Seeing and seeing through: forum theatre approaches to ethnographic evidence

Lundie, D. and Conroy, J. C. (2012) Seeing and seeing through: forum theatre approaches to ethnographic evidence. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 33(3), pp. 329-342. (doi: 10.1080/13617672.2012.732814)

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Ethnographic findings from a large qualitative research project on Religious Education in UK secondary schools uncovered contested meanings for the subject as a social practice. In order to bring to the fore some of the ways these contested meanings manifest themselves as confusions in the classroom, a performance ethnography was conducted, making use of Augusto Boal’s forum theatre approach. This involved distilling ethnographic evidence into dramatic vignettes, performing these in front of an audience of pupils, and asking the pupils for feedback on the experience. The feedback enabled the research team to triangulate their findings, by inverting the ethnographers’ gaze, allowing pupils to co-construct the meanings which the ethnographers had elicited from the data. The method is discussed in detail, as are the ways in which resource and examination pressures in the Religious Education classroom can obscure opportunities for authentic exploration of religious meanings in pupils’ lives and the contribution of the forum theatre and pupils’ reflections on how to remedy these distortions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Conroy, Professor James and Lundie, Dr David
Authors: Lundie, D., and Conroy, J. C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Educational Leadership & Policy
Journal Name:Journal of Beliefs and Values
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9362
Published Online:13 December 2012

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
453621Does religious education work? An analysis of the aims, practices and models of effectiveness in Religious Education across the UKJames ConroyArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/F009135/1ED - CREATIVITY, CULTURE & FAITH