Thursday, 30 October 2014
Letter of Intent - Journey from Intent to Proposal - Part 1
Masters of Education Application
Letter of Intent
February 5, 2014
Drama in Education: Facilitating the Integration of 21st Century Literacies and Concepts
in the Classroom
As a dedicated student of Brock University's Faculty of Education, my work as
both an educator and a researcher has manifest an eternal respect and wonder for the craft
of teaching. I have found my passion as both an educator and researcher. Studying
education as a concurrent student has ignited my interest in alternative ways of teaching
and learning, using drama techniques to develop life long learning and meaning-making
skills. My studies in the concurrent program have unequivocally kindled a genuine
curiosity in alternative ways of teaching and learning. My courses have allowed me to
explore the creation of standards-based interdisciplinary curriculum and 21st century
literacy skills. Through my practicum experience while in Brock’s Faculty of Education I
have created lesson plans and activities that embody critical literacy skills while infusing
them into applied drama lessons that aids students in discovering, in their own way, how
they can put life together as something that means a lot to them.
Through the "Teaching, Learning, & Development" stream, I will fulfill my
passion and vision for the craft, using my practical experiences and knowledge of the
field as a catalyst for further investigation. I would like to research and examine the
contributions that drama education and drama-teaching techniques can have to the
cognitive, social, kinesthetic and problem-solving strategies used by students in the
pursuit of meaningful and lifelong learning. I believe the most appropriate methodologies
to research the benefits and challenges of using drama as a medium to promote life long
learning and meaning-making is through action research, or living-theory research
(Whitehead, 1993; Whitehead & McNiff, 2006).
My unique flair for teaching and learning has invited several leadership
experiences into my personal life, allowing me to become recognized as a leader within
my St. Catharines community. For example, I was very fortunate to work for The United
Way ‘After School Matters’ program as a Drama Drop-In Facilitator for student groups
in need of enrichment. My job was to provide groups of students with opportunities to
creatively engage with their academics through the use of dramatic and kinesthetic
activities as a way of teaching to achieve higher order thinking. My desire is to work
collectively with community youth programs and the District School Board of Niagara
(as well as other boards) to develop a series of workable documents to aid teachers with
integrating drama techniques into their standards-based integrated curriculum.
As a student of the concurrent education program, I have had many opportunities
to write research papers in my various Education and Dramatic Arts courses. For
example, Dr. Joe Norris of the Dramatic Arts Department based the ‘Alternative Forms of Theatre’ DART 3F98 course on his book Playbuilding as Qualitative Research: A
Participatory Arts-Based Approach. This course allowed me to hone my research skills
by examining how collaborative creation can bring intervention, development, and social
change to fruition. Due to my keen interest and active participation in applied theatre, I
was able to write an 8000-word research paper to conclude the positive findings of the
As an education student, I have worked closely with critical education theory and
have interrogated the links between educational theory and practice; this has driven me to
pursue a Masters of Education degree at Brock University. I have experienced firsthand
the support and innovative research of Brock's Faculty of Education, and would benefit
from the expertise of Dr. Susan Drake while studying standards-based integrated
curriculum and 21st century literacy education (Drake, 2012). Furthermore, Dr. Joe Norris
and Prof. Helen Zdriluk of the Drama Department have provided the framework for
research in drama education studies, which has been invaluable to my research interest
(Norris, 2009). Not only does Brock offer the resources I need to pursue my research
interests, but I am confident that my passion, enthusiasm, and academic talent will be an
asset to the program as well.
Drake, S. (2012). Creating Standards-Based Integrated Curriculum: The Common Core
State Standards Edition. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.
Norris, J. (2009). Playbuilding as Qualitative Research: A Participatory Arts-Based
Approach. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press Inc.
Whitehead, J., & McNiff, J. (2006). Action Research: Living Theory. London: Sage.
Whitehead, J. (1993). The Growth of Educational Knowledge. Creating Your Own Living
Educational Theories. Brighton: Hyde Publications.