Dramaturgical Representations of Teaching as Social Drama in Educational Settings: Opening a New Dimension in Positioning Analysis

  • Robert Roe University Of Melbourne, Australia
Keywords: dramaturgical representations, ethogenics, moral orders, positioning triad, teacher agency


Since Davies and Harré first introduced Positioning Theory in the social sciences, in the 1990’s, there has been much interest shown in the scalability of the applications from the analysis of the dynamics of person-to-person encounters to the analysis of the discourses by which large-scale social entities position themselves in relation to others; and in the applications that cross the boundaries between different disciplines. What about middle-sized institutions like schools? In this cross-discipline, longitudinal study of a medium-scale social organisation the application of positioning theory is presented in the analysis of the autobiographical narrative accounts of multiple participants in the early socialization of networked technologies in a Melbourne school, in the 1990’s. In proposing a dramaturgical representation rendered as a drama-text which highlights the daily activities of teachers, I argue that a new perspective is afforded the researcher/reader: one of transformation of identity and of institutional re-structuring as an ‘imagined’ drama. I will discuss the key features of the imagined drama: structure; creating and juxtaposing verbatim dialogues; the narrator; and positioning analysis. In this realm of possibility I argue that dramaturgical representations and the re-design of the conventional positioning triad as a positioning pyramid open a new dimension in positioning analysis affording a contribution to Positioning Theory research. While simultaneously affording a co-constructed research methodology in which practicing teachers as teacher-researchers and educational researchers are mutually committed to research in improving practice in schools and in teacher research.

Author Biography

Robert Roe, University Of Melbourne, Australia

ROBERT ROE completed his PhD in 2015 at Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), University of Melbourne, Australia. At the time of the study he was an itinerant academic employed in teacher education and President of the local state science teachers’ association. Robert is a founder member and secretary of Mag-Net Online Association of STEM Educators and continues to collaborate with teachers on their school-based projects. He remains active in the MGSE Ginger Group: this unique postgraduate research discursive circle affords a conversational space in which to present, rehearse, invite critical feedback, and provide emotional and moral support (robroe@optusnet.com.au).