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Education General

Drama Education in the Lives of Girls

Imagining Possibilities

by (author) Kathleen Gallagher

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2001
General, Adolescent, Philosophy & Social Aspects
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2000
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2001
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2001
    List Price

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In this book, Kathleen Gallagher presents a multi-case study of adolescent girls who are learning through drama about their particular sexual, cultural, ethnic, and class-based identities in relation to the broader world around them. By examining the power and possibility of drama in schools to animate the processes of learning, Gallagher's research offers hope for meaningful reflection on pedagogy in what she sees as an increasingly mechanistic and disempowering period in education. This work is a unique contribution to the fields of equity studies and the arts in education, as it provides a new lens through which to examine gender, diversity, and schooling. Experiencing the drama curriculum as a process and method, the students learn by taking on different roles. This re-positioning of the learner generates new and rich experiences in the dialectic of life and art and the discourse of the "world as a stage" metaphor.

Combining research and classroom practice in a public Catholic girls' school over an eighteen-month period, the author illustrates how drama provides a fertile ground for the intellectual and emotional development of girls, as they draw on their own lives and experiences in order to create their fictional worlds. She demonstrates how the collective action of drama in the classroom can support girls in becoming the authors of their own experiences. This compelling book reveals the liberatory possibilities of drama education for the vastly diverse and complex group, adolescent girls. The doctoral research on which Drama Education in the Lives of Girls was based received the American Alliance of Theatre and Education's most distinguished scholarly research award for 1999.

About the author

Kathleen Gallagher is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Distinguished Professor in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, cross-appointed to the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.

Kathleen Gallagher's profile page


  • Winner, AERA Outstanding Book Prize (Div B), American Educational Research Association

Other titles by Kathleen Gallagher