by Mark Wheeller
is the first book to look at the teaching practices of this internationally-renowned playwright.
- A scheme of work for each year of key stages 3-4, all of which have been conceived and developed through Wheeller’s own teaching experiences.
- Two schemes which focus on Wheeller’s use of drama across the curriculum, including his growing admiration for the Mantle of the Expert system of learning.
- An exploration into the crucial role of the much-maligned school production. Through this he illustrates his development of plays such as Too Much Punch for Judy and Hard To Swallow, which have become staple parts of the curriculum, both in the UK and overseas.
also reflects on his ongoing career as a secondary school drama teacher after 30 years in the profession. He refers to his many influences: the famous (Dorothy Heathcote and Andy Kempe to name but two) and those not so well-known.
The book's fascinating biographical detail makes a valuable resource for both those already familiar with Mark Wheeller
's output, and those discovering his work for the first time."Every secondary teacher should read this book. Mark has at last written about his great skill, his unique style of drama teaching using such an irresistible series of ideas. But what is so good about them is that they all work. He also has no time for 'ideological camps' and refers to the great influence Dr Dorothy Heathcote's methods (including Mantle of the Expert)has had on him even as he reaches the pinnacle of his career. If only more people in the field had the vision expressed in the book.
I especially liked the way he weaves his own story as a learner and as a teacher gathering the vast and international experience he now brings to secondary drama teaching. These lessons have been tried and tested as Mark just wouldn't dare to do anything else. I also like the catchy materials he uses as well as the range that's so good for emotional learning. I also know that each scheme has been used with classes in many parts of the UK who are supposedly 'hard to reach'-especially reluctant boys and difficult teenage girls trying so hard to grow up. Mark's gift is making the theatre and drama he works through make meaning to his kids. He says he has taught over 30 years-and yet he is still learning! Not surprising from a play write who has made it to the top in such a harshly competitive field by sheer graft. As usual (and you should read his plays too)his gentle and humble writing touches hearts especially in the young. I take my hat off to him. Read this book if you are a drama teacher."
- Luke Abbott