one adjustment I was able to make when I was improving my knowledge of curriculum. 

 

I was rereading the content descriptors for each year group and I noticed that the Year 7 program had been missing touching on any of the topics required by the curriculum. This may have been due to the fact that it is a short taster course, which doesn't allow for much of the content to be explored. Looking over the options, I also identified that some of them weren't ideal content for the age group, or may not be exciting for St Hilda's students to explore. I used this opportunity to make cross-curriculum links with RAPS and meet curriculum requirements in a short course by including a brief touch on Mystery Plays in the exploration of voice for the Year 7 Voice Unit. I created  and shared resources with colleagues to assist the students' learning experiences and ensure we were meeting the specifications from SCSA.

2.4 PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO DEVELOP UNDERSTANDING OF AND RESPECT FOR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIGHT ISLANDERS HISTORIES, CULTURES AND LANGUAGES. 

In Drama we try to provide texts which allow students to gain greater understanding and respect for Indigenous culture and histories. This is built into each course, and as the topics come up students are able to discuss what they know, what they understand from the text, and what this means for the future. The Year 7s were able to touch on it with me in the Voice Unit when we discussed storytelling practices from around the world. The Year 8s next year will be using the text 'HoneySpot' by Aboriginal playwright Jack Davis, and I opened some good discussion with Year 10s when looking at the text 'Merry Go Round In The Sea' which allowed us to link to the history and culture of Indigenous people at the time. 

I believe it would be ideal to be able to get Indigenous practitioners in to the school to share more traditional Drama practices, and to explore more options for excursions to shows which expose and discuss these themes. Since COVID, this is something that could also be looked into further for online opportunities to build networks with Indigenous communities and develop cross-cultural artistic works together. 

Although I have little experience in schools with high-Indigenous populations I completed my Aboriginal Cultural Appreciation Professional Learning in 2016 and would be interested in exploring more of these course. 

2.5 APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT STUDENTS LITERACY AND NUMERACY ACHIEVEMENT. 

I make myself available and provide support to all students for their literacy achievement. The terminology can get complicated and he style of writing for Drama can require very structured scaffolding, so I ensure that these are brought into the classroom early on. As can be seen in the Year 7 Voice Unit and Year 7 Vocal Task 2020 (Evidence 3), terminology is  discussed and referenced regularly so that students are familiar with it, and also included on task outlines for student reference. Games are incorporated early on to encourage the students to learn the terminology and meanings. For the Voice Unit, and given I had some students still learning online the first time I taught this, I created a number of written terminology activities for students to complete as well such as Evidence 9 Crossword. These have been utilised in other classes since. 

Evidence 10 Yr 9 Practice Responses shows how scaffolding is incorporated in the learning of appropriate written work for Drama and improves literacy achievement. Providing students with the opportunity for feedback allows for formative assessment and assists them in improving their thinking, processing and writing skills. 

This year was interesting with COVID, thinking how to best provide feedback to improve responses. The Year 10s had a written assessment due, and so along with providing a structured example response (Evidence 11), I also provided sequenced feedback for emailed work. Some students emailed me once, and others emailed through work samples four or five times. These students marks for their final submission ended up being very high due to their increased understanding of content requirements, style expectations and detail for in-performance-examples. Evidence 11 Student Work Sample is an example of the improvement made after just a small amount of feedback. 

2.6 USE EFFECTIVE TEACHING STRATEGIES TO INTEGRATE ICT INTO LEARNING AND TEACHING PROGRAMS TO MAKE SELECTED CONTENT RELEVANT AND MEANINGFUL. 

I believe it is integral to teaching and learning that we utilise any ICT available and make learning as relevant to real life practices and experience as possible.

 

COVID obviously brought a lot of this into play for teachers this year, and exploring the use of school platfroms has been exciting (TEAMS: Class Notebook, video conferencing, Instant messaging, etc/ SEQTA: Lesson planners, Folios, Forums) but what I am explaining goes beyond use of school platforms.

 

I model the use of industry relevant ICT in the classroom, which students are then able to explore with me further in cocurricular activities, and incorporate commonly used technologies into learning experiences, and build on them to introduce new options. 

 

Referring back to the evidence already provided, students are introduced to industry relevant technologies:

Year 7s use audio and video recording and then are encouraged to develop skills in use of google docs to share instantaneous editing of group script writing.

Year 8s study and are assessed on effective sound design using Audacity and Go Button along with existing, edited or recorded sounds, and they use these newly learnt skills in the following assessment.

Year 9s use skills learnt in previous years to incorporate sound design into their performance pieces using Go Button. 

Year 10s use all of the above, and are encouraged to work on SFX or LX for School productions. 

Anecdotal addition:

This year for the Year 7 & 8 Play, I created a sound design, demonstrating to students along the way. Because I encouraged an interest in technologies with my students, I was joined in the tech box by a Year 10 student (who I had operating on Q Lab) and a Year 7 student who was keen to be mentored in tech operation. The Year 10 student had to leave a dress rehearsal, and so for the first time at St Hilda's, a Year 7 student confidently operated Q Lab to ensure the smooth running of lighting and sound for a school production. This Year 7 has put her name down again for tech experience for the 2021 Major School Musical. 

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