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Rolling Role Roundtable - Water Reckoning Project (slideshare version)
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Rolling Role Roundtable - Water Reckoning Project (slideshare version)


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At IDIERI 7 Pam Bowell proposed the initiation of an international collaboration that would focus on using Heathcote’s strategies (including one called ‘Rolling Role’) and digital communications and …

At IDIERI 7 Pam Bowell proposed the initiation of an international collaboration that would focus on using Heathcote’s strategies (including one called ‘Rolling Role’) and digital communications and platforms. The concept was to create a drama involving young people from several different countries in responding to the same dramatic stimulus or pre-text, with the drama culminating at the Heathcote Reconsidered conference.

The concept of Rolling Role is to involve different groups or classes in building a community that then faces some kind of change. The initiators create a common context and agree to the key features, affairs and concerns of the community. The students/children are then involved in building the community, the lives, events and artefacts of it and add to developments. Work is often left incomplete so another group can take it forward and continue the drama. Heathcote suggested this work lends it self to sharing through something like a website.

This roundtable will focus on the development of the dramatic frame and pre-text. It will identify the implications for creating work within contemporary school systems and the affordances as well as issues which emerge from working with digital technologies in these contexts.
(NB Video clips removed for this upload)

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  • . Historically, high-intensity storms have represented a small fraction of the total. That balance is shifting so we may have fewer storms, but more of them are catastrophic.. climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather and there's a high risk that heatwaves, fires, cyclones, heavy rainfall and drought will become even more intense and frequent in the coming decades.. billions of dollars are spent in reconstruction after natural disasters - the cost of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires cost Victoria an estimated $4.4 billion; the 2010/11 Queensland floods over $5 billionIn excess of 150 million people live within 1 metre of high tide level, and 250 million within 5 metres of high tide. Sea level rise by 2100 could be in the range of about one meter, or possibly more. This would impact on up to one in ten humans on the planet.For people living on low-lying islands such as Tuvalu, or the Maldives, where the highest point is only 2-3 metres above current sea levels, an extra 50 centimetres could see significant portions of their islands being washed away by erosion or covered by water. Many island nations will have their supplies of drinking water reduced because sea water will invade their freshwater sources.
  • The Mud Army was a term being used by the media to descibe the volunteers that helped thousands of Brisbane residents prepare for and recover from the flooding from the Brisbane River (after the Toowoomba flash floods Mon 10 Jan 2011).  Like mud, the name just stuck. It has since been used to describe the groups of volunteers who have gathered to assist after other natural disasters, such as 2013 Qld floods (including Bundaberg)
  • Transcript

    • 1. + Rolling Role – Heathcote Reconsidered Conference Water Reckoning Sue Davis, Xenia Simou, Chris Hatton, Mary Mooney, Julian Kennard, Jen Kulik (via video), Jeffrey Tan (at conference) Also Glenn Taylor, Angelina Ambrosetti, Mei Yee Chang, Prue Wales, Jenny Nicholls. Project proposal by Pam Bowell.
    • 2. + The Water Reckoning Rolling Role Project  The idea for a rolling role project shared through digital technologies was floated at IDIERI in Limerick 2012  The proposal was to explore how Heathcote‟s ideas and strategies are still relevant today and may be repurposed, reworked and extended upon into the future.  In particular the focus was on the Rolling Role concept and how this might be realised in the digital age  The Water Reckoning Project has taken place online and live – in five school sites across the world leading up to and during the „Heathcote Reconsidered‟ conference
    • 3. + Rolling Roll – what is it?  The concept of Rolling Role is to involve different groups or classes in building a community that then faces some kind of change. The initiators create a common context and agree to the key features, affairs and concerns of the community. The students/children are then involved in building the community, the lives, events and artefacts of it and add to developments.  Work is often left incomplete so another group can take it forward and continue the drama.  Work produced by classes if publicly open and available to stimulate other work.  Heathcote suggested this work lends it self to sharing through something like a website. (See „Contexts for active learning: four models‟ By Dorothy Heathcote ‟)
    • 4. + Who has been involved?  Australia – Qld - Sue Davis (Coordinator), Angelina Ambrosetti (Researcher), Glenn Taylor (Teacher)  Australia – NSW – Christine Hatton, Jenny Nicholls, Mary Mooney (Researchers), Julian Kennard (Teacher)  Greece – Xenia Simou (Teacher/Researcher)  Singapore – Mei Yee Chang (Teacher/Coordinator), Jeffrey Tan (Teacher), Prue Wales (Researcher)  USA – Jen Kulik (Teacher/Researcher)
    • 5. + Absent friends
    • 6. + Site – type of school Grade/Age Number of students/gend er Drama experience Other relevant details Queensland – Public secondary school – 1000 students Year 10 – 14-5 years 25 students 22 girls, 3 boys 1-3 years Little drama outside school. Limited process drama Sydney – Independent school 1200 Year 9, 2 x year 10 21 students, - 11 girls, 9 boys Elective drama Quite a lot of out of school experience – NIDA etc Greece – Public school near sea, approx. 230 students 15-18 15 years old 12 students – 11 girls, 1 boy No school drama Different type of drama work for students, hard to get together for co- curricular work. Singapore - polytechnic 16 year olds 3 x classes Studying applied theatre Approx 3 x 2 hr sessions USA- small private secondary 14-15 & 16- 17 years 16 students 11 girls, 5 boys Studying applied theatre Applied theatre students leading workshops for year 6
    • 7. + Why Water? Major 21st century local and global challenges – 2013 Year of Water Collaboration
    • 8. + Water issues/drama – rely on human relationships and cooperation  Heathcote‟s guarantee – “students will see the real world more clearly when they have experienced the imagined one.”  Humans have overcome water issues through invention, technological change, through migration, and through cooperation  Drama as a means of investigating and rehearsing possible future action.
    • 9. + Questions to ponder  Why is water so important to our lives and cultures?  What actions, activities and rituals involve water?  What local and contemporary experiences can we draw on to inform our drama?  What different roles, dramatic conventions, movement, music, imagery can we use to tell our stories?  How do people cope in times of water crisis?  Can we do anything to ensure water security – so that all may share healthy, clean water?
    • 10. + Opportunities and risks  Today‟s young creatives use a realm of cyberspaces and digital tools to create and share their work  We want to position young people as creators and global citizens, not just consumers of culture  We want to capitalise on using different social media, online spaces and tools  We need to do so in ways that are manageable and responsible, especially where young from school contexts are involved  Drama teachers/facilitators end up having to play a key role in managing & mediating these components, uploading and moderating content. Online tools & spaces Creative opportunities
    • 11. + Ideas we could draw on from Heathcote‟s work  Drama is about making significant meaning through commitment to an enterprise and fiction  Importance of finding and creating significant objects, artefacts, images, texts  Teacher often works in-role with the group, manages, questions and facilitates from within  Consider and use dramatic elements movement/stillness, sound/silence darkness/light  Finding the universal in the particular, the emotional connection  Segmenting and selecting focus from culture: work, war, education, health, food, family, shelter, travel, communication, clothing, worship, law, leisure  Find a simple starting point and build belief in stages  Participants should have the power to take action and operate, drawing on what they know and can do  Different frame choices can offer closeness or protection from the main event or action Suppose that… I wonder what …. If we could only … I bet if we tried hard we could …
    • 12. + Different conventions  Visualisations  A written account, diary entry or report  A story told about another  Creation or re-creation of painting or photograph  Finding or drawing up plans  Drawing or map  Teacher in role  Use of soundscape  Enactment in situ.  Enacted Role  Hot seat role play  Creation of role/role cards  Gossip mill  Finding a cryptic message  Rituals & ceremonies  Formal demonstrations, meetings, briefings  I remember  Artefacts of a character, time or place  Clothes of characters p. 166- 167
    • 13. + Edging in, dramatic material & focus – or pretext “An effective pretext is simple and functional. It sets in motion situations in which appearance and reality, truth and deception, and role and identity may be contrasted and explored.” A good pretext has … “ power to launch the dramatic world with economy and clarity, propose action, and imply transformation” Source: Cecily O’Neill (1995), Drama Worlds p.20 & 136 Suppose that… I wonder what …. If we could only … I wonder if we could …
    • 14. + Art, drama & importance of selectivity  Therefore, art creates selection. It demands selection. It seems to me that effective teaching is about selection. It has to particularize, It has to isolate. And because it does this, it distorts … So in art, you have: isolation of the human condition, particularization, distortion, and forming so that you may contemplate it. It is given shape to synthesize the importance of the distortion.  Heathcote in Johnson & O'Neill, 1984, p.114
    • 15. + High selectivity – Initial dramatic material and context - Take 1  Water and Time Earth Reconciliation (WATER) Council  Our role is to identify those times, places and events where the time fabric could be altered to avert disasters and bad decisions involving our earth‟s water resources. Help us identify those points in time and places where we can go back and make a difference  We also invite you to tell us about those events and times where people did make a difference.  Issues – documentary style – „Water Council‟ not inspiring the imagination  What is the connection to current context and student experiences
    • 16. + Take 2  Different water sources produce different crystalline structures when frozen  Water takes on the "resonance" of the energy which is directed at it, and that polluted water can be restored through prayer and positive visualization  Issues – critiques of Emoto‟s work – pseudo-science  Possible semi-religious overtones (water becomes „god-like‟)
    • 17. + Take 3 # Discovery of a lost culture of frozen people underwater who experienced times of crisis # Responding to a message in a bottle about the history of „Ardus Unda‟ # Who were these people and what happened? # What did their emissaries learn about stories from elsewhere around the world? # Is it possible to help the frozen people or restore them to life? Jason deCaires Taylor imagery
    • 18. + Another layer added through fictional frame – Teacher in role – Dr Rita Strong, discovery of message in a bottle.
    • 19. + How it has worked? # Groups create drama work using different conventions. Key content and outcomes and digitally recorded and documented - audio, text, images, videos # Selected material is posted to PlaceStories, videos on YouTube etc # Each group reviews what has already been posted and considering ways to „roll‟ the action forward # There are some session where participants interact online together
    • 20. + Three mains frames initially + one more created  Enrolling students as the researchers who are investigating the history of Ardus Unda  Emissaries and those who left Ardus Unda and have travelled the world seeking answers and documenting events  Those who lived in Ardus Unda at the time of the catastrophe  The descendents of those who survived
    • 21. + Technology use  Teachers/facilitator  Skype (initial planning)  Google hangouts (live interactions – meeting up and planning)  Google Drive (for sharing documents)  Google + community  PlaceStories (with some content uploaded to YouTube)  With students  Camera/ iPads/ photos/ video cameras  Google hangout between groups  PlaceStories (main site for posting creative content)
    • 22. + 01 Different journeys and key experiences (NB Videos removed for uploading to Slideshare)
    • 23. Original pre- text Queensland beach photo shoot & response Queensland beach shoot – character & symbolic clothing Greek follow on
    • 24. Sydney Site
    • 25. Singapore - The Pre-text Initially, while students found the pre-text engaging they didn’t buy into fiction - Many said the video was too “professional”, music was not needed - Archaeologists would not make such “polished” films Hegemonic belief/practice of ‘Singaporean pragmatism’, we wonder?
    • 26. Students told us • If they were real bodies, they would have rotted (in humid Singapore everything rots/turns mouldy) • When facilitators emphasised that the bodies were frozen, students thought of science fiction possibilities
    • 27. Student Reflecting on the Pre-text • Told us they felt the pre-text needed to be set nearer Singapore (or relate more to Singapore culturally), and be more ‘realistic’ (possible) which was explored during the next lesson
    • 28. The Fiction Students subsequently bought into the fiction through a video clip of Dwarka (lost, sunken Indian city), and by re-creating aspects of the city They found the ‘Rolling’ from other locations engaging and helpful in building narrative Constant struggle with ‘suspension of disbelief’, that seems partly due the mixture of fact and fiction, real and unreal
    • 29. + Aspects of rolling – Rolling pre-text, laying trails, following threads, weaving them together  Brad Haseman‟s “leaderly drama”, Jenny Simons identifies a number of abilities that he used, these included:  … laying trails, weaving ideas together, sensing what the group wants, withholding in order to maintain tension and surprise, and „smelling‟ emerging scents (Simons, 2001: 234).
    • 30. + Hangout – USA – in role as Ardus Unda Residents QLD – in role as councillors/govt officials Aspects that rolled – including participation in several shared lived interactions.
    • 31. + Positive aspects  Rolling Role – great concept for enabling students (and teachers) to collaborate with students in other places & countries  The aesthetic power of the Jason deCaire Taylor pre-text – prompting the imagination  Finding examples of many underwater cities, and current water crises/disasters  Effective use of aesthetic tools and artefacts – grounded the work of the imagination  Student responding to the sensory experiences with water & the reality of water issues
    • 32. + Issues and challenges  Time, school timetables and arrangements, finding common times to collaborate globally  Set up and logistics – teachers had to have confidence/experience with process drama and digital technology and be very persistent  Problems with technology working  School technology vs social use of technology by young people  Students limited experience of process drama, uncertainty, taking time to embrace the fiction  Amount of content being posted to PlaceStories – keeping track of developments
    • 33. + Repurposing Heathcote…?  Structuring an open-ended learning experience – is challenging for some students – requires a leap of faith into the unknown  Process drama not familiar for most students - need to find ways to link to curriculum, assessment & identified outcomes e.g. rehearsed improvisation (Qld) or playbuilding (NSW), students structuring applied theatre experiences (USA/Singapore)  While Heathcote said it shouldn‟t be introduced as a drama project – now we do have to name it and the conventions of the artform as such  Importance of use of artefacts, and creation of artefacts as aesthetic tools to ground imaginative work  Importance of teacher‟s role for structuring (high selectivity) modelling teacher in role, knowing when to with-hold information and reframe action in different ways (teacher as playwright)  Great potential for cross school, interstate, international collaboration – real global citizenship is actually not that common in schools at present.