Prendergast, Monica

Assistant Professor


Phone number: (250) 472-4045
Department: Curriculum and Instruction

Research description:

- Drama and theatre education from K12 to postsecondary
- Applied drama/theatre
- Curriculum studies, theory and aesthetic philosophy
- Performance studies/performance theory
- Arts-based research qualitative research
- Poetic inquiry

Expertise Profile
Education researcher Monica Prendergast has one goal in mind when teaching drama in theatre and education - to devise a more performance-based school curriculum in postsecondary and K-12 institutions.

One of the things Dr. Prendergast noticed while gathering information on audiences is that they were greying. This pushed her to examine how younger audiences could still enjoy theatre.

The Belfry 101 program was one such project. This after-school drama-based curriculum, unique to Victoria's Belfry Theatre, gives local high school students an opportunity to explore their creative endeavours and build up their own play, using tips and support from professional artists.

When teaching, Dr. Prendergast draws on best practices from her experience as an active theatre artist and from her mentors who guest-speak in her lectures.

She encourages her students to think about drama as a way of helping them teach children with special needs or students learning English as a second language.

"Drama makes teaching and learning more engaging," she says. "It turns the learning into a more embodied experience."

Dr. Prendergast works in applied drama with schools and community settings. One of her research projects included working with in-mates and helping them set up a puppet show for the public inside a prison.

Dr. Prendergast and her graduate students are currently developing a performance studies course for high school students across Canada. To her, anything can be framed as a performing act, whether it's in the medical field, law or the arts.

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