There have been lots of oddly dressed students talking to themselves this week in the School of Education, as the entire first-year cohort of teaching students memorises lines and dons costumes to appear in performances of their own plays.
All 650 students have been engaged in performing 120 mini-plays they have scripted during their first semester topic ‘Teaching and Educational Contexts’.
The scripts take their lead and inspiration from Educating Fronnie, a play written in 2006 by Flinders academic Dr Paul Jewell to offer insights into the differing perspectives and approaches to the how and why of teaching.
Set on a spaceship, the play featured a cast of characters who discuss and present educational concepts through five differing lenses in an attempt to find consensus.
Education lecturer Dr Clare McCarty said the intellectual framework of Educating Fronnie has been integrated into classes in the ‘Teaching and Educational Contexts’ topic, in which the performance is the final assignment.
Dr McCarty said that as well as introducing a range of intellectual concepts about education and approaches to teaching, writing and performing the play is in itself an engaging and productive learning experience for students.
Mr Ari Traucki, a student mentor to one of the classes, said the program had been invaluable to the students’ development: “It has set them up with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed in this degree and as highly competent teachers”.