Term of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Barbara J. Mallory

Committee Member 1

Abebayehu Tekleselassie

Committee Member 2

Michael D. Richardson

Abstract

In an age of educational accountability, high school theatre sponsors often have to defend the presence of, and funding for, their programs. The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of Georgia Thespian Sponsors concerning (1) the importance of certain workplace competencies, (2) the presence of opportunities for students to acquire or develop those competencies through participation in theatre, (3) the relationship between these two factors, and (4) the role of perceptions concerning administrative support in the presence of opportunities to acquire or develop workplace skills through theatre participation. The researcher developed and distributed an original instrument addressing 27 specific workplace skills found in the United States Department of Labor's SCANS report (1992). These skills fell into five categories of competency: resource management, interpersonal skills, use of information, understanding systems, and use of technology. Respondents were asked to indicate the extent of their agreement concerning the importance of each skill, and the presence of opportunities to acquire or develop each skill in their theatre programs. Respondents also provided demographic information, asked to indicate their perception concerning administrative support for their programs. The researcher found that high school theatre sponsors agreed that the workplace competencies defined by the SCANS report (1992) were important. They also agreed, with the exception of one competency area, that opportunities exist for theatre students to acquire or develop workplace competencies through high school theatre programs. However, high school theatre sponsors do not believe that theatre programs offer the opportunity for students to acquire or develop skills in the use of technology. There is a relationship between administrative support and the presence of opportunities to acquire or develop workplace skills in theatre in the areas of understanding systems and use of technology. Based on his findings, the researcher concluded that Georgia Thespian sponsors: recognize the importance of workplace skills; teach many workplace skills and competencies through their theatre programs; believe that their ability to provide students with opportunities to develop competency in the understanding of how social, organizational and technological systems work is at least in part dependent upon administrative support; and believe that their ability to provide students with opportunities to develop skills in the use of technology is at least in part dependent upon administrative support. The researcher further concluded that High school theatre programs serve a vital role in preparing students for the workplace, and Curriculum policy in Georgia's high schools should be supportive of high school theatre because it serves as a means to help students develop skills needed in the workforce.

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