This presentation was for my paper "Transformative learning: revisiting Heathcote and Vygotsky for the digital age" presented at the IDEA Congress in Paris, July 2013.
(Some additional text had been added and video clips removed in this version). As an education academic who spent many years as a drama teacher it has been an interesting journey for me to find those theorists, scholars and master practitioners whose work resonates for me, and who articulated principles and truths that I had also discovered for myself.
For both Heathcote and Vygotsky, learning was a social process that recognized the importance of individual interactions with knowledgeable others and peers. Learning was not conceived of as transmission but a mediated activity involving symbolic and psychological tools. In both cases the way they conceived of childrens’ learning potential was predicated on valuing what they could do and become through interactions with concepts and artefacts from cultures.
In this paper I will identify several themes in work by Vygotsky and Heathcote and explore their relevance to a recent project I have been involved in. The Water Reckoning Project was a process-based drama project enacted across five school sites around the world. It involved the use of digital technologies for capturing and sharing creative work and facilitating networked communicaitons and performative acts. The use of digital technologies increase the repertoire of potential tools available for transformative learning - with the teacher's role still remaining an active one - as the curator and designer of aesthetic encounters.