Teacher as fool: A study of the teacher's power in the carnivalesque practice of drama education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, drawing on Bakhtin's carnival theory, I argue that teachers can play a transgressive role - similar to that of the carnival fool - by taking on a story role and by interacting with the children in the drama convention of Teacher-in-Role. The carnival notion of 'decrowning-crowning' allows me to understand how the teachers disguise and share their power in the drama classroom. Based on a lesson conducted in a Hong Kong kindergarten, I investigate how the teachers and the children's acting bodies, exaggerated emotions and transgressive props can materialise 'decrowning-crowning' actions. In the process, the teachers decrown themselves of their own authority, parody the given story and at the same time, crown the children to laugh, feel, respond and act freely. However, the mainstream ideology and educational culture prevailing in Hong Kong can regress in the process and serve to restrict, if not counterfeit, the decrowning-crowning process. Copyright © 2017 Pedagogy, Culture & Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-300
JournalPedagogy, Culture & Society
Volume26
Issue number2
Early online dateOct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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drama
carnival
teacher
education
Hong Kong
satire
kindergarten
emotion
ideology
classroom

Citation

Tam, P. C. (2018). Teacher as fool: A study of the teacher's power in the carnivalesque practice of drama education. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 26(2), 283-300. doi: 10.1080/14681366.2017.1390492

Keywords

  • Carnival theory
  • Carnival fool
  • Decrowning-crowning
  • Drama education
  • Teacher-in-Role