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Education Multicultural Education

Why Theatre Matters

Urban Youth, Engagement, and a Pedagogy of the Real

by (author) Kathleen Gallagher

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
Sep 2014
Multicultural Education, History & Criticism, Urban, Social Work, General, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
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What makes young people care about themselves, others, their communities, and their futures? In Why Theatre Matters, Kathleen Gallagher uses the drama classroom as a window into the daily challenges of marginalized youth in Toronto, Boston, Taipei, and Lucknow. An ethnographic study which mixes quantitative and qualitative methodology in an international multi-site project, Why Theatre Matters ties together the issues of urban and arts education through the lens of student engagement. Gallagher’s research presents a framework for understanding student involvement at school in the context of students’ families and communities, as well as changing social, political, and economic realities around the world.

Taking the reader into the classroom through the voices of the students themselves, Gallagher illustrates how creative expression through theatre can act as a rehearsal space for real, material struggles and for democratic participation. Why Theatre Matters is an invigorating challenge to the myths that surround urban youth and an impressive study of theatre’s transformative potential.

About the author

Kathleen Gallagher is Canada Research Chair in Theatre, Youth, and Research in Urban Schools and a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Kathleen Gallagher's profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘Why Theatre Matters is written as a beautifully moderated conversation among the students and the teachers… This book reflects a researcher who pursues excellence and vulnerability together, inviting the field of theatre education to do the same.’

Theatre Topics vol 26:03:2016

Other titles by Kathleen Gallagher