We sometimes forget the huge possibilities of our art form. Theatre/drama in education programs offer great potential for those of us in tertiary education. Here are three reasons for supporting such programs:
1. Because effective drama education engages our children in language – not just as information, spelling and grammar – but as the means of engendering, negotiating and expressing meaning. Like good theatre, effective drama engages students' thoughts, feelings and bodies in action and reflection through authentic encounters with ideas and dilemmas that are part both of the curriculum and of the world today.
2. Because effective drama educators need to have a rich and comprehensive knowledge of theatre history, production and performance practices together with a deep concern for and a breadth of experience in the discipline. Research has shown that effective drama teaching motivates students towards tertiary theatre education. As members of a theatre department, it is in our interest to attract students, either as members of the department or as participants in the service courses we offer to other faculties.
3. Because applied theatre such as theatre in education (TIE), theatre for health education (THE) and social action theatre, demands players who understand the requirements of collective devising, entertainment and instruction. Departments of theatre and drama who see the implications of applied theatre practice will understand the need for strong theatre/drama in education programs within our degree offerings to strengthen our students' professional skills and prepare them for all the challenges of contemporary theatre.
As lovers and teachers of the art form, we need to consider all the ways and means by which our support can further enlarge and strengthen our discipline.
Newsletter / Bulletin 25.2