Katie Dawson

Katie Dawson

Department of Theatre and Dance
Drama-Based Pedagogy: Refinement and Alignment for the University Context

Project Update

During the spring and summer of 2016, a needs assessment was conducted for CoFA’s DBI Network website and revisions made based on responses. Changes included revision of 100 drama-based strategies for K-12 educators, a new section on theory of drama-based pedagogy; and updated lesson plans from local, national and international research partners.

During the fall of 2016, the Active and Creative Teaching at UT professional learning community was formed with six UT faculty members representing the College of Fine Arts, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Natural Sciences. Multiple group trainings were hosted for the six faculty members, and each faculty participant developed two new active/creative teaching lessons in a targeted course. With IRB approval, participants’ experience in the project was documented through pre/post surveys and individual and group interviews.

During Spring 2017, UT graduate students and faculty will analyze data for future publication and dissemination at UT.

Project Overview

My initiative involves refining and aligning a set of digital resources in drama-based pedagogy (DBP) to better support active, participant-constructed learning approaches for K-12 and University instructional contexts. The top priority is to revise outdated web content to better reflect current research findings and practice including:

  • 14 videos,
  • 100 instructional strategies, and
  • 150 lesson plans.

Currently, these materials are being used by pre-service educators in four UT courses and by in-service educators in local, national and international K-12 school locations.

I will also work with other PTF faculty to develop and research the impact of select DBP teaching strategies on UT faculty self-efficacy in the university instructional context.

What was an influential learning experience that you had as an undergraduate?

What are you passionate about?

It has been suggested that a key 21st Century education goal is to prepare students for a job that does not yet exist, which uses technologies that haven’t yet been invented, in order to solve a problem that we don’t yet know is a problem. So, how do we prepare our young people to be successful in this new “knowledge-driven” educational economy? I believe the answer is a renewed emphasis on the essential skills of communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

I am deeply interested in working with faculty across disciplines to think about how we can better prepare UT students to create, to critically engage, and to connect with one another and the larger world.

What is a teaching strategy that you've learned from another Fellow?

More than teaching strategies, I’ve learned about incredibly innovative ways that Fellows position students, particularly undergraduate students, as Peer Learning Assistants and facilitators of knowledge for colleagues. This approach aligns with my belief that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. I thought this idea was fantastic and look forward to finding further ways to implement the approach in my own courses.