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.