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About Angela Colvert

Dr Angela Colvert is Senior Lecturer in English Education and Knowledge Exchange Lead (Ed Tech and New Media Arts) at the University of Roehampton with expertise and experience in using digital games to develop children’s literacy. Prior to this, she was a primary school teacher for many years and part of her role at Roehampton currently involves supporting student teachers. She has been involved in the development of award-winning educational games, including the BAFTA-nominated ‘Teach your Monster to Read‘ and completed her PhD research into alternate reality games (ARGs) in education at University College London, Institute of Education.

She was recently awarded a national research prize for this work. Her current research focuses on the intersections between, and the educational potential of, gaming pedagogies and immersive theatre principles in school settings. She is very excited about undertaking research alongside the development of the Punchdrunk Learning Collective in this new project entitled: Synthesising Pedagogies and Shaping New Practices: Developing Immersive Play in Schools through Creative Partnerships. 


Punchdrunk Learning Collective research

This year-long research project (2019-2020), will focus on the creative partnerships and pedagogical processes of artists and teachers as they co-design immersive theatre experiences together. It aims to investigate how the conceptualisation and practices of immersive play are co-constructed and enacted by participants as they engage in the professional networking and development programme of the Punchdrunk Learning Collective. More specifically, this research seeks to explore how the process of artists and teachers engaging in the design, production, distribution and interpretation of immersive play in classrooms might support them in developing an understanding of operational, cultural and critical dimensions of learning and literacies (their own and children’s) in primary school classrooms.

It will explore the ways that multiple aims (sense of purpose), time constraints (sense of urgency), spaces (sense of place) and relationships (sense of community) intersect with outcomes which are expected to include constructing stories, tackling challenges, performing belief, and shaping identities. This research will build on previous research into ‘signature pedagogies’ of creative practitioners (Thompson et al, 2012) and extend earlier research into the characteristics of immersive play in Punchdrunk’s enrichment work in schools (Colvert, 2018). The findings of this study will have particular implications for policy makers and the field of teacher education, artists developing immersive theatre for school settings, and provide a theoretical and pedagogical foundation for 21st Century curriculum design.

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