No teacher enters the classroom without an ideological agenda, be it consciously or subconsciously addressed. This is as true for English teachers interested in the educational potential of drama as for any other subject practitioner. Part 1 of this book explores some of the ideological infl uences that have shaped drama pedagogy over the past 250 years. Its aim is to help teachers locate their own practice within a theoretical and historical context and to gain an understanding of the conceptual frames in which the practical activities of Part 2 are embedded. First, it is necessary to consider some of the metanarratives that have contributed historically to the construction of the concept of ‘childhood’.