Using Applied Theatre Toward Culturally Responsive Teaching


  • Meg N. Troxel Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Brooke Kandel-Cisco Butler University


Applied theatre and youth participatory action research engage students in powerful discussions on complex issues. A culturally responsive middle level teacher used applied theatre to motivate and empower academically and linguistically marginalized students and study the outcomes with the support of her university advisor. Their findings suggest that implementing strategies associated with applied theatre, youth participatory action research, and culturally responsive teaching have the potential to can help students develop new perspectives, learn to work with others, gain a sense of community, increase confidence through student voice, and obtain a greater comfort level with public speaking. This paper explores the effects of using these methods in a linguistically and culturally diverse Midwestern middle school classroom.

Author Biographies

Meg N. Troxel, Indianapolis Public Schools

Ms. Meg Troxel is currently a Secondary ESL Specialist in Indianapolis Public Schools.  She conducted her teacher research during her Master's program at Butler University with the support of her thesis advisor.

Brooke Kandel-Cisco, Butler University

Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco is an Assistant Professor of English as a Second Language at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. A former public school ESL teacher, Kandel-Cisco has presented widely and worked closely with practicing teachers on effective instruction for English learners. Kandel-Cisco has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University.


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