Theatre in education has been around for a long time, but what does it do? Why is theatre so important to learning? Theatre provides a safe environment for students to develop their creativity and to learn about themselves. In the 21st century, learning happens everywhere, not just the classroom. One way that students can learn is through participation in drama and theater activities.
The Purpose of Theatre in Education
Everything about theatre can promote learning. Theatre in Education connects students to each other, gives them the opportunity to think creatively, and encourages collaboration. All of these activities help students improve their communication skills.
From the very beginning, students experience acting. In acting class, students are required to put all of their focus on the task at hand and engage with their peers. This is another way that the Theatre in Education curriculum develops communication skills.
Performing arts classes are also essential in the Theatre in Education curriculum. They teach students the basics of preparing and performing in front of an audience. Students begin by watching plays and working on basic Theatre in Education skills.
Why is theatre important to learning?
The purpose of theater in education is to promote creative expression and help students develop their communication skills. Theatre in Education is also a tool to teach students how to be aware of their body, actions, emotions and gestures. It teaches them to think critically about what they are saying and how it is presented.
When students experience theater as part of their learning, they will gain a new awareness of the emotions and bodily sensations. This awareness will allow students to express them and give voice to the most vulnerable and hidden parts of themselves.
How is theatre used to teach?
There are several ways that theater can be used to teach. A traditional classroom can be used to develop presentation skills and learn to deliver material.
What are the benefits for students?
Even in schools where students might not have access to the arts, children still learn how to think creatively through their interactions with other students. Children learn to build their confidence by performing, by engaging with their communities, and by creating meaningful relationships. Many of the values that I learned about when I was in the theater world, I still practice today.
All students can gain so much from being exposed to the arts. It not only improves students’ communication skills, but it gives them an outlet for their emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
How can theatre be used in education?
Drama is a means of expression and can be used for any purpose or topic, from learning about a new topic to learning to communicate effectively. It has been used to assist students with math, language arts, history, English, social studies, and even science. This can help students relate their lessons to the way the body and mind operates.
Theatre provides students with the skills and confidence to express themselves in different ways, by displaying emotions, making statements, writing and speaking out. Theatre also helps students to understand other people’s points of view, develop and express new ideas, practice good decision-making, etc. One such example is through the plays put on by schools.
Classrooms must focus on building children’s social and emotional skills. Students’ creative thinking and problem-solving abilities are enhanced through the use of arts and music programs. Also, due to the nature of drama, students may learn about themselves more easily.
Studies have shown that drama can help improve students’ test scores. Finally, Theatre builds a sense of community among participants and enables people to be part of something bigger than themselves. Therefore, the importance of theater to education cannot be understated.