Stories told and performed: a methodology for researching drama assessment in schools

Rachael Jacobs (Department of Creative Arts Education, Western Sydney University, Parramatta, Australia)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Publication date: 12 July 2019



A methodology that combined ethnographies, including the ethnography of performance with narrative inquiry was used in a research project investigating the assessment of senior secondary Drama performance in Australia. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


After a temporal change in the research approach, it was decided that the research method needed to capture the Drama performance assessment phenomenon as it was lived and experienced.


As a result, methodological choices shifted from procedural documentation and document analysis to ethnographic observations that were able to capture the more nuanced aspects of the relationship between Drama performance and assessment, embracing tacit learning, agendas, cultures, experiences and understandings.


This paper reflects on the methodological dilemmas and choices made when studying artistic and aesthetic texts in the classroom, and poses considerations for future researchers conducting inquiries in aesthetically rich learning environments.



Jacobs, R. (2019), "Stories told and performed: a methodology for researching drama assessment in schools", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 19-33.



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