Transforming multicultural teacher education through participatory theatre: an arts-based approach to ethnographic action research
Multivariate forms of social oppression, such as racism, linguicism, and heterosexism, are manifested in schools that, as part of our communities, reflect the societal stratification and structural inequalities of a larger society. Teacher educators engaged in multicultural education are responsible for providing pre-service teachers with opportunities to critically examine the intricacies of cultural diversity in U.S. classrooms, developing critical multicultural dispositions. What are effective pedagogical strategies that encourage pre-service teachers to develop such critical multicultural practices? The researcher has found that participatory theatre, including Boalian theatre games, Forum Theatre, Image Theatre, and ethnodrama, can be a transformative, emancipatory pedagogical tool to engage students in critical and creative exploration of cultural diversity. The primary objective of this study is to illustrate how pre-service teachers develop critical consciousness through attending the researcher's multicultural teacher education classroom, which was designed at the nexus of Freirean and Boalian critical (performance) pedagogy, followed by analyzing his teaching practice, which focuses mainly on participatory theatre exercises. This doctoral dissertation is an ethnographic documentary of the researcher's striving to challenge the hegemonic status quo in teacher education by liberating himself from the anti-dialogical banking educator, and encouraging his students to liberate themselves as passive consumers of education. Such reflection may provide teacher educators with examples of counter-hegemonic (artistic) practice for social change relating to their own work.