June 19, 2020 0 Comments

Advantages of Drama In Education for Teachers

Drama is innate form of learning and natural. Children pretend to be mother, father, teacher, driver, or anything that fascinate them. They tend to create their own play house and act out as human and non-human characters too. The children are creating drama to imitate life experiences and to shape the imaginations.  As creating drama is an intrinsic quality of children, so it should be taken to schools into their classroom learning. They have a universal human ability to engage spontaneously into creative play.

The aim of  contemporary education is  to develop –

  • aesthetic sense
  • creativity
  • critical thinking
  • cooperative environment
  • better communication skills

Harmony and understanding among human beings can easily be achieved by using drama as teaching method. It creates a space for every single child despite of various vertical and horizontal differences i.e. age,  socio-economical, socio-cultural identity of a child. Drama is a way of learning. It’s an effective learning tool because it involves the students intellectually , physically, mentally, socially & emotionally. Drama allows to participate , demonstrate, engage and observe in  a ‘controlled way’. It’s a non- traditional opportunity for students to learn and to demonstrate learning.  Drama In education methodology can be used to teach  mathematics, science, languages, etc., and its content in an engaging way. Its nature is education and has educational goals.

Why Drama in classroom?

Using drama as a teaching methodology coincide with the established goal of education.

   1. It develops the imagination and creativity

   2. It fosters critical thinking and problem solving

   3. It helps explore and evaluate ideas

   4. It discovers positive ways of dealing with conflict

   5. It makes expression and interpretation of feelings easier

   6. It enhances communication skill

   7. It improves literacy skills

Students experience the sense of socializing while learning with drama in education method which is a teaching method in itself. With increase digitalization and technology the need of human and society oriented teaching – learning method has also increased because drama includes all aspects of a human – Internal as well as external.

The teacher has the opportunity to make her class a group and experience the learning of every child by herself. Drama gives flexibility to be used as instrumental tool, remedial activity, concept clarity exercise , subject specific activity or as a teaching learning method. Using drama techniques teacher can take up various roles like she can become a head of village or any historical character or may be a sutradhar. She can be director , group leader, composer, a narrator.  Children learn more when class is fun, comprehensive , friendly and exploring , and not monotonous and boring.

Drama inside the  classroom

Drama has many practical classroom applications and conventions  to teach lessons or any curriculum material.  Through improvisations, photo freezes,  pantomime and playwriting concepts, ideas, lessons, events & people can be dramatized . This way attention , retention can be improved by gaining comprehension and stimulating the interests of the children. Different drama games / activities can be used in the classroom set up. For instance, Role plays, develop scenes, meeting of two or more characters, re-enactment of the real event, improvise the further untold story, creating literary sketches, writing own poetry, dialogues, fictions, songs, etc.

Creative plays in the classroom do not require and any stage. Any space can be a used to perform where they can naturally play. They are improvising the dialogues and actions. It is always guided by a group leader who leads the group  and culminate their views and ideas.   Suggestive costumes like a drap, a fabric or newspaper can create wonder. Classroom furniture can be used as property. The characterization can be shown through body movement, mime, dialogues. Everything can be suggestive to raise imaginations. 

Is it for every child?

YES. Creative drama is taking place inside the classrooms that means there are ways for every child to participate even if  anyone is afraid to face the audience on the stage. Here the teachers are to give feedback, comment, analyse, question not on their performing skills but on the subject matter, theme covered, pre-discussions, coordination and collective work of the group, way of presentation etc.  It reduces the performance pressure and encourages the students to perform both backstage and on stage.

A child faces many criticisms and rejections in his day to day life and doesn’t know how to deal with these pressures. In drama a child may choose not to be a main character and offer that role to someone who the group believes can do perform better. Sometimes the group suggests in a constructive way to each other to absorb and accept the criticism – A Key Life skill.

Acceptance by others is the first step to gain self -respect. Generally, teachers tend to ignore the insensitive chid who distracts others to gain attention or the isolated child who cannot relate with anyone. The child with special needs will require more attention and acceptance. Using opportunities to create drama related activities all these problems can be resolved. Its an ideal platform where a timid can overcome his inhibitions. It is the right way to gain attention, awareness about others’ feelings and to find an avenue of expression.

 As teachers  constantly search for effective methods or strategies to motivate and enhance children’s learning experiences, the use of drama techniques promote highly meaningful, active and effective approach. Drama in education is absolutely necessary. It provides the personal development. It improves the positive self esteem in students as well as teachers. They have a hands on experience and learning by doing. The pace, styles of learning are different of every person because of their environment, biological , emotional and mental differences. Through drama in education, process appropriate learning experiences can be increased, and hence student achievements can grow.  

However , there are some implications that need to be considered. The school needs to cater to the different needs of methodology. The school curriculum must be flexible and let the teacher – students apply and explore this drama in education method. Children must be exposed to more performances, plays and live drama shows. To derive the tremendous benefit from Drama in education, it is important to address these things at school level.

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