Here is a link to the article I co-wrote with Diana Gokce and Dana O’Brien on our work mounting original musicals in grades 2-5.
Schools: Studies in Education
Wilson, Gokce and O’Brien collaborated on a yearlong inquiry project that posed the question, “How do we know what children know.” Three teachers collaborate with their students in a unit integrating drama and music culminating in a musical theatre production. The authors posed two essential questions: Was such an endeavor worthwhile in terms of actual outcomes for children? If so, what key elements were needed for the success of future projects?” They hypothesized that such a project was worthwhile, but also collaboration including the children as collaborators was key, would elicit higher-order thinking in unforeseen ways, and would lead to deeper understanding. The teachers and their students found that sharing an experience with others through artistic expression and adequately reflecting upon the entire journey created inspired learning for all and a wealth of evidence demonstrating extensive growth in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains among the students. The teachers aligned students’ reflections with the school’s core values to further validate their observations.