Breaking the Drama Deficit Cycle: Improving Student Teacher Confidence to Teach Primary Drama Through In-placement Scaffolding

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Research shows that drama is often a marginalised subject in primary education, with many in-service and student teachers lacking confidence to teach drama effectively.
This mixed-methods constructivist study investigated the impact of in-placement scaffolding, through the provision of support materials during school practicum, on student teacher confidence to teach primary drama.
The 2020-21 intake of 191 pre-service primary teachers in a Scottish university were invited to participate. The study administered questionnaires at three stages and a total of 165 questionnaires were analysed. From the outset of their studies to just after their first teaching placement (mid-August to early December), three questionnaires gathered data on drama experience, confidence, curriculum knowledge and how respondents valued drama. Respondents were asked what they thought would support them in teaching drama and rated a range of scaffolding resources in order of perceived usefulness.
Findings were consistent with previous research into the factors that impact student teacher confidence to teach drama, such as subject knowledge and personal experience. An unexpected finding was that, while it was concluded that the scaffolding resources positively impacted student confidence, it was knowing the scaffold was there if required, rather than the application of the resources in practice, that appeared to improve confidence. Findings from this study may help inform how teacher education providers support student teachers with primary drama education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)12-29
Number of pages17
JournalTeacher Education Advancement Network Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2024


  • teacher education
  • primary
  • drama
  • confidence
  • practicum


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