Drama-in-Education for Understanding: an Investigation from the Perspective of Cultural Psychology of Semiotic Mediation

Shuangshuang Xu*, Luca Tateo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Drama in education (DiE) is a lively and productive area of art entering into education. This article tries to establish dialogues between DiE and psychology by revisiting the phenomenological world opened by DiE from the theoretical lens of cultural psychology of semiotic mediation. First, we propose to distinguish three main approaches in DiE towards production of new understandings and conceptualize them into different models of meaning making processes from the lens of cultural psychology. Based on the three approaches, we will theorize participants’ experience in DiE into three layers: the layer of everyday, dramatic, and existential. Each layer of experience contains unique potential to produce signs from different generalization process, and the three approaches can be mapped out on different interacting zones between layers. To illuminate the theoretical discussion, the case study of a DiE workshop “The green child” is used to investigate the characteristics of its artistic form and structure, in launching participants into travelling among the three layers of experiences and in facilitating different levels of affective generalization for aesthetic experience to emerge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-406
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Arenas
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective generalization
  • Cultural psychology
  • Drama in education
  • Existential affectivity
  • Semiotic mediation


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