Drama in Education Reaching Beyond the “Art Form or Teaching Tool” Dichotomy

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Abstract

In the following article we try to re-evaluate, the place drama occupies in contemporary elementary education. By limiting the role of drama to literature studies and theatre productions, we lose a greater potential Theatre Pedagogy has to offer to a much broader educational spectrum. The participatory practices of Theatre and Drama in Education (TiE, DiE) promote active learning, based on a most organic children’s activity - play. While students co-create the fictional world of drama, teacher's guidance is crucial in setting new challenges, encouraging students to find creative solutions and reflect on often-complex social issues. Because of its art component, drama challenges the participants on a cognitive as well as emotional level, becoming a truly transformational experience. As such, Drama in Education is especially useful when approaching sensitive and controversial topics. This thesis is presented on a case study observing Year 6 students at St’ Michael’s CE Academy in Birmingham, UK, using Drama in Education method as part of History curriculum.

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