This paper builds a case for the serious consideration of process drama as an effective and relevant pedagogy for the twenty-first century. Today, we witness the outcomes of a paradigm shift from an industrial economy to a post-industrial, postmodern, creative and knowledge economy. Our world is marked by accelerating change and multiplicity that are paradoxically inter-connected into a global economy through rapidly developing technological communication and information networks. We, therefore, live in an organic, dynamically evolving knowledge space that constantly shapes and re-shapes our lives and identities. As educators, we are charged to prepare students to be effective knowledge makers. This means focusing on multiliteracies, which enable students to access, sense-make, query, deconstruct, and re-construct knowledge using multiple modes beyond reading and writing. These include audio, visual, gestural, physical communication in both traditional and digital forms. However, these skills cannot be effectively nurtured without also building the adaptive capacities of flexibility and resilience that enable us to deal with unpredictable and rapidly shifting information and knowledge. These skills also demand creative capacities of openness and precision that support collaborative and divergent ways of working to find new pathways for thinking and building knowledge. This paper synthesizes these creative-adaptive capacities with the New London Group’s (1996, 2000) four-part design pedagogy for multiliteracies (overt instruction, situated practice, critical framing, and transformed practice). This synthesis demonstrates how process drama, or unscripted and facilitated role-play drama, offers us pathways for helping students develop multiliteracies and learning skills for the twenty-first century. The paper shows how process drama engages students in situated learning, using overt instruction as a facilitation process in collaborative, improvisational role-playing through critical framing and transformed practice. Process drama is, thus, shown to be a viable approach for multiliteracies development. Implications for action and further research are suggested.
|Keywords:||Process Drama, Literacy Development, Literacy Pedagogy, 21st Century Skills, Multiliteracies, Creative-Adaptive Capacities|
Doctoral Candidate, School of Education, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, USA