The panoramic photographs of Manitoba landscapes in the website banners are used with the kind permission of © Stan Milosevic.

The “landscape” images and metaphor illustrated in the website banners represent current understandings about curriculum presented in the “Guiding Principles for WNCP Curriculum Framework Projects” (Western and Northern Canadian Protocol, 2011).

New ways of thinking about curriculum involve a “shift in the images we use, away from knowledge pictured as fragmented pieces put together, one piece at a time, in a linear fashion on an assembly line, to an image of knowledge as a complex organic network organized into living fields, territories or 'landscapes'. Learning about these living fields of knowledge requires: 'learning the landscape'.”

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The Landscape of Drama

The Manitoba Drama Framework is conceived as a full landscape of knowledge where educators and students meet in the work of active, embodied drama learning. Educators and students are invited into the living field of drama education through a curriculum designed to place students in the dynamic, complex, working culture of drama. The Drama Framework is built using four interrelated essential learning areas, connected to the student as dramatic artist at the core. Way-finding through the drama environment is provided by connected sets of general and specific learning outcomes for the essential learning areas.

"Curricula for today's world use ecological metaphors" (WNCP 6) to convey the notion that knowledge is dynamic and always in the process of being constructed. Curriculum frameworks are conceived as complex, organic networks organized into living fields or landscapes, rather than as fragmented pieces of knowledge pieced together in a linear fashion. Learning in the landscape of drama means learning the complexities and ways of the discipline while learning how to do in the discipline. Learning the landscape of drama, or coming to know and do in the discipline, means the ability to enter into, learn the way around, participate fully in, and make a contribution to the culture of drama (WNCP).

Drama learning is understood to be a journey into the landscape of drama education. the Drama Framework provides multiple locations for students to enter and continue lifelong transformative travels in the drama landscape. Students may have various trajectories through a drama landscape that creates "a unique point of view, a location with specific possibilities for enhancing the learning capability of [their] sphere of participation" (Wenger 197). Each student's unique identity, and the individual perspective it offers, is a gift to the world (Wenger 197).