Dramatic Inquiry

Dramatic Inquiry Network Aotearoa

Dramatic Inquiry (DI) is an umbrella term for a range of pedagogical approaches including child-structured dramatic play, process drama and Mantle of the Expert (Heathcote 1926-2011). 

Dramatic Inquiry approaches combine inquiry learning with learning in imagined worlds and the conscious use of power, so that ākonga are seen as competent, creative co-constructors of the learning. Dramatic Inquiry can be used to weave learning across the curriculum and create learning experiences in which key competences are foregrounded, critical thinking is enhanced, empathy is fostered, learning is agentic and collaborative, and engagement is sustained; all without any compromising of curriculum content and rigour. 

Aotearoa New Zealand is considered something of a world-leader in Dramatic Inquiry. In part this is due to Dramatic Inquiry’s strong fit with the NZC framework. It’s also because we have a reputation for evolving the pedagogy in new directions that are culturally sustaining for teachers and learners from early years to secondary and beyond.