ANNOUNCING - 2019 DNZ Primary Initiative

We are pleased to announce our….

Drama New Zealand Primary Network of Expertise:

School-based collaborations to build teacher capacity in literacy

The aim of the pilot project is to increase the capability of teachers to engage their students in writing and literacy, and to assist their students to achieve success as writers, by building process drama strategies into their literacy programmes.

The programme will involve an expert drama practitioner working alongside classroom teachers to deliver an enhanced literacy programme focussing on specific outcomes in writing. It draws on the research-based drama pedagogies whose effectiveness in improving literacy outcomes has recently been demonstrated by programmes implemented in Australia.

The professional learning will involve eight teachers, two in each of four neighbouring schools. These teachers will work together to become a professional learning community, and their discussions and learnings will extend beyond their work with students in their individual schools. The programme will extend over two such communities in two regions, firstly in Wellington in Term 1 and then Hawkes Bay will follow in Term 2.  

Expert Teacher: Juliet Cottrell

We are delighted to announce that the Expert Teacher for the pilot will be Juliet Cottrell, a highly experienced and expert practitioner, with a Masters in Applied Theatre and Drama in Education.

Originally from Wellington, Juliet began her teaching career in North Queensland where she gained classroom experience over a range of levels.  Juliet then moved to Brisbane where she was placed at Pullenvale Environmental Centre. During her ten year placement she facilitated drama and outdoor programmes, wrote integrated classroom resources, produced and performed in a number of theatre in education projects and teacher professional development on integrating drama in the classroom. Juliet was co-author of The Storythread Process - teaching through story. She has also been engaged at both Griffith University and QUT,  where she taught pre-service primary and early childhood teachers. She was also involved in similar teacher- mentor projects in conjunction with Griffith University.

Since returning to New Zealand in 2008, she moved to Hawkes Bay, where she started her business The Drama Workshop - after school drama classes for children and teens as well as professional development for teachers in Drama in Education. During this time she completed her Masters.. She has also been working in schools on Arts immersion and literacy projects and school productions.

Juliet is looking forward to working on the Drama NZ Networks of Expertise project and to meeting the wonderful students and teachers who will be involved in this exciting and innovative program.

Academic Advisor: Dr Viv Aitken

We also have engaged Dr Viv Aitken as the Academic Advisor.

Viv Aitken is delighted to be taking the role for this pilot project. Viv is Research Associate with the Faculty of Education at Waikato University where she was senior lecturer in drama education from 2004-2014. She also spent two years as Associate Professor in Education at EIT and has been a guest lecturer at Massey. In her role as a Ministry-accredited professional development facilitator, Viv supports teachers and school leaders around Aotearoa New Zealand to implement Arts-rich programmes, including using drama and Mantle of the Expert to teach across the curriculum.  She continues to teach, supervise, mentor and research in a range of settings. Viv has produced over 30 peer reviewed publications with her research to date focussed on drama and literacy, power and positioning, culturally responsive pedagogy, audience response and drama in inclusive settings. She's currently completing a book for NZCER on Mantle of the Expert in a New Zealand context.

We are looking forward to bringing you further updates about the project once it is underway.

Emma Bishop