Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1990


Focusing crimes of honour through drama

Girma Berhanu and Dennis Beach
Department of Education, Göteborg University, Box 300, SE 405 30, Göteborg, Sweden
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 December 2006
  •  Published: 31 December 2006



This paper has been developed on the basis of research conducted in two projects. A special emphasis is however given to one of the projects concerning an evaluation of a drama pedagogical project. The evaluation is specifically aimed at the efficiency, intensity and depth of the educational drama input in mediating cultural messages from the play, The hat is Yours played by a professional Theatre group. The play was shown to all students of a junior high school during the autumn term of 2002. Data were gathered from 16 students (7 girls and 9 boys), 6 teachers, 5 performers, the director of the play and the playwright. Classroom observations were conducted during post play/performance sessions held at the specified school in classroom settings with all in all 60 students. The findings suggest that both the play and the project were viewed positively. All the students interviewed loved the performance and appreciated the efforts to instil drama as a discipline and broaden understandings of ‘cultural messages’ through imaginative learning and perspective taking and from the students’ responses and active engagement in the sessions it may be safely inferred that some form of emotional and intellectual processes are being triggered, sparked by the unique nature of the play itself. However, the pedagogical reconstructions of the play in classroom sessions also offer moments for reflection and the students’ voices are unanimously supportive of the educational drama efforts in the classroom. There were mixed opinions among the professional actors/actresses about moralising dramatic scenes and solving problems in a manner believed to be ‘right’ by one group of people or ‘civilisation. This is a thorny issue that should be debated further as should the number of issues that the play purposely left unsolved. We are also of the opinion that the effort should be further nurtured and extended to actively engage the whole school community on a regular basis. Our observation of several schools in Göteborg where the majority of the students are minority pupils and socially disadvantaged children testifies to the fact that these groups of students may genuinely benefit from drama not only as a form of aesthetic expression but also as a medium to interest them in other subjects.


Key words: Honour crimes (murder), drama pedagogy, alienation, segregation, intercultural mediation