ArticlePublisher preview available

Drama-in-Education for Understanding: an Investigation from the Perspective of Cultural Psychology of Semiotic Mediation

Authors:
If you want to read the PDF, try requesting it from the authors.

Abstract and Figures

Drama in education (DiE) is a lively and productive area of art entering into education. This article tries to establish dialogues between DiE and psychology by revisiting the phenomenological world opened by DiE from the theoretical lens of cultural psychology of semiotic mediation. First, we propose to distinguish three main approaches in DiE towards production of new understandings and conceptualize them into different models of meaning making processes from the lens of cultural psychology. Based on the three approaches, we will theorize participants’ experience in DiE into three layers: the layer of everyday, dramatic, and existential. Each layer of experience contains unique potential to produce signs from different generalization process, and the three approaches can be mapped out on different interacting zones between layers. To illuminate the theoretical discussion, the case study of a DiE workshop “The green child” is used to investigate the characteristics of its artistic form and structure, in launching participants into travelling among the three layers of experiences and in facilitating different levels of affective generalization for aesthetic experience to emerge.
This content is subject to copyright. Terms and conditions apply.
Vol.:(0123456789)
https://doi.org/10.1007/s42087-020-00157-z
1 3
ARENA OFDRAMATIZATION
Drama‑in‑Education forUnderstanding: anInvestigation
fromthePerspective ofCultural Psychology ofSemiotic
Mediation
ShuangshuangXu1 · LucaTateo2
Abstract
Drama in education (DiE) is a lively and productive area of art entering into education.
This article tries to establish dialogues between DiE and psychology by revisiting the phe-
nomenological world opened by DiE from the theoretical lens of cultural psychology of
semiotic mediation. First, we propose to distinguish three main approaches in DiE towards
production of new understandings and conceptualize them into different models of mean-
ing making processes from the lens of cultural psychology. Based on the three approaches,
we will theorize participants’ experience in DiE into three layers: the layer of everyday,
dramatic, and existential. Each layer of experience contains unique potential to produce
signs from different generalization process, and the three approaches can be mapped out on
different interacting zones between layers. To illuminate the theoretical discussion, the case
study of a DiE workshop “The green child” is used to investigate the characteristics of its
artistic form and structure, in launching participants into travelling among the three layers
of experiences and in facilitating different levels of affective generalization for aesthetic
experience to emerge.
Keywords Drama in education· Cultural psychology· Semiotic mediation· Existential
affectivity· Affective generalization
Introduction
The Main Characteristic ofDrama inEducation
Drama in education (DiE) emerges as an interdisciplinary area between drama and edu-
cation. DiE generally refers to using art of drama to support and facilitate learning in a
collective educational context. Along the history of drama’s entry into educational areas,
different values have been emphasized: speech training, language learning, classroom
* Shuangshuang Xu
shuangsh_xu@163.com
1 Aalborg University & IBEF, Aalborg, Denmark
2 University ofOslo & Federal University ofBahia, Oslo, Norway
Human Arenas (2022) 5:389–406
Received: 24 August 2020 / Revised: 26 Octob
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
Published online: 19 November 2020
er 2020 / Accepted: 27 October 2020 /
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
The use of dramatization as teaching/learning methodology, useful for the improvement of social, emotional, creative skills, and for the acquisition of knowledge on subject matters such as history, is an established field of research and practice. Yet, there are very few studies on children’s spontaneous dramatization in educational context and its potential role in development. The term dramatization, as we will use here, refers to the human activity of staging in narrative and ritualistic form, enacted through the whole person and multiple channels, communicative and self-presentation meanings. The school context is a privileged arena to observe spontaneous dramatization between peers and between children and adults. Besides, school everyday routine is often filled with staged dramatizations aimed for instance at building collective identity or providing moral orientation. We propose a new theoretical framework and analyse field observation in kindergarten and primary school to interpret spontaneous dramatization and collective school routines.
Article
Full-text available
Dialectical perspectives have had an ambiguous history in European thought in the past two centuries. Having become established in the late eighteenth century by J. G. Fichte and G. W. Hegel as a philosophical system, the dialectical perspective episodically entered into other sciences (psychology, sociology) while being “politically kidnapped” in the Soviet Union in the 1920s–1980s. The result has been uneven development of basic ideas of change and development in the conceptual repertoires of the biological, social, and human sciences. It is time to bring back this venerable tradition of thought to the center of the construction efforts of new perspectives in the social sciences of the twenty-first century. In this article, we outline the core of the dialectical ideas as these are centrally relevant for a new synthesis of developmental psychology and traditionally systemic but non-developmental theoretical domains such as psychoanalysis. We use one of the concepts from psychoanalysis that has proven to be productive in all of human psychology—the notion of ego-defense mechanisms—and re-conceptualize them as self-construction mechanisms. We thus make a basic psychoanalytic concept developmental—self-construction is a process where the Ego uses its agentive power in different dynamic and dialectical transformation of the various societal influences. It creates a synthetic set of personal-cultural tools for anticipatory actions towards future challenges when these occur. The human agency functions in pre-defending the Ego in relation to undesired influences and dialectical self-construction mechanism occupy a central place in this eternal fight for feeling oneself as a meaningfully whole person in the middle of constantly new life-course experiences.
Book
This book is a theoretical account for general psychology of how human beings meaningfully relate with their bodies-- from the basic physiological processes upwards to the highest psychological functions of religiosity, ethical reasoning, and devotional practices. It unites art and science into a new theory of affective synthesis that human minds are constantly involved in their everyday life worlds. • Provides a new theory of aesthetic synthesis; • Demonstrates the links between art and science; • Provides a new understanding of the role of affect in human cognition.
Chapter
What can psychology learn from Caravaggio’s art? The chapter presents a discussion of Caravaggio’s naturalistic style, with respect to the process of generalization in the painting “The Seven Works of Mercy,” trying to identify the conceptual elements that make this work a specimen of the human condition of suffering and relieving. From this analysis, it will be argued that the process of generalization is neither an inductive-based extension nor the formulation of a context-independent and abstract list of traits. The process of generalization starts from experiencing and, through a zone of potential estrangement, it must be able to return to experience improving our understanding of it. In other words, as Caravaggio does in his paintings, we must be able to create specimen by abductively distancing from the single case, and be able to find back the single case using the specimen to understand.
Article
In 1979, Gavin Bolton posed a question that is still fundamental to the development of process drama: ‘Is it possible to steer a course that does not come down in support of any particular point of view but causes children to examine and re-examine their own views and values?’ Inspired by Bakhtinian theory, Brian Edmiston developed a solution to this in the 1990s: the principle of ‘dialogic sequencing’. Aiming to escape the conflict between relativism and absolutism, we present an alternative to Edmiston’s approach, based on Niklas Luhmann’s theory of ‘operational closure’: operational sequencing. The principle is presented in the context of the previous debate between Edmiston and Joe Winston, and its application is demonstrated and assessed in our prototype process drama, Fertility Miracles.
Article
An outline is suggested for how the word perezhivanie can be appropriated from Russian psychology in general and Vygotskian psychology in particular, as a meaningful word in English-language psychology, drawing on cognate concepts from Freud, Winnicott, Dewey, Kübler-Ross, Stanislavskii, and so forth. It is suggested that through its connection with the working out of a person’s life-projects, perezhivanie plays a key role in connecting psychology with social theory.
Book
In short, Culture in Minds and Societies: Foundations of Cultural Psychology presents a new look at the relationship between people and society, produces a semiotic theory of cultural psychology and provides a dynamic treatment of culture in human lives. This book makes a decisive break from the post-modernist theoretical framework that considers knowledge as local and situation-specific. It restores the goal of construction of general knowledge to the social sciences. While recognizing the uniqueness of all human personal experience from birth to death, it emphasizes the universality of cultural organization of human minds and societies.