This article outlines (and evidences) how process drama can be used in a similar but contrasting way to the well-regarded ‘Mantle of The Expert’ approach to learning about science. In the Action Research project described here, various process drama techniques were used to purposely place 8 and 9 year-old children in specific types of ‘roles’ within a particular science context. The activities were designed to relate directly to the Victorian era, when machines were developed to carry out tasks in factories. The context, therefore, was a time when manufacturing to make labour-saving devices was bourgeoning. In that respect, the activity is related to technology, but the skills required to design, plan, produce and test an original product relate directly to scientific inquiry competencies such as asking questions, generating new ideas and testing them. There is also a requirement to appreciate and understand how the properties of materials available at that time would be more or less appropriate to produce the final fit-for-purpose product. Children’s reflections on their participation in the dramatised activities indicate that this pedagogic approach can positively address challenges, which have been noted by Ofsted, to deter effective inquiry skill development.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\School of Education
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