A famous Chinese proverb says, “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.” The statement sums up the benefits of the modern teaching method that incorporates theatre in the classroom to promote student engagement and make learning memorable.
Theatre in education goes beyond entertainment because it creates a creative environment that changes the student’s attitudes, behaviour, and knowledge. The importance of theatre in education is evident in how it creates a holistic learning environment that develops students emotionally, intellectually, socially, and physically.
Globally, schools recognise drama and art as some of the best ways to promote emotional intelligence and impart soft skills to youngsters. These skills are difficult to provide in a traditional education system.
Read on to discover ways in which theatre can benefit students both in class and in the real world
Importance of Theatre in Education: The Benefits Inside and Outside the Classroom
The use of drama and art in education attracts the attention of students in the subject matter. Most students are receptive and enjoy learning from performing or watching educational theater because it makes it easy to remember important facts. Drama classes also help students build confidence in their academic abilities, easing the way they assimilate subjects, such as languages, mathematics, general knowledge, and history.
For example, the use of theatre to educate students on the dangers of substance abuse can significantly reduce the psychosocial risk of drug use due to the realness of the subject matter to the performers and audience. Similarly, the use of theater to teach healthy behaviour, such as the importance of physical activity and healthy eating, can improve the understanding of the subjects.
Enlightens Students of Prevalent Issues in Society
Theatre is the most realistic form of education that promotes engagement in students. The stories presented through theater are often hard-hitting topics based on real-life events and prevalent issues affecting society. Thus, drama benefits students by encouraging them to reflect on the personal issues raised and shed light on how different social topics affect them and the world around them rather than ignoring them.
When students are knowledgeable about issues of interest to society or contemporary life problems, it is easy to make sense of them and handle them. Hence, enacting real situations prepares students to face challenges in real life.
Develops a Sense of Creativity and Imagination
Another benefit of incorporating drama and theatre in education is that it inspires creativity and imagination by encouraging students to view opportunities and problems from an artistic angle. When faced with challenges, it is easy for drama students to manage their way out of them because they are used to embracing creativity in similar scenarios.
In many ways, participation in theatre also creates successful entrepreneurs and innovators. The power of imagination engrained in learners through drama is a crucial ingredient for success as a trendsetter in the business world.
Provides A Platform to Continue the Conversation
Students may be curious to find out why a character made certain decisions or what caused them to behave in a particular way. Theatre encourages students to continue conversations on the topics and give opinions even after the end of the production.
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Builds Self-Regulation and Social Skills
Another importance of drama in education is that it teaches students to deal with vulnerable emotions and everyday challenges in a supportive and safe environment. Performing or witnessing different strategies playing out encourages students to explore diverse perspectives and build social awareness. Children develop empathy for others and understand their emotions better as they enact different roles. Drama makes it easy to appreciate the reason for the existence of challenging situations, conflicts, and challenging characters.
Theatre is also an effective way to teach students self-regulation by demonstrating conflict resolution and anger management skills. They learn tools for managing emotions and explore options for seeking health, which improves their overall mental wellbeing.
Creates a Lasting Impact on Students
Theatrical productions can have a lasting impact on students. The more a school uses drama to address tricky and often taboo subjects, the more it instigates change for students. The productions can also encourage a student to seek help or guide a friend to find help. Such steps can result in a positive and long-lasting transformation that would not have happened without the shows.
Instills Positive Values
Theatre activities impart numerous positive values to students. Drama requires students to work together to get everything right. As a result, they learn important life skills, such as compassion, cooperation, and teamwork. The creative art form also teaches problem-solving because they learn how to behave and react in certain situations.
Incorporating drama is also a way of teaching students how to be leaders. The technique also allows students to make better decisions by stimulating critical thinking skills, reasoning, and memory. Many students use theatrical performance to break down stereotypes and promote better morals.
Theatre also improves concentration in children. The students have to juggle many things at the same time, which teaches them concentration and timing. The skills are beneficial when handling schoolwork as well as in their professions.
Facilitates Language and Social Development
Drama helps students to become better communicators. The process of learning lines, enacting communication, and writing and presenting scripts develop vocabulary and oral communication skills. The integration of theatre in education also teaches children how to communicate well with other members of society because it involves using different facial expressions, tones and voices, movements, and body language. All these aspects help them connect better, contributing to overall social development.
Promotes Physical Development
Theatre is physically demanding, just like sports. Enacting drama includes lots of movement and dancing, which improves the physical development of students. They have a chance to develop control and strength over their mind and body.
Whether you’re in middle-class or college, playing roles in drama in front of a crowd of people builds confidence that can last for a lifetime. A shy drama student is likely to keep their inhibitions away and be confident enough to face the world. Self-confidence often extends to other aspects of life.
Helps Students Create Lasting Friendships
Drama is a fun activity that students enjoy doing together, whether they’re experts or beginners. Students who participate in drama have a common interest that makes it easy to develop lasting friendships. Such friendships can have a positive impact on their confidence, creativity, motivation, and achievements in life.