Mission Statement for Summer Youth Theatre Institute
The mission of Western Washington University Summer Youth Theatre Institute is to provide an opportunity for theatrical growth and development for its pre-service teachers and current students through the exploration of dramatic workshops and theatrical productions. This is accomplished through a universal learning environment of hierarchal instruction and mentoring through faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students and youth participants.
The Summer Youth Theatre Institute is designed to facilitate a learning experience for all its teachers and students in a working practicum of educational dramatic theory.
The program is intended to provide praxis for graduate students seeking to learn how to teach theatre pedagogy to undergraduate students and also to provide praxis for undergraduate students seeking to teach theatre directly to youth in an educational setting or otherwise.
The following are guidelines for the implementation of this theatre educational praxis within the program:
- There should exist an educational hierarchy of mentorship and instruction. Faculty should teach graduate students, graduate students teach undergraduate students, and undergraduate students teach the youth participants. The seeking of mentorship should advance systematically through the hierarchy as well in order provide the optimal teaching and learning environment.
- Faculty should meet in a period of preparation with graduate students before the instruction of undergraduates begins. This model should be followed between the graduate students and undergraduate students in a semi-formal setting of instruction and preparation before the actual institute with youth participants commences.
- In each step of the pedagogical practice, the level of the hierarchy engaging in the actual teaching should be responsible for the education of those directly below in the hierarchal order. Those who are above the participants that are directly teaching should be engaged only as mentors and should not take on teaching responsibilities.
- Teachers selected for the program should have completed some university course work in education and preferably theater education. Priority should be given to pre-service theater teachers and future educational seeking to implement dramatic methodologies into their teaching pedagogy.
- In order to provide a complete teaching experience, the institute should culminate in the production of a staged dramatic work, directed and produced by undergraduate participants under the mentorship of graduate students and faculty when necessary.
- The program is intended to provide theoretical discussion and practical application of theory. The implementation of the program within a university setting should afford all participants a metaphorical safety net. All teachers and students can make decisions and perform actions in their praxis and be assured that there is pedagogical and technical support provided by the theatre and dance department through mentoring and the facilitation of the logistical needs of the program.
- There should be engaged oral and written analysis and review by all participants in the program in the pre-teaching, teaching and post-teaching phases of the program to ensure that the praxis is maintained as a meaningful theoretic summation of the practical pedagogical applications.
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