IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Pretending to be serious: Drama, democracy and the pedagogy of theatre

26 October 2022, 5:30 pm–7:15 pm

Teacher and pupils talking in a drama class

Join this event to hear Adrian Skilbeck discuss how drama pedagogy provides the grounds for testing what it means to become a democratic citizen.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Yuxin Su


Room W3.05
20 Bedford Way

Acting and performance are often used to indicate the perceived emptiness and duplicity of what is said or done. Recently, this has been the accusation levelled at democracy itself, that our politics is all theatre, lacking substance and seriousness.

Drama would appear to have little to teach us. However, in the seminar, Adrian will explore, that alternatively, we can see drama as offering the possibility of genuine community, through the play of language and our relations with others, including pretending and playfulness, discovering what it means to be serious and whether we can mean what we say. 

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in philosophy of education and drama pedagogy.

PESGB seminar series

This event is part of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) seminar series. PESGB is a learned society that promotes the study, teaching and application of philosophy of education. Its London Branch hosts seminars every Wednesday in conjunction with the Centre for Philosophy of Education. These seminars are led by national and international scholars in the field, covering a wide range of issues of educational and philosophical concern.

All are welcome to attend.

Related links

About the Speaker

Dr Adrian Skilbeck

Senior Lecturer in Education at University of Winchester

He has recently published articles on both the climate crisis and the crisis in mental health amongst young people, in each case questioning the adequacy of current educational responses. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming volume on Wittgenstein and Education and has recently submitted for publication a monograph on Stanley Cavell and the human voice in education which explores drama pedagogy.