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Professor Joe Winston

Job Title
Centre for Education Studies
024 7652 2291
Research Interests

My research interests include: The role of beauty as a value in education; Drama and values education; the role of story and story telling in drama and theatre education; Evaluating and theorising the effectiveness of Theatre in Education programmes; Drama pedagogies for the teaching of Shakespeare in the primary and middle years; The educational work of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Drama and Second Language Learning, 3-16; Drama education in South East Asia, particularly in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.


Professor Joe Winston has a background in primary and middle school education and was a head teacher for three years before joining the staff at Warwick University in 1991. He was responsible for co-ordinating the Arts subjects in the BA(QTS) degree until 2004 and afterwards the MA in Drama and Theatre Education until his semi-retirement in 2016. He founded the MA in Drama and English Language Teaching in conjunction with the Centre for Applied Linguistics which has been operational since 2014. He has successfully supervised over 20 doctoral students from the UK, China, Cyprus, Iran and Taiwan. Between 2005 and 2015, he was joint editor of Research in Drama Education widely recognised as the leading academic journal in its field. Well known nationally and internationally for his in-service work with teachers, he has published a wide range of books and articles both of an academic and professional nature. He has delivered key note addresses at international conferences in the UK, Europe and Asia. His book Beauty and Education was published in January, 2010, and was reviewed as book of the week in the Times Higher Education Supplement in April, 2010. More recently his publications include 'Second Language Learning through Drama', published by Routledge in 2012; and 'Transforming the Teaching of Shakespeare with the Royal Shakespeare Company', published by Bloomsbury in the Arden Shakespeare Series in 2015.

Recent and current research projects include:

Accelerating the impact of the RSC education department's partnerships with schools .

This research was carried out in 2015, with funding provided by the ESRC's Impact Acceleration Account. It examined how involvement in the RSC's Learning and Performance Network (LPN) had brought about significant and beneficial whole school change in a number of schools. Its purpose was to uncover how and why this had been the case in order to inform the company's nascent Associate Schools Programme, the successor to the LPN. Some of the findings are discussed in Winston, J and Partovi, M. 'Within the Girdle of these Walls: bringing about whole school change through the RSC's Learning and Performance Network' in Theatre and Education London: Springer Press, 2018.

The Work of Royal Shakespeare Company Education in the first year of the Associate Schools Programme.

This project, for which Joe was Principle Investigator, was commissioned by the RSC and carried out jointly by CEDAR and CES. The research grant was £25,000 and the research was carried out between June and December, 2017. The report was submitted to the RSC in January, 2018, and its findings have been discussed (February, 2018) in the national press and on BBC Radio 4.

Supporting the Learning and Teaching of Chinese for non-Chinese Speaking Students in Secondary Schools in Hong Kong.

This is a large scale research and development project being carried out between 2016 and 2018 by a project team based in the University of Hong Kong. The Principle Investigator is Dr Loh KYE. There are three strands to the research, one of them being the investigation and promotion of ways in which drama can be used by Chinese language teachers as an integral part of their pedagogy. Joe am acting as consultant to this strand of the project.

Title Funder Award start Award end
RSC survey based quantitative research project - CES element only (main agreement 54649 CEDAR) Royal Shakespeare Company 29 Jan 2018 31 Mar 2018
BA Small Grant; Analysing and evaluating the Royal Shakespeare Companys attempt to transform the teaching of Shakespeare in English primary and secondary schools, 2006 tothe present day. British Academy 01 Apr 2013 31 Mar 2014
Research project between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Warwick Universitys Institute of Education: Why start Shakespeare young? Royal Shakespeare Company 11 Oct 2010 31 Jul 2011
Documenting the History of the TiE Belgrade Theatre Trust (Coventry) Ltd 16 Aug 2010 31 Dec 2010
On the edge: Project evaluation The Play House 18 Oct 2010 17 Dec 2010
Researching into the effectiveness of theatre in education as a method for educating against extremism West Midlands Police 01 Nov 2009 31 Jan 2010
Review of the Dance and Drama Awards Scheme Learning and Skills Council (Coventry) 01 Jul 2009 31 Dec 2009
Reveiw of the Dance and Drama Awards Scheme Learning and Skills Council (Coventry) 01 Jul 2009 31 Dec 2009
Young peoples levels of aspiration Birmingham City Council 01 Apr 2005 31 Jul 2005
Investigating the Computer-based Learning Resources Currently Offered by the Royal Shakespeare Company: Research Proposal Royal Shakespeare Company 01 Jun 2004 30 Jan 2005