Patriotism versus privacy

Michelle Hall (2014). Patriotism versus privacy: What is the price of citizenship? A teacher’s story. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 13(2), 141-156.


This teacher narrative reports on a Mantle of the Expert study with a class of Year 8 students at an intermediate school on the East Coast of New Zealand. The aim of the study was to integrate a range of curriculum areas in an inquiry into events surrounding the New Zealand Land Wars of the 1860s and especially the controversial figure of Te Kooti. The study sought to incorporate a number of key aspects of Brechtian pedagogy/theatre and of the Orff Schulwerk approach to music education into the study design. This narrative is essentially one teacher’s critical reflection on what happened, what worked and what didn’t, at least within the constraints of the study itself.


Michelle is a Dance and Drama specialist teacher at Gisborne Intermediate School.  She teaches every student through a rotation system with other technology and art subjects. Michelle has been teaching in Gisborne for just over 12 years, and her passion for drama grew from involvement in a local theatre group. Seeing the potential to use drama as a pedagogical tool for teaching and learning across a variety of subjects is what sparked her study through Waikato University to gain a Master of Education degree earlier this year.  Michelle is involved in other areas of the arts through music, where she plays cello in a community orchestra and teaches students in an after-school programme.  Michelle enjoys a busy life with her family –  husband and three boys who are also involved in many arts activities through their schools and community groups.

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