Chestertown, April 7—Washington College will offer "Theatre in the Classroom," a graduate course in education this summer, taught by drama professor Timothy Maloney. The course will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m., Tues. and Thurs., from June 5 to July 24.
Theatre in the Classroom will focus on developing methods of integrating performance techniques into the regular curriculum in any content area and exploring interdisciplinary planning and teaching strategies. "Theatre can be used in any discipline—from biology to physics to history to literature," Maloney says. Students will work on developing techniques of both scripted and non-scripted performance as a means of presenting content material and of engaging their own students in active, creative encounters with that material. Maryland is among the states that have drafted or completed arts education standards. Professional development such as that offered by Theatre in the Classroom is key to the success of those standards.
The class is grounded in Harvard professor Howard Gardner's work on the variety of forms of intelligence, which has helped legitimate arts as integral to learning. "In his study of the many forms in which intelligence can be expressed and developed, Gardner points to the practical utility of using the arts in enhancing individual performance," says Maloney.
Using theatre in the classroom can increase students' ability to understand material by engaging their imaginations. "Reading alone might distance students from the material," Maloney says. "Theatre is particularly apt for classroom use because it is an innate human activity—it's intrinsic in humans to make theatre , to make language that expresses the human condition in the present."
Washington College offers courses leading to masters degrees in English, history, and psychology. Those who are pursuing a graduate degree in education elsewhere should contact their schools to determine whether Theatre in the Classroom fulfills degree requirements. Graduate tuition and fees at Washington College are $770 per course. For more information about Theatre in the Classroom or other graduate courses being offered this summer, call the Washington College Office of the Registrar, 410-778-7299.