Learning through fictional business: Expertise for real life?

  • Kettula K
  • Clarkeburn H
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Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate whether educational drama can be used as a tool to facilitate expert knowledge development and to help students prepare themselves for working life. Design/methodology/approach: The target group consisted of 41 students of Forest Sciences who had participated in a course of professional ethics taught through educational drama. Qualitative research data were collected from learning journals and quantitative data from questionnaires. Findings: The results indicate that educational drama has a potential to foster expert knowledge development, because it can bring a sense of real life to classrooms and thus give experiences that resemble working-life experiences. The course that was taught through educational drama gave students a sense of putting theory into practice and of solving working-life problems. The students also felt that this course had made them more prepared for unforeseen situations in working life. Further, teaching professional ethics through educational drama may be a worthwhile tool to help students encounter the working-life challenges of ethics and sustainability in particular. Research limitations/implications: Further studies are needed to determine the quality of the students’ professional learning in educational drama and the long-term impacts of teaching through drama. Practical implications: The findings have practical implications for higher education related to the enhancement of expert knowledge development and preparing students for working life. Originality/value: This paper introduces educational drama as an encouraging tool in higher education to simulate real-life situations in the classrooms, and thus providing students with opportunities to practise for working life and grow as experts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Educational drama
  • Expert knowledge
  • Expertise
  • Forest sciences
  • Higher education
  • Learning
  • Professional ethics
  • Working-life skills

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  • Kirsi Kettula

  • Henriikka Clarkeburn

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