Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Advocating the strengthening of public high school theatre arts education: With a focus on our English learners and at-risk students

Gladys Annie Licona Grenseman, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This research evaluates public high school theatre arts education and its impact through a series of personal experiences and perhaps help change the conditions in which they operate. By constructing the meaning of theatre arts education, its conditions, students and their world, we can understand more fully their involvement and how this involvement serves to build student capacity, literary proficiencies, 21st century college and career ready skills and ultimately achieve overall student success. This study was two-fold. First, I gathered and analyzed my contextual experiences and explored the conditions of theatre arts, based on observations and lived academic experiences of four years of theatre arts education for students in public high schools. The data were obtained from multiple-sources including my teaching/directing experiences, observations in class, rehearsals and productions, focus group interviews, written artifacts from colleagues and students, and observations of the ways schools support the arts. These experiences included reflection on the existing conditions, obstacles and positive outcomes of high school theatre arts education. Second, I explored the impact of theatre arts for English Learners and other at-risk students in public high schools by examining instrumental case studies. The findings bring illumination and contribute to our growing evidence about the efficacy of theatre arts education. The findings also help to ensure that the arts and specifically theatre arts remain a vital part of students' education as it supports 21st century learning. Hopefully, this research effort will help to strengthen and validate the existence and funding of theatre arts educational programs in today's reforms, which includes providing more support for teaching and learning, aligning drama curriculum and assessments with Common Core State Standards, building capacity and eventually world-class 21st century learners and successful global contributors in society, for all students.

Subject Area

English as a Second Language|Theater|Secondary education|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Grenseman, Gladys Annie Licona, "Advocating the strengthening of public high school theatre arts education: With a focus on our English learners and at-risk students" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3667416.