Following the two page ‘In Focus’ article in The Observer on 16th June 2013 http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/jun/15/schools-teaching-curriculum-education-google, we thought you might like to read the piece. Life-time NATD member, John Airs has written to the Editor in response. His letter is printed in full below.
Letter to the Editor – Observer.
Thank you for ‘It’s time to totally rethink our approach to education’ (In Focus, last week). It made Gove’s approach look the totally antiquated folly it is.
Prof. Mitra’s suggestions for a curriculum that becomes questions includes the interesting one, “What is the purpose of theatre?” For years now teachers around the world have employed a teaching method first developed in this country, but in danger of being lost here, Drama-in-Education (DIE) and Theatre-in-Education (TIE).
Mitra says of teachers, “We need people who think like children…divergently, across outdated disciplines, connecting ideas across the entire mass of humanity”. That is precisely what DIE and TIE sets out to provide. And the most important function of the teacher in all this is to wonder, like a child, about whatever it is the children are exploring and revealing in their drama. “I wonder why…?” is the most productive question the teacher can ask. That is how children learn.
The National Association for Teaching in Drama is holding a weekend conference in Oxford in September. The details are on its website.