There are a multitude of books to read about our subject of Drama but it is important to be aware of books that our outside of our subject. There are some excellent curriculum books out there that have really helped shape my view of what I teach and the way I teach it. It has been hard to whittle them down, but here are my top five recommendations for curriculum books to read.
The researchED Guide to The Curriculum
This is a fantastic book from a fantastic series. A collection of essays from research conducted in classrooms and schools across the United Kingdom.
Clare Sealy edits this one and brings together articles that, whilst may present a slightly biased view on more traditionist perspectives of education, present a decent picture of the debate within education (as it was pre-pandemic).
Curriculum: Athena versus the machine by Martin Robinson
This is a fascinating book that highlights the conflict between the demands of the curriculum and the exciting opportunities within the curriculum to teach inspiring, innovative and engaging content.
It was helped me in particular understand the boundaries that I work within, so that I know where and when to push those boundaries, how to make the best of them and not to be afraid of them anymore.
The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to coherence by Mary Myatt
This is a brilliant and passionate book calling for education to forge towards a coherent and joined up curriculum. This is a book for teachers and it is really accessible and practical.
This book has special resonance for Drama I believe. There is such a wide, diverse and, often, contradictory ways of teaching that the nations Drama curriculum could be described at Gallimaufry, which means a confused jumble.
Memorable Teaching: Leveraging memory to build deep and durable learning in the classroom by Peps Mccrea
This short book is a nice quick read, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t packed with useful information. This book will tell you all you need to know about memory and comes packed with activities for you to try. Although the ideas are generic to classrooms, and sometimes hard to translate into the Drama Studio, it is on this list because it remains the clearest and most coherent explanation of the impact of memory on learning.
Rosenshine’s Principles in Action by Tom Sherrington
This is probably on everyone’s list as well, and for good reason. It has now been widely recognised how important Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction are and their potential to support teachers seeking to engage with cognitive science.
Whilst these principles are, in principle, fine (sorry, had to do it!) they can be hard to hear and apply in Drama. But just because it is hard doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. I have seen fantastic lessons taught, units of learning planned, curriculum designed and results gained through the use of these principles of instruction.