Learning through fictional business: Expertise for real life?

Kirsi Kettula*, Henriikka Clarkeburn

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate whether educational drama can be used as a tool to facilitate expert knowledge development and to help students prepare themselves for working life. Design/methodology/approach: The target group consisted of 41 students of Forest Sciences who had participated in a course of professional ethics taught through educational drama. Qualitative research data were collected from learning journals and quantitative data from questionnaires. Findings: The results indicate that educational drama has a potential to foster expert knowledge development, because it can bring a sense of real life to classrooms and thus give experiences that resemble working-life experiences. The course that was taught through educational drama gave students a sense of putting theory into practice and of solving working-life problems. The students also felt that this course had made them more prepared for unforeseen situations in working life. Further, teaching professional ethics through educational drama may be a worthwhile tool to help students encounter the working-life challenges of ethics and sustainability in particular. Research limitations/implications: Further studies are needed to determine the quality of the students' professional learning in educational drama and the long-term impacts of teaching through drama. Practical implications: The findings have practical implications for higher education related to the enhancement of expert knowledge development and preparing students for working life. Originality/value: This paper introduces educational drama as an encouraging tool in higher education to simulate real-life situations in the classrooms, and thus providing students with opportunities to practise for working life and grow as experts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-36
    Number of pages14
    JournalEducation and Training
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Educational drama
    • Expert knowledge
    • Expertise
    • Forest sciences
    • Higher education
    • Learning
    • Professional ethics
    • Working-life skills


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