The development of the English tradition of theatre and drama in education in Australia, with particular reference to the establishment, funding and philosophy of the Northern Territory TIE/DIE Team

  • Maryanne Gay Haslam

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    Introduction:The purpose of this study is twofold.Firstly next year, 1984, marks the tenth anniversary of the Northern Territory TIE/DIE team. (Theatre-in-Education, Drama-in­Education). It therefore seems an opportune occasion to document, for the first time, the historical and philosophical development of the team. In the absence o( extensive recorded or published documentation, this study has relied heavily on the personal recollections of the people involved in the formation of the original TIE/DIE team prior to 1972, and the people who have worked with, or for, the team since that time. 
    It was disappointing, but not unexpected, that so little recorded information of the first years of TIE/DIE could be located. Funding levels during these first years did not provide for secretarial assistance. Although the Brown's Mart Community Arts' Project who were themselves funded by the Australian Arts Coun­cil, assisted the group wherever possible, their own resources were slender, and emphasis was more heavily placed on "doing in the community" rather than maintaining records. Cyclone Tracy destroyed those few records which had been main­tained by individuals before December 1974, and post cyclone demands pushed documentation to a very low priority. 

    It is only since May 1980, at which time the Northern Territory Education Department assumed total responsibility for the TIE/DIE team that records have been more conscientiously maintained. It should be kept in mind that TIE/DIE team members are actors and or teachers... their prime concern is their creative work with chldren. Their touring programme throughout the Territory is extensive, and their services in constant demand. It is therefore perhaps understandable that record maintenance, beyond the absolute essential, is still a low priority. 

    The team do not employ any clerical s􀀉aff, although they do have access to departmental facilities. Clerical and other administrative duties tend to be handled by the director of TIE/DIE, or delegated by the director to other team members who exhibit clerical/administrative skills. Consequently, although the author was permitted access to the TIE/DIE files of the past three years, the files provided little more than the outlines of what the team had done, and where the team had toured. To ascertain the motives behind actions necessitated constant· communication with the people involved. 
    The second purpose of this study is prompted by the increasingly heavy emphasis of Theater and Drama in education in Australia during the past 15 years. The Northern Territory Core Curriculum reflects this increasing emphasis. This study will therefore attempt to ascertain whether the developing philosophies of Educational Theatre and Drama are evidenced in the present TIE/DIE practices in the Northern Territory. 

    A close examination of developments in Educational Theatre and Drama in the United Kingdom will be necessary, as the concepts of Theatre-in-Education, and Drama-im-Education as adopted in Australia, are of English origin. Much of the American literature on TIE/DIE relates quite directly to the English experience, although the American systems tend more to "creative dramatics" at the eleme_ntary level, followed by "Theatre Arts" courses at a senior level. The English tradition, as found in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, generally do not introduce "Theatre Arts Courses" until the tertiary level (Courtney 1980). 
    Date of Award1983
    Original languageEnglish

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