Here’s a brief report about the Heathcote Reconsidered conference held in Greenwich, London from 4-7 July. You might also like to check out the video clip of John O’Toole’s keynote address (given in role as Dr Phil. E. Stein). I haven’t been able to upload the clip directly, but you can see it on our facebook page  here 

The conference was really great. It was held at the old Maritime college, Greenwich – extremely beautiful buildings right on the Thames. Having volunteered to present twice I  didn’t get to see as many papers or workshops as I might have – but there was plenty that was interesting. A real stand out presentation for me was Brian Heap’s taxonomy of the 50 ways Heathcote uses TIME in process drama planning. This is going to be a really useful list and I’m going to ask Brian if I can share it with you. Erika P presented some really smart thinking about authenticity in drama teaching. I loved Brian Edmiston’s workshop on dialogue in teaching: he’s such a good facilitator and his theorising of drama through positioning theory is groundbreaking stuff. I also really enjoyed watching Iona Towler-Evans and David Allen – two experienced mantle practitioners as they worked with teachers on establishing procedures for MOTE. Helen Cahill did a thought provoking session on abstract conventions (definitely going to change the way I work) and there were wonderful keynotes from David Booth and Cecily O’Neill as well. Last but not least, Sue Davis and her team shared the results of an online “rolling role” project in which students from around the globe participated in a series of inter-related drama activities based on a common starting point. Very profound and moving. I’m going to see whether Sue will let us link to her video  – meanwhile you can read a bit about the project by clicking here 

Quite apart from the academic side – and the social events – it was lovely to finally get the chance to meet Dorothy Heathcote’s daughter, Marianne and family and to see the special photos and objects they had brought to share (including Dorothy’s MBE). All in all a fantastic experience and I’m enormously grateful to Pam Bowell and the University of Waikato for supporting me to attend.