Drama in Education
A strong advocate for the inclusion of drama in education, Collins teaches classes in which the purpose is to help students understand how theatre and drama may be used to foster educational development in children. Collins and his students produce performances that allow children to think about important issues in a serious, yet developmentally appropriate, fashion. The course, “Drama in Developmental Context,” offers students the opportunity to explore the educational potential of informal or creative drama. The goal of this course, through its after-school workshops, is for the education students to discover the power of drama and to pass that knowlege on to the children who participate. To date approximately 250 students and 13,000 local children have been touched by Collins’ programs.
Collins also uses his expertise in theatre education to make significant connections with the local community. In 1986 he founded the Geneva Theatre Guild Youth Theatre, a summer theatre by children in the fourth through 12th grades. Collins continues to lead that program, which annually provides approximately 85 local youths with an opportunity to be involved in any and all aspects of theatre. In addition, Collins recently helped start the Nancy Curvin Playground Players, a summer program in which local teens produce a play for local children and then tour local parks, playgrounds, and daycare centers. Collins is also the director of drama at Geneva High School, where he produces two shows a year.
Collins lives his belief that through theatre and through drama education the world is made better. “The aim of education is to help people develop the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes they need not only to understand the world, but also to make, remake, and critique the worlds in which they live. Education is a necessarily active process by which students and teachers become conscious of their own potential for generating knowledge.” As an educator it is essential to him that students “not only view one as a teacher, but that they also see the teacher as an active scholar and public servant who uses teaching as a means of helping others reflect upon their own intellectual concerns and responsibilities.”
Stories and Readers: New Perspectives on Literature in the Elementary Classroom
Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc., 1992
Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. Phone: (315) 781-3540. After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.
Patrick Collins brings a B.S. from St. Joseph College, an M.S. from Indiana University, and an Ed.D from Harvard Graduate School of Education, along with 16 years of teaching experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, to his work in drama and education. Collins teaches courses, in which students, under his direction, produce a fully mounted children’s plays on campus for local youth. Collins has published a variety of articles in the Youth Theatre Journal and penned book chapters on drama and education. He was also co-editor of Stories and Readers: New Perspectives on Literature in the Elementary Classroom.