Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jesse A. Njus

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith B. Kirk

Third Advisor

Sharon Ott


This thesis explores major texts dealing with pedagogical theory and active learning in the context of a theatre history class. By comparing a class which is taught in the traditional, chronological format relying heavily on lectures to a class taught in a newer, thematic format utilizing active learning the thesis defines what student-centered learning means. Active learning, its benefits, and its implementation are explained and explored, along with the advantages and benefits of teaching thematically instead of chronologically. All of this is applied to a theatre history class in the resulting syllabus in chapter three. The syllabus creates a curriculum which uses themes to teach theatre history, while incorporating active learning activities and assignments throughout, to the benefit of the student. Ultimately, student-centered learning and its importance are explained and demonstrated using research, observation, and creation.


© Brandon LaReau

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission