Matt Omasta and Elizabeth Murray: Assessment in Elementary Drama Education

This study articulates U.S. elementary (primary) school drama specialists’ / teachers’ perceptions of assessment as a component of education and documents assessment processes and procedures in drama classrooms

This study articulates U.S. elementary (primary) school drama specialists’ / teachers’ perceptions of assessment as a component of education and documents assessment processes and procedures in drama classrooms. Through a series of qualitative interviews with a dozen participants from various geographical areas throughout the country, this pilot study informs the drama/theatre education field about contemporary trends in assessment with students in grades K-5. Our primary research question is: How do elementary-level drama/theatre/theatre educators in various settings conceptualize and enact assessment in their work with students? Related questions include:

  • How do teachers define “assessment”?
  • What specific skills, behaviors, knowledge and understanding, interests, talents, or other things do teachers assess?
  • What specific tools, instruments, and strategies do teachers employ to perform these assessments?
  • To whom is assessment data communicated and in what forms?
  • What types of resources and supports regarding assessment do teachers refer to?

Matt Omasta is Associate Professor, Associate Department Head, and Director of Theatre Education at Utah State University.

Beth Murray is Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Chris Blois-Brooke (Founder & Director)
An Applied Theatre Practitioner with experience in international Drama Education, Community Theatre and Theatre for Development, Chris’ ongoing research interests centre around the documentation of Community Performance practice for the purposes of monitoring & evaluation, advocacy and training. Recent projects include facilitating participatory documentation of Community Circus, Dance, Theatre and Storytelling practice in Ethiopia, South Africa and Zambia, documenting large conferences around the world, as well as conducting Impact Assessment studies for organisations in the UK and USA. His other work includes Arts-based Curriculum Development consultancy, as well as authoring other Evaluative Research projects.