‘Enticing to the middle' is a research project for and by drama teachers on initiating and guiding autonomous stage work by young people. Changes in the theatre landscape in recent decades have led to a focus on actor as the authors of their own work. This also leads to a different interpretation of the theatre teacher's role. Young people experience the creation of autonomous work as a challenging and complex process. It brings them closer to how they experience the world and how they want and can respond to that world, with the ultimate outcome being a work that triggers something in a spectator and in the creators themselves. In the interaction between theatre teacher and young person, a tension between guiding and giving freedom is present, which is also challenging for the teacher and gets to the heart of teaching itself. Today's theatre teachers lack support to guide this complex process of creation. The project aims to contribute to developing this support. 

The philosopher Michel Serres, in Le Tiers-Instruit (1991), speaks of the pedagogical milieu or 'middle', the risky place in the middle of a river, where learning takes place; education as a form of exposition or exposure under the expert guidance of an educator, who entices the learner to seek out this middle, this risky place. It is that place, that pedagogical middle or milieu that the researchers want to help install: an artistic place where young people's creative processes can thrive and come to fruition and where a competent teacher can lead the way. 

This research aims to explore the steps of the creative process and uncover useful artistic practices, forms of work and methods of guidance. The researchers analyse their own practice and observe and question the practices of theatre teachers in the field. The research aims to establish a relevant interaction between theory and practice in an area where this is still largely lacking. The blog of the same name allows the field to follow the research. 

The blog gives insight into the various research actions and displays a collection of material. The researchers thus install a form of open source for all those concerned with this work: they write blog posts and articles, create podcasts, report on lesson observations and map relevant literature, teaching materials and experiments. 

This research also aims to bring the content of the educational master's programme in drama closer to the artistic objectives and practices of KASK & Conservatorium. In this way, the research aims to provide the drama teacher with greater expertise to translate new developments in the performing arts into a pedagogical context and contribute to a contemporary interpretation of the teaching profession in the arts.

Verleiden tot het midden

project team
Ann Saelens, Tanja Oostvogels
01.09.2021 – 30.08.2024
theatre teacher, autonomous work, creation, artistic processes, art education, young people, coaching methods