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.
Imagining to Learn 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 the U.S. 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.
“Imagining to Learn is an important book...The ideas are accessible, the examples cogent, and the analysis innovative.”–Harvard Educational Review
Drama, as the authors use it, enables students to see what they are reading and learning, create mental models and coherent networks of thought, and apply and play out possibilities and consequences. The authors show how elementary and middle school teachers can use drama as a method of assessment; ways to engage in research with students; and how their methodologies can be adapted to help students read with better comprehension, learn sophisticated and abstract content, explore values, and forge new understandings. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Brian Edmiston has been teaching and learning through drama in the elementary, secondary, and college classroom for the past twenty years. At the Ohio State University he teaches courses in the drama education program and studies how drama can integrate the curriculum and develop ethical awareness in students. In 1991, he received the AATE Research Award.
Jeffrey Wilhelm is coauthor with Michael Smith and James Fredricksen of Get It Done!; Oh, Yeah?!; and So, What's the Story?. Jeff has cowritten or coedited four other Heinemann books, Going with the Flow, "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys", Strategic Reading, and Imagining to Learn. For Chevys he and coauthor Jeff Wilhelm received the NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English. Jeff is an internationally-known teacher, author, and presenter. He is driven by a desire to help teachers to help their students to more powerful literacy and compassionate, democratic living. What he most wants for teachers to get out of his work is motivation, a vital passion and impulse to continue experimenting and learning about teaching, as well as ways to frame instruction so it is meaningful and compelling to students. A classroom teacher for fifteen years, Jeff is currently Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He works in local schools as part of a Virtual Professional Development Site Network sponsored by the Boise State Writing Project, and regularly teaches middle and high school students. He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project. He has authored or coauthored numerous books and articles about literacy teaching and learning. In addition to the Russell award, his "You Gotta BE the Book" won the NCTE Promising Research Award. Jeff has worked on numerous materials and software programs for students including Scholastic's e21 and ReadAbout, and has edited a series of 100 books for reluctant readers entitled The Ten. Jeff enjoys speaking, presenting, working with students and schools. He is currently researching how students read and engage with non-traditional texts like video game narratives, manga, horror, fantasy, etc. as well as the effects of inquiry teaching on teachers, students, and learning. Jeff grew up on a small strawberry farm in Northeastern Ohio. He loved the Hardy Boys as a boy, and has continued to love reading ever since, progressing through Hermann Hesse, John Steinbeck, and James Baldwin as literary mentors. In high school he was named a Harrier All-American for cross-country and track. He was then a two-time Small College All-American in Cross-country. He has competed Internationally in cross country, track, and nordic skiing. He now enjoys marathon nordic skiing and whitewater kayaking.