Accessing Teacher Candidates’ Pedagogical Intentions and Imagined Teaching Futures through Drama and Arts-Based Structures

Document Type


Publication Date



initial teacher education, reflection, arts-based research, drama

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Through a lens focused on imagining the future, and with a pedagogical goal to help novice teachers embody effective teaching practices in a writing methods course, the authors (two teacher educators) conducted a design-based experiment to determine if we could access teacher candidates’ pedagogical decisions and their future intentions through tableau and other imaginative acts. The authors examined the candidates’ enactments of literacy teaching through an analysis of photographs and implemented the use of tableau and drawings to explore connections between observable teaching acts and the candidates’ imagined teaching futures. Drama and arts-based interventions provided the authors with clear insight into the teacher candidates’ emerging constructions of literacy pedagogy as well as their teaching decisions related to print and multimedia composition. The interventions also enabled the authors to identify patterns that specifically related to the teachers’ emerging perceptions of classrooms as communities. By positioning photographs, tableaux, and drawings as communal vessels through which the candidates could closely and publicly examine their own teaching, the authors observed the candidates’ embodied teaching portrayals, gained access to their thinking, and viewed their anticipated actions as developing teachers. Significantly, the role taking, tableaux, and drawings were not methods for reflecting on the past; rather these modes allowed the authors to glimpse the candidates’ futures through embodied acts.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Action in Teacher Education, v. 40, issue 1, p. 19-37