Mr Mathew Clausen has had a long and distinguished career as a Drama educator and author. In more than 25 years of dramatic endeavour at Loreto Kirribilli, he has inspired countless students with his creative and collaborative teaching, inspiring many of his students’ successful careers on stage and screen.
In his leading role as Senior School Performing Arts Coordinator, Mr Clausen has spearheaded the creation of a Vision and Purpose statement for Performing Arts, building the profile of Performing Arts in the process.
The development of this Vision was a collaborative team effort, explains Mr Clausen. “We all had to look at and share our beliefs, what we valued about education and what we saw as our goals for the students of Performing Arts - and then have all of that link to the school's ethos and goals as well.”
“That was an incredibly rewarding process. It's been a very successful way to consolidate the team and to ensure that we're all on the same page about where we're headed and what we're trying to do.”
The resulting statement reads: Our Vision and Purpose is to provide transformational, collaborative learning experiences that challenge, liberate and empower students to discover their creative potential.
“The lovely thing that's come out of that”, explains Mr Clausen, “is the way that we can combine Music and Drama within class work, but also in performance work as well. We've tried a few things which have worked really well, but there's still further to go, which is really exciting.”
Mr Clausen is enthusiastic about the transformative power of the Performing Arts. “Performing Arts really is project-based and collaborative, so it operates very much like the real world. And I think that's incredibly powerful. Students are exploring creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking all the time. All those skills are enormously beneficial to them.”
Recently, Mr Clausen was the worthy awardee for an Excellence Award for Department Head of the Year at The Educator’s Australian Education Awards. His bestselling Drama textbook, Centre Stage, is now in its third edition.
What I still love doing is teaching drama. It still gives me great joy to see the delight on students' faces when they start to discover their creative potential to tell stories about the world and people and relationships in their own way, and how this ancient art form still resonates with people.”