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The dramatic engineer : the creative life and legacy of John Carroll
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Susan DavisSusan Davis
John Carroll was one of the foundational members of the drama education community in Australia, a creative innovator who could perhaps be called a dramatic engineer. Through his work with legendary teacher Dorothy Heathcote, Carroll found the focus for combining his diverse interests in science, the arts and education, leading to research and key developments in drama education. His inherent curiosity and desire to understand how things worked or could work lead to significant contributions: firstly in understanding how drama challenged typical classroom interactions and dynamics; and secondly, in conceptualizing how drama could be enacted and played out through cyberspaces and digital technologies. With his passing in 2011 it is fitting that his legacy and contributions be acknowledged. This article aims to do so through analysing his life and work with reference to a framework drawn from socio-cultural and systems models of creativity. This article follows on from one that applies a similar treatment to the life and work of his mentor Dorothy Heathcote. It draws on interviews and conversations with family, friends and colleagues as well as published works. The result is a case study or creative profile, which considers the development, outcomes and significance of John Carroll’s work.