Intentionality of learning in a theatrical production: Four Hong Kongers learn and teach

Matthew William DECOURSEY, Sivanes PHILLIPSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A theatrical production is an educational activity, but it differs greatly from a class with a teacher. There are no learning objectives. There is only a performance objective: to put on a show. Much of the learning that goes on still depends on intentionality, but it is the intentionality of the learners that is in question. Learners come to the show in the awareness that there are certain things to be learned. Those who wanted to build confidence were aware that performance is difficult, and depended on that difficulty to create the experience of mastery for them. The unintentional learning that accompanied the experience of mastery formed the climax of the participant narratives as the meaningful and unex-pected outcome of their intentionality of learning. The aim of this paper is to define how four young Hong Kong teachers recalled the production and other experiences of drama and theatre when they were student-teachers, how they were themselves using drama in their work as English teachers, and how they understood learning in both roles. The four teachers’ role is examined using a theoretical framework of intentionality of learning within a narrative approach. This method allows for a closer perspective of the learning experience in a theatre production where intentions of learning and the ac-tual learning experience are embedded in the educational and sociocultural elements of the learning environment. Copyright © 2011 The Australia Asia Research and Education Foundation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
JournalThe Internal Journal of Language, Culture and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2011



DeCoursey, M., & Philipson, S. (2011). Intentionality of learning in a theatrical production: Four Hong Kongers learn and teach. The Internal Journal of Language, Culture and Society, 33, 19-29.


  • Theatre
  • Hong Kongers
  • Intentionality
  • Learn and teach