Practitioner perceptions of the effectiveness of dramatized interpretaton

Adcock, Lynne Therese (2005) Practitioner perceptions of the effectiveness of dramatized interpretaton. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Interpretation has the potential to play an important role in involving the general public in

the dialogue about sustainability, and what this may mean for the future of humans on the earth. Yet interpreters often fail to address this issue. In fact, it can be argued that much

interpretation fails to truly engage its audiences or provoke serious thought about our

relationship with the rest of nature or our future lifestyles. How can interpretation be made

more engaging and provocative, and contribute to the dialogue about sustainability? How can it reach this potential? Some educators and interpreters advocate the use of drama to help people connect with natural and cultural heritage. Powerful dramatic experiences can become embedded in the emotions and leave enduring impressions. Drama is used as an educational tool around the world. Can it be used by interpreters to expand visitors’ conceptions of the human-nature culture milieu? This study addresses the paucity of empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of

dramatized interpretation. Ten practitioners of dramatized interpretation were interviewed

to explore the current use of drama in interpretation in Queensland, Australia, and in

particular, the practitioners’ perceptions of these practices and their effectiveness. Current

practice was evaluated according to the drama, interpretation and education literature,

particularly recent theoretical developments. Practitioners displayed a strong understanding of the importance of engagement in interpretation, using a variety of drama

forms and strategies to create resonant experiences and strengthen visitors’ connections

with natural, historic and cultural heritage. In addition, they designed their programs to provoke thought and foster deep understanding of environmental and conservation issues, and obtained evidence of provocation and conceptual enhancement. Notwithstanding this, it is concluded that dramatized interpretation could have a greater impact on conceptual enhancement if practitioners designed their programs according to constructivist, group learning and sociocultural perspectives. Practitioners could also make a greater contribution to general environmental education if they explicitly addressed the issue of sustainability, using drama to tell stories that encapsulate the concept of sustainability and provide a vision of sustainable living. A checklist is provided to assist practitioners in the design and evaluation of dramatized programs. Recommendations are also given for interpreters wishing to explore the application of drama to their interpretive setting.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16098
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Ballantyne, Roy & Haseman, Bradley
Keywords: Interpretation; environmental interpretation; environmental education; story; drama; dramatized interpretation; ecological sustainability; interconnectedness; The “Big Story”; dialogue; reconnection; visitors; practitioners; perceptions; effectiveness;
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Lynne Therese Adcock
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:56
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:43

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