If you are interested in creating an integrated learning environment in which students become deeply engaged in reading, writing, and inquiry while they explore the ethical dimensions of the curriculum, then this highly accessible book will be invaluable to you. In Imagining to Learn
, Jeffrey Wilhelm and Brian Edmiston demonstrate how drama taps into the imagination to create powerful learning contexts.
This book moves drama into the mainstream of elementary and middle school teaching, learning, and curriculum. It is filled with examples of how teachers and students together can create contexts that tap into students' energies, abilities, and questions—contexts where students can discover a reason to read, a need to think, and a community that cares about their ideas. Readers will discover new methodologies and techniques that are rarely used in North America. They will also become familiar with drama as a method of performance-based assessment and ways to engage in research with students. The book shows how to adapt these methods into a flexible set of strategies to help students read with better comprehension, learn sophisticated and abstract content, explore values, and forge new understandings. Drama, as Wilhelm and Edmiston use it, enables students to "see" what they are reading and learning, create mental models and coherent networks of thought, apply and play out possibilities and consequences in a field of safety. The stories in this book demonstrate that drama can be easily introduced to students and successfully used by both beginning and experienced teachers.