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Dramatic and Arts-based Research, Teaching, and Learning

“Reclaim the sense of possibility”: Maxine Greene

As philosopher Maxine Greene advocates, our area of study and specialization reclaims for education a sense of new possibilities for teaching, learning, and researching through imagination and the arts. Faculty in Dramatic and Arts-based Research, Teaching, and Learning champion the use of dramatic and other arts-based approaches in classrooms and communities. We argue that these approaches and related philosophies of teaching and learning enable teachers and students to break down walls between home, school, and communities, while building academic knowledge that exceeds curricular goals. In addition, our work is grounded in commitments to equity. We believe that as children and youth engage in education through the arts, they discover and enact new forms of agency that highlight their distinct and interconnected identities. Teaching through dramatic and arts-based inquiry changes the ways young people and educators understand themselves and others in society; and their new understandings and practices transform the social relationships and places where people learn together.


Dramatic and Arts-based Research, Teaching, and Learning (DARTL) is a new area of study and specialization in the Department of Teaching and Learning tailored to teachers, other educators, and researchers intending to:

  • become college teacher-educators or research faculty (Doctoral Program)
  • seek leadership positions in a school district or in college teaching undergraduate students (Educational Specialist Program)

Each degree program is flexible and suited to the individual needs of each graduate student. Working closely with faculty and their advisor, students in the DARTL area of study take appropriate courses at the 6000 level and above.

Students have several opportunities to engage in professional activities that may include collaborative teaching, conference presentations, research, and publications. They also conduct classroom-based inquiry with teachers and engage in collaborative research with faculty using dramatic and arts-based pedagogies in multiple settings, for example:

  • P-12 literacy and English/language arts education
  • preschool, elementary, and middle level integrated curricular units
  • early childhood education and multicultural and equity studies

A required 3 credit hour 8890 Seminar is offered every other year titled: Dramatic and Arts-Based Research, Teaching, and Learning: A Framework for Understanding Educational Theory and Practice. In this seminar, students pursuing a DARTL specialization are not only introduced to core content but also develop a way to frame teaching and learning with a dramatic and arts-based theoretical framework. This framework will then be applied and developed in relation to all other courses.

From entry into the PhD or EdS program and before taking the Qualifying Examination, each student will additionally be required to take two credits of independent study each semester with their advisor except during the semester when the 8890 seminar is offered and/or when taking a Research Apprenticeship.

Career Paths

Why specialize in Dramatic and Arts-based Research, Teaching, and Learning? Like all other graduate students in the Department of Teaching and Learning DARTL graduate students may take courses beyond their particular specialization, for example in the fields of literacy, literature, language, or multicultural education. Graduate students who specialize in DARTL learn how to approach and then develop ways of understanding learning, teaching, and research that uses the transformative power of imagination and the arts. A graduate with a DARTL specialization brings “cutting-edge" pedagogical perspectives to whatever position they apply for, or return to, after graduation.

Former Ohio State PhD graduates who have specialized in courses to be included in the DARTL specialization include those with the following positions: Professor of Language and Literacy Education, Indiana University; Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, California State University-Los Angeles; specializing in children's literature, educational drama, socio-cultural and multicultural education; Assistant Professor of Reading and Language Arts, Ohio Dominican University; Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Montana specializing in multicultural education and holistic pedagogy. One former PhD graduate has a tenured project director position at the University of Hawaii where she has secured millions of dollars in community-based arts-based literacy projects.

We also anticipate possible career paths into non-academic multi-disciplinary positions in arts-based or educational organizations. Based on employment by PhD graduates from other institutions (e.g. University of Texas at Austin) we anticipate that a graduate might be employed by a policy-creating and/or grant-making organization like private foundations or government agencies since someone with this degree could participate in the national dialogue in arts-based teaching, learning, and research.


Deadline to Apply: 
December 1
Program Start: 
Autumn semester
Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: 
Master’s degree. For GRE requirements, please contact TLAS at

Minimum semester hours to degree completion: 80 (up to 30 graduate credit hours can transfer
Coursework: Working closely with faculty and their advisor, students focus their studies in three areas: dramatic and arts-based pedagogies, educational theory, research/classroom-based inquiry
Department Course requirements: 2 department core courses (8 hours), 8 specialization courses (24 hours), research methods (9 hours), research apprenticeship (6 hours), dissertation (6 hours), breadth requirement (3 hours)
Other requirements: Research apprenticeship, candidacy exam, dissertation
Academic opportunities: Graduate associateships, scholarships, university fellowships

In the DARTL specialization, students in their Qualifying Examinations, like all other students in the PhD or EdS programs, write answers to questions in three cognate areas. In addition, in the PhD program students answer a question on research methods.

In DARTL one of those cognate areas will be located in one of the academic fields within Dramatic and Arts-Based Research, Teaching, and Learning, for example Visual Arts-based Teaching and Learning.

As noted above, 8890 DARTL: A Framework for Understanding Educational Theory and Practice will be a required seminar for all DARTL students. In their studies in other cognate areas, students will develop and use their understanding and application of a DARTL theoretical framework in relation to all other coursework and during independent studies with their advisors.

For example, a student interested in a literacy academic tenure-track position might take EDUTL 6101 Dramatic Inquiry Across the Curriculum in conjunction with EDUTL 7035 Teaching for Social Justice and EDUTL 7102 Drama, Literacy, and Learning after taking EDUTL 7374 Sociocultural Theory and Literacy Education and Research. Students interested in a non-academic multi-disciplinary position might take EDUTL 6101 in conjunction with 6808 Multicultural and Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning and EDUTL 7025 Culturally Relevant Pedagogy after taking EDUTL 7102 Drama, Literacy, and Learning.

Similarly, students taking EDUTL 6808 Multicultural and Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning and/or EDUTL 7035 Teaching for Social Justice and/or EDUTL 7025 Culturally Relevant Pedagogy will be developing a DARTL framework with a more social justice, multicultural, and culturally responsive orientation (e.g. the use of embodied dialogic imagination in relation to anti-oppressive pedagogy that may be adapted to be more responsive to the cultural, imaginative, and arts competencies of students in the classroom).

View the Curriculum Sheet


Brian Edmiston, PhD, Professor, Convener
Patricia Enciso, PhD, Professor
Mindi Rhoades, PhD, Associate Professor
Elaine Richardson, PhD, Professor
Tiffany Wild, PhD, Associate Professor

Affiliated Faculty

Laurie Katz, PhD, Professor
Leslie C. Moore, PhD, Associate Professor
Christine D. Warner, PhD, Associate Professor


T&L Academic Services
227 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Brian Edmiston, PhD, Professor