FocusPerformed identities, as called forth by a situation
- Knowledge is … repertoire of performances
- Knowing is … acting a role
- Learner is … an actor
- Learning is … an emerging scene
- Teaching is … co-acting
SynopsisScript Theory rests on an analogy between patterns of human behaviors and written scripts. The basic unit of Script Theory is a “scene” – that is, an emotionally impactful sequence of events. A scene is seen to evoke a response that appears very much as though it was scripted, which is not the same as programmed or prescribed. There is always room for nuance and inflection.
CommentaryScript Theory is based on a good analogy, but that’s all it really is. It is useful for interrupting commonsense assumptions around personal freedom and self-determination, highlighting that humans are coupled and situated beings … but, unlike theories of learning that develop the same notion, Script Theory doesn’t dig into why it might be. It permits a descriptive metaphor to masquerade as some sort of explanatory principle.
Authors and/or Prominent InfluencesSilvan Tompkins
Status as a Theory of LearningScript Theory is not a theory of learning.
Status as a Theory of TeachingScript Theory isn’t really a theory of teaching, but it has received a good deal of airplay in recent discussions of teacher–student relationships. The tactic of inviting teachers to consider the scripts that they might be acting out with one or more of their students has been shown, in some cases at least, to be a useful device for summoning healthier roles and reactions.
Status as a Scientific TheoryScript Theory has become quite popular in some areas of education, especially in pre-service and in-service programs. However, as noted above, since it is little more than an analogy, it doesn’t meet the criteria of a scientific theory.
Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2019). “Script Theory” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.
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