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.
CitationTam, 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
- Carnival theory
- Carnival fool
- Drama education