MEd Projects (Leadership Studies)

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    A Design of Narrative Inquiry Work Session on Occupational Sexism in the Hospitality Industry
    (2023-11-16) Ding, Yuxuan; Allen, Willow Samara
    Occupational sexism has recently gained more attention, and people are beginning to realize how it negatively impacts women in various ways. Despite efforts made by governmental organizations and companies to address gender inequity in the workplace through laws and staff policies, occupational sexism still disproportionately affects women, even in industries where women are the primary workforce, such as the hospitality industry. To contribute to addressing workplace sexism, specifically in the hospitality industry, this project explores how the widespread male supremacy ideology and the failure of many companies to treat administrative regulations seriously prevent governmental policies and administrative regulations from effectively overturning occupational gender injustice. Through the analysis, the challenges for many to identify and admit occupational sexism and why women in the industry still prefer to remain silent or laugh off when confronting gender injustices will be demonstrated. Based on the illustration of how current efforts like laws and organizational regulations fail to tackle occupational sexism, this project proposes an online narrative inquiry work session as a potential solution to address gender injustice in workplaces. Using Zheng’s 5Ps model (2017), this work session will invite participants to analyze stories about women facing occupational sexism in the hospitality industry. The analysis of the stories aims to propel participants to avoid acting in sexist ways, inspire them to develop allyship with women facing occupational sexism, educate female participants about resisting gender injustice, and encourage participants to keep sharing stories to educate more people in disparate industries about challenging workplace sexism. With collective efforts, occupational sexism will be more likely solved.
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    Informing Transformative Learning in Critical Adult Education - A Study of Chinese Public Intellectual Qin Hui (秦晖)
    (2023-05-10) Chen, Wei (Vera); Willow, Samara Allen
    This study examines Qin Hui (秦晖), a prominent Chinese public intellectual, historian, and liberal thinker, using the theoretical framework of transformative learning. The project aims to contribute to the field of critical adult education by demonstrating how Qin Hui’s scholarship and active engagement in China’s public sphere have resulted in transformative learning experiences for individuals. By examining the impact of Qin Hui’s scholarship, this project also seeks to shed light on the potential of critical adult education to promote transformative change in society. The research has two specific goals: First, to explore Qin’s insights into various issues such as democracy, social justice, freedom, and globalization that are relevant to both China’s democratization and Western democracy. Second, the research aims to introduce Qin’s scholarly essence to a broader audience by applying an arts-based research method. To lay a solid foundation for this research, I conducted a comprehensive literature review, focusing on the contemporary history of Chinese public intellectuals and current studies of Qin Hui’s works. I used two research methods: content analysis of Qin’s literature to generate findings, and video as an arts-based research approach to make knowledge more engaging and accessible. In addition, I addressed gaps identified in the current literature and extended the study by discussing the findings of the content analysis and raising unanswered questions for future research.
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    The REIL Model - An Engagement and Learning Tool for Marginalized Learners in Non-Formal and Formal Learning Settings
    (2020-05-26) Bigsby, Katy; Clover, Darlene
    Through my work as an educational consultant with community and government organizations, I became aware of the impact non-formal learning programs could have on marginalized learners as flexible, self-selective spaces that learners co-create with learning facilitators. For this project, I developed an engagement and learning model to support marginalized children and youth. I’ve named it the REIL model. REIL stands for Rapport, Engage, Imagination & creativity, and Learners. It can be used in non-formal or formal learning settings. Rapport is the ongoing practice of being interested and engaged in all learners. It is the central focus of the model. Rapport is the capacity to support, not manage learners. Engagement happens when learning facilitators provide a flexible, co-created, learner-centered environment in which learners initiate tasks and lead activities. Imagination and creativity allows learners to create alternate possibilities beyond the rigid stereotypes or oppression they may face in their day to day lives. It allows learners to be self-expressed and empowered. Finally, Learners is about knowing your learners. It is the ability to welcome families and communities into your program or the capacity to go out into the community to meet families where they are. It is the courage to acknowledge and discuss structural inequities your learners may face. This paper highlights ways in which non-formal learning approaches can strengthen connections, opportunities, voice, and ultimately empower marginalized learners.
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    11 Years and Beyond: A Visual Exploration of Collective Arts for Climate Justice
    (2020-05-25) Gelderman, Hannah; Clover, Darlene
    As we collectively navigate the interconnected climate and inequality crises and fight for a just and habitable future, the arts and creative practices have a critical role to play. In 11 Years and Beyond: A Visual Exploration of Collective Arts for Climate Justice I focus specifically on the role of locally produced, participatory visual arts as a response to both the drivers and the impacts of the climate crisis. From a climate communications perspective participatory visual arts have already proven effective in engaging people in climate solutions (Burke, Ockwell, & Whitmarsh, 2018; Roosen, Klöckner, & Swim, 2018). In addition to improving climate change communications, participatory visual arts offer us a platform to envision a different world (Galafassi et al., 2018), strengthen our activism (Duncombe & Lambert, 2018), build community connection (Berman, 2017), and increase our resiliency (Huss, Kaufman, Avgar & Shuker, 2016) which all help us to navigate, resist and transform our current capitalist, colonial paradigm. Artists, organizers and others who facilitate participatory art projects have an important role to play in these processes, but I have found that there is a lack of resources for those seeking to make change at the intersection of art and activism. To fill this gap I have used arts-based research methods (thus leveraging the power of the arts in my own research) to create Collective Arts for Climate Justice, an illustrated guide in zine format, that advocates for the use of locally produced, participatory visual art practices as a necessary part of our response to our current crises. Because "arts-based forms have the potential to reach wider audiences, including nonacademic audiences" (Leavy & Harris, 2019, p. 216) I have illustrated all my background information (e.g., my literature review), as well as the zines, to ensure that all my research can be as accessible as possible. Through this I hope to invite organizers, artists, and others to utilize community based visual arts to further expand our collective and community capacity to respond to the climate crisis. The growth of participatory art practices can help invigorate and strengthen us as we fight for climate justice, renew our relationships with the land, and build the world we want to live in.
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    You’ve Got to Paddle Your Own Canoe: The effects of federal legislation on participation in, and exercising of, traditional governance while living off-reserve
    (2019-03-07) George, Ronald; Clover, Darlene; McGregor, Catherine
    Abstract This project describes the challenges and impediments members of two clans experienced while growing up and living off-reserve. Members of the Gitimt’en clan and their father clan, the Likhts’amisyu, descendants of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Gisdayway (Thomas George), and Tsaybaysa (Mary George) respectively, and which includes the writer, related personal experiences of living off-reserve amidst the dominant colonial culture. Approximately 70% of the total Indigenous population in Canada live off-reserve. These experiences were documented through the Wet’suwet’en hereditary system which is an oral, transparent, publicly witnessed, and ever evolving living history. Through this project, our clan realized commonalities of experience, both positive and negative, as well as potential strategies to continue our hereditary governance system with increased efficiency and unity while we continue, through legislation, to live off-reserve. Consideration that the off-reserve population comprises approximately two thirds of the Indigenous population in Canada, and is yet to be recognized by government authorities, added legal challenges disproportionate to those of the dominant culture, and to the on-reserve population. Research for this project involved increased contact amongst clan members. Through increased contact and discussion, we discovered methods to ensure consultation and inclusion in our hereditary system while living off-reserve. Members of the Gitimt’en clan also worked toward increased communication with the Wet’suwet’en on-reserve population, as well as with both provincial and federal government authorities.
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    Balancing Islamic education and liberal secular norms in the Canadian context
    (2017-04-26) Ahmed, Maryam; Gounko, Tatiana
    Canadian Muslim schools, like many other minority organizations, attempt to find a harmony between maintaining the essential principles of Islam and offering students the important abilities required to understand and accommodate any pressures that may emerge between their religious norms and national norms. The aim of this project is to understand the nature of Islamic education in Canada with a focus on how one Islam-based school teaches Islamic values in a secular society. This qualitative research adopts an instrumental case study design to analyze documents in order to understand the nature of Islamic education as found at Al-Zahra Islamic school, as well as some challenges, within the context of Canada’s multicultural society. The study recommends some strategies that will help Canadian Islamic schools find a balance between protecting students' Islamic identity and maintaining their national identity.
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    Jews and Palestinians in the Diaspora: A Local to Global Educational Model for Peace and Dispute Resolution
    (2015-09-12) Nestel, Gail, Florence; Clover, Darlene; McGregor, Catherine
    This co-operative community-based research, practicing participatory action research through co-operative inquiry, provided a space for arts-based learning for Diaspora Jews and Palestinians. The arts including cuisine, drawing, poetry, scripture, objects d’art, and film were the vehicles used to find existential meanings and in particular new learning about “the Other.” Findings showed both resistance and attraction to the resolution of profound and deeply felt histories and personal narratives. The author’s trip to Israel and the West Bank of Palestine followed, in order to explore the review of literature.
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    Liberia's Higher Education: An Agenda for Virtual and Distance Education in Urban and Rural Settings
    (2015-09-01) Hardy Agueh, Kade Anna; Gounko, Tatiana
    The University Admission Examinations (UAE) in 2013 showed that high school graduates in Liberia did not meet required standards. This was due to poor quality of secondary education in Liberia, characterized by a high illiteracy rate of 62% and low quality of education at the secondary and tertiary levels. In order to deal with these issues and find solutions to other social problems, Liberia needs to develop and enforce new sets of policies that will facilitate education and quality improvement. This study examines Liberia’s education system and policies particularly in higher education. The author reviews policy documents of the Liberian government, the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations, and scholarly literature to find out what approaches could benefit the Liberian nation currently recovering from 14 years of civil war and devastation. One of the main findings is that Virtual and Distance Education can be an asset to Liberia’s higher education system, if and only if, certain requirements are fulfilled. Distance education should be utilized more often so that people from rural and remote regions can access advanced education. Although traditional forms of education are still valuable and must be strengthened, distance education is proven to be convenient, accessible, effective and efficient. The Government of Liberia and its international partners need to work closely to fulfill the goals of Education for all, as this is essential to raising literacy rates across the country and accomplishing post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia. Drawing on experiences of other African nations, a set of recommendations is proposed to assist in policy formulation, with regards to quality and accessible higher education, and implementation of educational reforms in Liberia.
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    Teacher and librarian collaboration: using servant-leadership attributes to create a culture of collaboration
    (2013-05-24) Craig, Sarah; Gounko, Tatiana
    The purpose of this qualitative study is to identify the leadership attributes librarians need to create a culture of collaboration in their school community. A literature review and a scholarly content analysis were conducted on teacher and librarian collaboration (TLC) and Servant-Leadership to explore the role that Servant-Leadership characteristics play in the development and sustainability of collaborative relationships between teachers and librarians. Ten TLC articles were examined through the theoretical framework of Servant-Leadership. The theme of Servant-Leadership was analyzed through the subthemes of the Seven Pillars of Servant-Leadership as identified by Sipe and Frick (2009): person of character, puts people first, skilled communicator, compassionate collaborator, foresight, systems thinker, and leads with moral authority. Servant-Leadership as a search term was lacking in TLC literature; however, attributes of the subthemes were found in the majority of the articles. The themes of trust and building trusting relationships were the most commonly discussed attributes found in TLC literature. Through this research, librarians will gain a deeper understanding of their leadership role in collaborative partnerships and acquire practical suggestions on how to create a culture of collaboration in their school community.
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    Mentorship: the description of the experience of a prolonged mentorship relationship.
    (2013-04-15) Cottier, Emma; Gounko, Tatiana
    Mentorship between an educator and student is a complex and enduring journey that connects two individuals in the pursuit of a dream or common goal. It is a one-on-one relationship that customizes itself to the needs of the mentee, where the wisdom of the more experienced individual is shared with the other in a supportive and encouraging manner. Genuine and meaningful mentorship, where there is a strong connection between two individuals, can impact both willing participants in numerous ways. A mentee is provided with academic and emotional support, and a mentor is provided with profound professional and personal growth. This project reflects on the personal experience of a six-year mentorship, and provides a detailed description of prolonged mentorship, the mentorship relationship, and the personal and professional growth one can obtain by voluntarily entering into the role of mentor. It will provide helpful educational insight into the multifaceted world of mentorship.
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    Ensuring the success of struggling learners: the role of the principal
    (2013-04-14) Berendt, Michael; Clover, Darlene
    The purpose of this project was to develop an understanding of struggling learners, their needs and how principals can help them be successful. I surveyed administrators in the school district in which I am employed and looked at current literature on struggling learners, special education issues as they pertain to principals, inclusion, and the impact on teachers and principals. Through the survey of administrators in my school district I had hoped to find strategies or programs that they had used or knew to help struggling learners. In my literature search I looked at the strategies to support struggling learners. I considered topics such as strength based interventions, self-regulation, behaviour support programs, and Response to Intervention. I found that Response to Intervention was a feasible and potentially worthwhile approach to supporting struggling learners. The survey and questionnaire were also meant to determine the principals’ knowledge and understanding of inclusion and their role in supporting struggling learners. The other aspect of the survey was to determine the level of training in special education that the principals and administrators possessed. I compared this data to previous studies from my Literature Review. I also wanted to understand what the principals’ / administrators’ perceptions were about the barriers to supporting struggling learners. I also looked at the literature to see what other studies had found to be the important attributes that principals should possess to best be able to support struggling learners.
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    Tibetan Buddhism meets western psychology and counseling: a dynamic interface
    (2013-02-05) Campbell, Joanna; Stoltz, Jo-Anne
    Buddhist teachings and practices have developed over the past 2500 years. The mid-twentieth century saw an unprecedented level of contact between Tibetan Buddhist practitioners and western scholars and professionals, encouraging considerable discussion about the contributions that Tibetan Buddhism could offer to western psychology and counseling. Scholars such as Alan Wallace who are familiar with both sides of this interface believe that there is a great deal of practical benefit that Tibetan Buddhism could bring into western psychology and counseling, but it is believed that it is important to maintain the meditation and mind training techniques within the cultural context and value system from which they were derived. Proponents of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy do not feel that the cultural aspects of Tibetan Buddhism are compatible with their clinical approach, and would prefer to analyze the mind training techniques in a culturally neutral environment. Nonetheless, there are those among them that question whether it is possible to remove the techniques from their cultural context without destroying their essence. The developers of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction view Buddhist meditation and practices as potential remedies for over stressed western minds. The importance of learning from highly advanced meditation practitioners is emphasized. Insight Meditation has developed an approach which combines meditation and Buddhist practices with psychology and counseling. A more controversial viewpoint is that Buddhist practice and thought should be pared down to its barest utilitarian components in order to make it simpler and more accessible. Feminist counselors and Buddhist practitioners in the west have expressed that the gender biases inherent in Buddhist traditions are not appropriate in the west. Many opportunities will exist for further literature reviews exploring the interface between Tibetan Buddhism and western psychology and counseling.
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    Liminality and emerging adulthood: the influence of youth programs on self-identity
    (2013-01-22) Labelle, Marc; Gounko, Tatiana
    This phenomenological study deals with the influence of a liminal experience on the development of self-identity among Canadian emerging adults. The author relates the experiences of four participants in Katimavik, a Canadian national youth service-learning program. This study indicates that Katimavik can be a liminal experience for the participants. The insight derived from the narratives of the participants shows the relationship between the liminal aspects of the program and the heightened awareness of the participants’ self-identity. As a form of experiential learning, liminal experiences are described as a way to facilitate the development of self-identity awareness for participants.
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    Women and natural building: cobs as art forms, political statements, extensions of self
    (2011-07-07) McGurran, Kelly Anne; Etmanski, Catherine
    The purpose of this study is to examine natural building as an art form, a political statement, and an extension of self. It is an attempt to understand how women connect to the land through the building of cob houses and how the building of natural homes supports an alternative worldview.
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    Re-Membering our lives: Aging, narrative and the arts. A community-based participatory research design proposed for older adults at Luther Court
    (2011-07-04) Johnson-Lefsrud, Karen A.; Etmanski, Catherine
    We are all aging. To be able to live one’s life with a sense of meaning and purpose up to and including the time of our death is a yearning common to most people. However, the realities of aging - the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges that are inherent to the aging process - can provide barriers to the human desire to live life fully until we die. This project proposes a strategy for how a community can support older adults in an intentional way that enables them to live with a sense of well-being and purpose even in the face of frailty, loss and challenge. The project is set within the particular context of the community of the Luther Court Society, an organization which has provided care, housing and a wide range of services to older adults in the Greater Victoria community since 1979. Looking to the narratives of older adults as fertile ground for extracting meaning that can inform the present and provide a way into a hope-filled future, this project proposes an engagement strategy which can be used to elicit the stories and experiences of older adults. Designed as a community based participatory research framework, the older adults themselves are intended to be part of the research team, seeking to integrate life experience in a way that is life-enhancing. The engagement strategy is grounded in the literature of aging, health and social integration. Servant leadership is examined as a paradigm to look at the role of service in the community and to provide some insight into the relationship between the one serving and the one being served as one of mutuality wherein each serves the other. Methods of arts-based inquiry are looked to as helpful tools in meeting the objectives of the proposed engagement strategy. The arts engage us not only from an intellectual medium, but also from a sensory and whole-body experience, and as such embody the potential to evoke response and learning on a variety of levels. In particular, reminiscence theatre is examined as a helpful medium to explore the narratives of the community, and through an interactive theatre methodology, knowledge can be extracted and utilized in further iterations of the engagement strategy as well as to inform practice. Information gained from the engagement strategies can also be utilized in helping the Luther Court Society refine its unique Model of Care, Life Together, and to identify volunteer opportunities that capture the interests and skills of the older adults within the community, thereby deepening their engagement in the community in a positive way. The engagement strategy contributes to the discourse on aging particularly in its methodology, which acknowledges and seeks the critical, indeed primary voice of the older adults themselves and provides a vehicle for them to participate in ways that empower and bring creative response.
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    Low academic motivation for at-risk students: a self-study
    (2011-06-30) Wignall, Jennifer; Etmanski, Catherine
    Self-study research method allows for the reflection of one’s practice for the purpose of understanding and often to facilitate change. This study of myself in relation to at risk students who struggle with low motivation embodies the qualitative research method, self-study, along with narrative inquiry and an arts-based method, creative writing, in order to reflect on my practice as an educator and bring a greater awareness to my work. This study sought to answer the following question: How does my story as a teacher of at risk students within an inner city school facilitate a greater understanding of the possibility of achievement and success for at risk students who struggle with a lack of academic motivation? Over the course of this study, I collected eight journal entries of my own reflections of my time with the classroom. I then organized this data into various themes and created short stories of my learning and experience. After analyzing both my data and my short stories, I was able to reflect on the various themes and lessons, reflect on my learning process, and on the meaning of this learning for myself as teacher and a professional. The outcome of my study allowed me to facilitate a change in my practice that will lead to an increase of success for some of my students. My plan is to share my learning with my colleagues and hopefully facilitate a greater awareness of the struggles and successes of at risk students.
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    Using Moodle to develop a learning community in a secondary school
    (2011-06-14) Ritchie, Gordon; Etmanski, Catherine
    This study is built on the notion that a Moodle Learning Community in a large secondary school is a community of practice, in which all members continually work together to enhance student learning and build school culture. By leveraging Moodle’s ability to assign specific roles/permissions to each user and utilizing the Web 2.0 tools built into Moodle software, it has the potential to enable both communication and collaboration as well as distributed and democratic leadership. With adequate staff training and the support of servant leaders, Moodle can also play a vital role in building a learning community and even facilitating school reform. In conducting this study the researcher examined the use of Moodle technologies and the strategies and structures utilized in an attempt to develop a learning community at Stelly’s Secondary School. Through a web-based questionnaire the 35 staff who participated in this study provided valuable feedback allowing the researcher to identify the strengths and weaknesses of using Moodle in this way. After analysing the data collected the researcher identified three areas to be considered before the goal of using Moodle to develop a learning community can be realized. First, is a concerted effort to explore, evaluate and fine-tune the strategies and structures designed to enable communication and collaboration before they are implemented. Second is the delicate, but extremely important, task of staff training designed to encourage total buy-in. Third is the development of a simple but effective Moodle interface that will provide the users access to valuable information while not overwhelming them. Examples of strategies and structures that can be utilized to effectively mitigate some of the issues identified are also presented in this paper.
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    How to move a board forward: the benefit and impact of the Board Performance Self-Assessment Questionnaire for nonprofit organizations
    (2011-05-03) Renton, Andrew Joseph; Gounko, Tatiana
    Nonprofit organizations are a great value to society, fulfilling many social functions. In the past 25 years, the call for greater nonprofit accountability and performance evaluation has fueled an outpouring of resources and empirical research into this sector. Opportunities for a board to assess its own performance have been shown to be valuable for the development of effective nonprofits, and the Board Performance Self-Assessment Questionnaire is a new online tool available at no cost. This is a qualitative evaluative study of the BPSAQ assessing the benefits and limitations of the tool, as well as the expected impact on the boards that utilized it. The study gathered perspectives from seven users of the BPSAQ through the use of semi-structured interviews and a short questionnaire designed from the common themes that arose through the interviews. The findings of this study show that the BPSAQ is perceived to be user-friendly, comprehensive, and accurate in its results. The interview data suggests numerous benefits of the tool, and the responses to the follow-up questionnaire show that all participants believed it was a healthy and useful and would lead to positive change for each of their organizations. The study provides important data asserting the value of the BPSAQ for nonprofits, as it has proven to be an encourager of change and a comfortable way to move a board forward.
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    Improving student’s performance and writing skills by using photography, autophotography and music
    (2011-01-24T18:24:06Z) Pesik, Richard; Lang, Donald
    The following study deals with the use of photography, autophotograhy and music when improving the students’ writing skills. The author stipulates that the use of various media as is photography, autophotography and music would not only help students to improve their writings, but will also increase their interest in a free-style and creative writings. Based on his own experiences as a teacher and college instructor and various scholarly publications together with his own research of the gr. 7, 12 and Alternative Studies program students at the School District No.70, Port Alberni, the author confirms previous findings that the use of various media increases students interest in their own writings. The author suggests that due to the positive results of his study the similar approach should be implemented not only in the Language Arts classes but in any program dealing with students writings. In addition, he believes that there are no age limitations for students or any other persons using this method to improve their writing skills and to generate their interest in writing. Furthermore, the author proposes that another positive output of this method is the increase of students’ and other peoples’ selfesteem due to their growing abilities of expressing themselves, dealing with their personal issues and with other people as well. Therefore, the author believes that the use of photography, autophotograpy and music should be incorporated into current curricula at any educational level.
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    The world of theatre: a grounded theory for the teaching of stagecraft
    (2010-11-15T22:29:25Z) Barss, Tim; Lang, Donald
    In this project a grounded theory is developed for the teaching of Stagecraft (technical theatre) in a high school setting. First, the unique Stagecraft program is introduced and the impetus for the research is discussed, including the desire to find a purposeful theoretical framework for the teaching of Stagecraft. Then, various aspects (categories) that should be incorporated into such a Stagecraft theory are identified and described. Ultimately, a grounded theory emerges which utilizes the framework and methodology of Environmental Adult Education within a grounded metaphor of the theatre as 'environment'. The conclusion explores practical application of this grounded theory by applying it to a list of 'obstacles' previously identified by the author in relation to teaching Stagecraft.
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