Dr Cathy Turner

Research-inspired learning

Name Dr Cathy Turner
Email C.Turner@exeter.ac.uk
Position Senior Lecturer in Drama
College College of Humanities

Research-inspired and inquiry-led learning

As both a lecturer within Drama and an active researcher, Cathy Turner’s work focuses on the relationship between architecture and the construction of performance. This “concerns the performance of space; the way that we perform space, and the way that theatrical or art performance can help us understand how we perform space.”

In 2014-15, Cathy taught one of four groups within the Research and Performance module in the first year. Combining research with practice, Cathy’s group focused on the Bauhaus; the famous art school in Germany that operated between World War I and World War II. The students were able to explore the methods and practical approaches that could have been used in creating theatre and dance at the Bauhaus, whilst also learning about their relationship to painting architecture; “you’re really finding out about the history through what you’re doing in the studio.”

The Drama department includes a host of active practitioners and teachers. Cathy states that it is “really important that students should be taught, at least to some extent, by people who are engaged with practice… I think it leads to teaching that’s informed by really vital and current questions.” This dynamic environment supports students to become active researchers themselves as they can access “a whole range of approaches to research” with each lecturer, as well as being introduced to the integration of research methods through performance, practice, historical and contemporary inquiries. Within the third year, students are able to grow as independent researchers/practitioners through the final modules; a self-driven practical exploration into a research project and a written praxis into a topic of choice.

Aim 3: Research-inspired, inquiry-led learning
To extend the opportunities for students to learn in innovative ways through their own research and inquiry

Integrating theory and practice

“I think you can’t say there’s research on the one hand and there’s performance on the other…”

Organic research-led learning

"It’s important for me to always feel that I’m learning something when I’m teaching…"