Transformative Learning Streams Running Through Digital Theatre in Adult Education: The Case of a Second Chance Education School


  • Aikaterini Delikonstantinidou National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


transformative learning, digital theatre in education, multiliteracies


The field of digital theatre in education (D.T.i.E.), a relatively recent branch of theatre in education, has been gaining momentum in the last two decades in increasingly diverse learning contexts. Applications pertaining to the field can be described as educational interventions in which theatre/drama-based teaching and learning methods combine with digital technologies, thus organically integrating physical and digital content. D.T.i.E. interventions currently focus on other subjects of the curriculum besides the subject of theatre/drama, such as social sciences, history, geography, language arts, language literacy and foreign languages. Discerning the many possible affordances of D.T.i.E. in adult education settings, but also the transformative potential of learning experiences built upon the field’s principles and practices, the author set out to investigate them systematically and in action. As part of the author’s postdoctoral research, an alternative methodology for the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language (English literacy) was developed which brings together theatre tools with various digital means and conventions, and which is informed by the multiliteracies pedagogy and by the transformative learning theory. The methodology has so far been applied in the form of a short-term educational intervention in a Greek Second Chance School targeting at-risk adult learners. Besides assessing the contribution of the methodology to the promotion  of the English, digital and cultural literacy of the participants, the author sought to probe and respond to the following research questions: Does a short-term D.T.i.E. intervention focused on English literacy involve transformative experiences for adult learners with regard to their perspectives on English language and literacy, digital technology and literacy, theatre, culture, and their own place (or sense of self) in contemporary culture? To what extent does the intervention transform learners’ perspectives on the above areas? The mixed-method analysis of data collected before, during, and after the interventionpre- and post-intervention questionnaires and interviews, observation and facilitator/researcher self-assessment rubrics, video recordings and learners’ portfoliosanswered the former question in the affirmative and shed interesting light of the latter. The participants’ learning outcomes and the overall research findings open new vistas of possibility for a socially responsive and critical educational praxis targeting adult learners from less privileged backgrounds.

Author Biography

Aikaterini Delikonstantinidou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Aikaterini Delikonstantinidou is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Theatre Studies of the National and Kaposdistrian University of Athens, Greece.


Anderson et al. (2009). Drama education with digital technology. London: Continuum.

Anderson, M., & Cameron, D. (2012). Participation and creation in these brave new worlds: Technology and innovation as part of the landscape. Research in drama education, 14(4), 469–476. doi: 10.1080/13569783.2012.727621.

Bowell, P., & Heap, B. S. (2013). Planning process drama: Enriching teaching and learning (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge.

Bowell, P., & Heap, B. S. (2017). Putting process drama into action: The dynamics of practice. Abingdon: Routledge.

Buckingham, D. (2007). Introducing identity. In D. Buckingham (Ed.), Youth, identity, and digital media (pp. 1–22). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Carroll, J., and Cameron D. (2003). To the spice islands: Interactive process drama. In Digital Arts & Culture (DAC) Conference. Melbourne: RMIT.

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). New media, new learning. In D. Cole & D. Pullen (Eds.), Multiliteracies in motion: Current theory and practice (pp. 87–104). London: Routledge.

Cope, B. & Kalantzis, M. (2013). “Multiliteracies”: New Literacies, New Learning. Pp. 105-135 In M. R. Hawkins (Ed.), Framing languages and literacies: Socially situated views and perspectives (pp. 105–135). New York, NY: Routledge.

Cope, B. & Kalantzis, M. (2015). The Things You Do to Know: An Introduction to the Pedagogy of Multiliteracies. In B. Cope and M. Kalantzis (Eds.), A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Learning by design (pp. 1–36). London: Palgrave.

Dunn, J., & O’Toole, J. (2009). When world collude: Exploring the relationship between the actual, the dramatic and the virtual. In M. Anderson et al. (Eds.), Drama education with digital technology (pp. 20–37). London: Continuum.

Fanouraki, C. (2016). Theatre in education with the use of digital technologies. [Το θέατρο στην εκπαίδευση με τη χρήση των ψηφιακών τεχνολογιών.] Athens: Papazisis.

Fanouraki, C. (2017). E-Antigone through drama education with the use of digital technologies. Parabasis, 15(1), pp. 83–92.

Govas, N. (2003). For a youthful creative theatre: Activities, games, techniques. [Για ένα νεανικό δημιουργικό θέατρο: Ασκήσεις, παιχνίδια, τεχνικές.] Athens: Metaichmio.

Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. In J. Mezirow (Ed.), Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress (pp. 3–33). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

McGeoch, K. (2012). Digital storytelling, drama and second language learning. In J. Winston (Ed.), Second language learning through drama: Practical techniques and applications (pp. 116–133). New York, NY: Routledge.

McGeoch, K., & Hughes, J. (2009). Digital storytelling and drama: Language, image and empathy. In M. Anderson et al. (Eds.), Drama education with digital technology (pp. 113–128). London: Continuum.

Neelands, J. (2009). Foreword. In M. Anderson et al. (Eds.), Drama education with digital technology (pp. xiii–xv). London: Continuum.

Piazzoli, E. (2012). Film and drama aesthetics for additional language teaching. Second language learning through drama: practical techniques and applications (pp. 170–181). New York, NY: Routledge.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital game-based learning. New York, NY: Paragon.

Qing L., & Edmonds K. A. (2005). Mathematics and at-risk adult learners. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(2), pp. 143–166. doi: 10.1080/15391523.2005.10782454.

Somers J. (1980). Drama in the curriculum. London: Methuen.

Taylor, P. & C. Warner. (2006). Structure and spontaneity: The process drama of Cecily O’Neill. Stoke on Trent; Sterling, VA: Trentham.

UNESCO. (2018). Skills for a connected world. Concept note. [PDF file]. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from

Winston, J. (2012). Introduction: Second and additional language learning through drama. In J. Winston (Ed.), Second language learning through drama: practical techniques and applications (pp. 1–5). New York, NY: Routledge.

Winston, J., & Stinson, M. (2014). Drama education and second language learning: A growing field of practice and research. In J. Winston, & M. Stinson (Eds.), Drama education and second language learning (pp. 1–10). New York, NY: Routledge.

Winters, L., Rogers, T, & A. Schofield. (2006). The Antigone project: Using drama and multiple literacies to support print literacy among youth. In J. J. Schneider et al. (Eds.), Process drama and multiple literacies: Addressing social, cultural and ethical issues (pp. 35–52). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.






Research Articles