Artistic Production Processes as Venues for Positive Youth Development

WCER Working Paper No. 2010-2

Erica Halverson

February 2010, 19 pp.

ABSTRACT: The study of learning environments that support positive youth development is a growing field in the United States. This article describes one type of learning environment where youth have the opportunity to construct adaptive, emergent identities: arts-based youth organizations. Within these organizations, youth participate in the dramaturgical process—the telling, adapting, and performing of personal narratives. Using original research on the dramaturgical process over the past 7 years, as well as other empirical studies documenting this type of work, this paper argues that the dramaturgical process is a powerful learning environment for understanding positive youth development.

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keywords: Identity Development; Positive Development; Arts Education