The Drama Education Department of the Theatre Faculty JAMU in Brno was founded in 1992. It has undergone many fundamental changes in organisation, content and personnel over the years. The original four-year master’s degree studies were changed to two-stage studies (three-year bachelor’s degree and two-year master’s degree studies); doctoral studies became available as well. The original three-member team of teachers has been transformed through many circumstances (including those that could be described as “adversity”) into the current very young team consisting not only of graduates of theatre and education, but also graduates of directing, dramaturgy, radio and television dramaturgy and scriptwriting, and physical theatre.
From the very beginning, we perceived the department not only as a space for teaching students but above all as a research workplace, an opportunity to experiment and test the established procedures in the field. Based on new experiences, the content of the studies and their composition are ever-changing. Above all, our understanding of the field as such has changed, and it changed quite fundamentally. The existence of the field at the Theatre Faculty, the close contact with other departments and their teachers, and last but not least, the joint doctoral studies for all the faculty’s disciplines, which are an invaluable platform for the exchange of opinions between all theatre professions, including the field of theatre and education, have certainly played an indispensable role in these developments. In the academic year 2007/2008, the name of the Drama Education Department at the Theatre Faculty JAMU was changed to the Theatre and Education Department.
Our concept of the field of theatre and education includes the following:
- education in the field of theatre within general education (primary schools and grammar schools), secondary vocational education (secondary pedagogical schools and pedagogical lyceums) and primary art education (primary art schools), as well as one-off educational activities (theatre workshops, theatre-oriented projects);
- theatre in education (forum theatre, workshops for professional productions, theatre for children and youth, interactive and participatory theatre, theatre workshops);
- amateur theatre (performed by children, young people or adults).
The Theatre and Education Department offers three levels of studies designed as artistic and pedagogical studies.
- In the bachelor’s degree studies of Drama Education, teaching is focused on practical skills (voice, movement, acting, dramaturgy, directing, social communication), the methodology of working with children and youth and acquiring basic theoretical knowledge in the field of dramatic art. Students take state examinations in pedagogy, psychology and didactics of drama education, which entitle them to exercise the teaching profession, and State examinations in the history of Czech and world theatre and theatre theory. In addition to the State examinations, the students will conclude their studies by defending their bachelor’s thesis and bachelor’s graduation project.
- The two-year master’s degree studies in Theatre and Education focus primarily on further theoretical knowledge in the field of dramatic art and on the author’s own directorial and dramaturgical work and pedagogical work with non-professional groups (children, youth, amateur groups of adults, groups with specific needs, etc.).
Graduates of the master’s degree studies may continue in the four-year doctoral programme in Dramatic Arts, which is common for all disciplines of the Theatre Faculty JAMU. The study plan focuses on the expansion of theoretical knowledge, on students’ own research related to the topic of the dissertation, on their own creative and pedagogical activities and on other secondary research projects.