Introduction / Brief Overview / Detailed Outline
Middle School Curriculum
Introduction
What follows are a brief overview and a detailed outline of my curricular goals for Middle School Drama at The Haverford School.  (Middle School at Haverford consists of grades 6 through 8.)  Specific lesson sequence varies from year to year because lessons are written to conform to each class's specific needs, but the objective is to accomplish all of the stated goals in a three-year program.  The goals are arranged not sequentially but logically, by main subject area, with no hierarchical relationship between main headings implied.  It is expected that every lesson taught will address a number of different points on the outline simultaneously.  Where specific skills, activities or subgoals appear more than once, this is because they address more than one main goal.  (This curriculum is really best understood as a three-dimensional web of interrelated skills.)
This Middle School curriculum is almost entirely fantasy, but I have designed it very carefully.  Currently at The Haverford School only the Seventh Grade has Drama, and then only two periods per week for one semester.  This curriculum was written not to reflect actual practice at our school, but rather to describe what we should be doing.  For various financial and other reasons it is impossible for us to staff more Middle School Drama at this time, but this is certainly a goal for the future.  In the meantime, I hope this curriculum will help make the case for growth, and I also hope it will prove useful to other teachers trying to establish Drama programs for Middle Schools.
This curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the Goals 2000 National Standards for Arts Education, but its structure is more closely modeled on the "Essential Elements" of the Texas Theatre Arts Curriculum, which is a well accepted model of a working elementary level dramatic arts curriculum.  (Texas is the only state that mandates drama education in its public schools.)  The National Standards focus mainly on performance skills, while the Texas curriculum is much more process-oriented.  The Haverford School curriculum is a balance of the two, meeting the requirements of both but stressing the more developmentally appropriate process-oriented approach.

This curriculum addresses four basic domains of learning:  Psychomotor--developing perceptual and expressive skills and techniques; Cognitive--assimilating knowledge and developing higher order thinking skills; Affective--cultivating positive attitudes towards art and the discipline or are, and about themselves in relation to art; and Aesthetic--deriving pleasure from a combination of senses, emotions, intellect, philosophy, imagination and spirit.

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