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Morag Morrison-Helme


  • University Lecturer
  • Drama, Arts Education and Pedagogy

E-mail Address


01223 767570


  • B.A Griffith University, Australia.
  • Grad Dip Teach, Mt Gravatt CAE, Australia
  • M.A. University of Sussex, U.K
  • PhD. Griffith University, Australia

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • IDEA (International Drama in Education Association)
  • Drama Australia
  • National Drama (U.K.)
  • British Educational Research Association


In 2012 Morag received an award from the International Honour Society of Nursing, Sweden.  Friend of Nursing, an award for her contribution to Nursing Education.


  • Director of Studies, Education. St Johns College, Cambridge,UK
  • External Examiner, University of Warwick, UK
  • Course leader (with Pamela Burnard)  M.Phil  Arts, Creativity, Education and Culture
  • Senior Examiner Part II  Secondary PGCE
  • Senior Examiner Part I  B.A. Education Tripos

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Morag has been working in the Faculty of Education since 2002.  She supervises and lectures on undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses in Drama, Creativity and Arts Education.  Morag co-ordinates the MPhil in Arts, Culture and Education and is Director of Studies for Education at St John's College. She is currently also external examiner for the University of Warwick PGCE in Drama and English.  Morag is involved in International Teacher Development work through her engagement with a programme of teacher education reform in Kazakhstan.

Morag, has taught Drama and Applied Theatre across a range of settings in Australia, the United Kingdom and Sweden.  She began her career as a secondary school Drama teacher and lecturer in Drama Teacher Training in Australia and was also involved in curriculum development with the Board of senior Secondary School studies in Queensland before arriving to take up a lecturing post in post graduate Teacher Education at the University of Cambridge.    Morag has been involved in on-going research in Conflict Management, Pupil Voice and Democratic Teaching and Learning through the Art Education and Embodied Learning.  Most recently she has been involved in developing an understanding of the role Applied Theatre pedagogy can play across diverse educational contexts and international settings. She is involved in an on-going ERASMUS exchange with the University of Gothenberg, Sweden, where she uses Applied Theatre in Nursing and Health Care education and is currently also utilizing Drama pedagogy in teacher development work in Kazakhstan.

Her research interests include:

Arts Education and Teacher Training, Applied Theatre and Drama Education practice, Democratic teaching and learning, reflective practice in Arts Education, Conflict management, Peer teaching and Pupil Voice.

Academic Area/Links

  • Drama education
  • Drama and Contemporary Cultural theory
  • Peer teaching
  • Conflict management theory and drama praxis
  • Arts education and culture
  • Teacher education

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Research Topics

  • Drama teacher training
  • Peer teaching
  • Drama and conflict management
  • Arts education
  • Pre-vocational professional practice in teaching and nursing
  • Professional development in teaching and nursing through Applied Drama
  • Democratic Education
  • Pupil Voice
  • Embodied teaching and learning

PhD Research

Morag completed her PhD research into re-engaging disaffected girls through peer-teaching Drama in 2010. This work was part of a larger international project, DRACON - a project that has been in operation since 1995 pioneering research into drama and conflict management in Sweden, Malaysia and Australia.  Morag's findings suggested that the personal risk taking involved in peer teaching others can foster re-engagement and significantly enhance both self-esteem and the abilty to manage conflict situations in real-life as a result of working through drama education and modes of applied theatre practice.

Current Research

Morag has an on-going involvement in an ERASMUS teacher exchange with the University of Gothenberg in Sweden where she is researching pre-service vocational education in the Faculty of Health Sciences with a colleague working in nursing education, Professor Margret Lepp.  The project which has been developed uses teachniques drawn from Applied Theatre  to introduce Core Conflict Competencies to pre-service teachers and nurses.

Most recently, Morag's involvement with international Teacher development work in Kazakhstan, has fostered an interest in further research into embodied learning through empathy and engagement in teacher professional pedagogic development.

Current PhD students

Heidi Perez-Cordero 2019 -

The Accidental language teacher

Herlin Putri Destari (St Johns College) 2019 -

Learning English in the Contact Zone:
Participatory Action Research through Process Drama at an Islamic Secondary School in Indonesia

Olivia Slater: (St Edmunds College) 2017-

Indigenous Australian Theatre in Western Australian Secondary Schools.

David Williams EdD (St Johns College) 2015-

Developing Ethics teaching in Veterinary Education through Listening to the Student Voice.

Debbie Aitkens (Homerton College) 2018-

Being There. Medical Anthropology in Action:
Generational differences perceptions of medical students experiences of linical attachments in surgery.

International Doctoral students
(Advisor -Erasmus)

Maud Lunden

(University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Health Science) 2016-
Drama in the field of radiography: professional Development for Post-Graduate Nurses - Building Collaboration.

Sanna Arveklev

(University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Health Sciences) 2016-
Learning about conflict management through Drama in Nursing Education.

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Course Involvement

  • MPhil  Arts, Creativity , Education and Culture
  • MEd Education in Practice
  • PhD
  • PGCE Secondary PGCE English and Drama
  • B.A Part II 
  • International Teacher Development

Wider Professional Involvement

Director of Studies, St Johns College, Cambridge. UK

  • Education

Erasmus Exchange Scholar University of Gothenberg, Sweden

  • Pedagogy in Health Care Science Education

University of Cambridge Continuing Education

  • Advanced Certificate in Teaching (English)

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Selected Publications and Papers


John O'Toole, Dale Bagshaw, Bruce Burton, Anita Grünbaum, Margret Lepp, Morag Morrison, Janet Pillai (2019).
Researching Conflict, Drama and Learning: The International DRACON Project. (Springer)

Burton. B., Lepp. M., Morrison, M. & O'Toole, J. (2015).
Acting to Manage Conflict and Bullying Through Evidence-Based Strategies (Springer International Publishing)

Finney J., Hickman R., Morrison M, Nicholl, B. and Rudduck, J. (2005)
Rebuilding Engagement through the Arts. Cambridge. Pearson Publications.

Journal Articles

Wigert. H, Berg. L, Arveklev. S, Morrison-Helme.M, Lepp.M. (forthcoming) Experiences of conflict in clinical practice for nursing students, explored through Forum Play.

Lepp. M, Morrison, M & Nolbris, M (forthcoming) Visual Arts based methods within Health Care and Health Care Education: A systematic Literature review. Nursing Today. Elsevier.

Lunden, M., Lundgren, S., Morrison-Helme. M, Lepp, M. (2017) Professional development for radiographers and post graduate nurses in radiological interventions: Building teamwork and collaboration through drama. Radiography. Nov.2017.Vol 23: 4 p.330-336. Elsevier.

Morrison, M (2016) Experiential learning through Applied Drama in Nursing Education NETNEP Conference, International Nursing Education, Brisbane, Australia

Morrison, M. (2013) Hearts and Minds - Teacher development through Embodied Learning. International Drama in Education (IDEA) Conference Paris 2013

Lepp. M. & Morrison, M. (2012) Taking the personal to the professional: Nursing students explore conflict and ethical dilemmas from their praxis using Drama as a learning medium, International Nursing congress, Brisbane, Australia, June 2012

Morrison, M, Lepp. M. (2012) Bringing the personal to the professional: Pre-service teaching students explore conflict through an applied drama approach. Applied Theatre Research, Volume 1, Number 1, December 2012, pp 63-76 (14) Intellect.

Finney J., Hickman R., Nicholl B., Morrison M. & Rudduck, J., (2005) Rebuilding Engagement through the Arts. Cambridge. Pearson Publications. I just felt right, I was listened to, and it made me feel proud. Morrison, M. (2005) in J. Finney et al.

Morrison, M. (2004) Risk and responsibility: the potential of peer teaching to address negative leadership. Improving Schools, Vol.7. No.3, 211-220, November. SAGE Publications