During your next in-service training session, I hope that you will consider introducing your faculty to innovative teaching techniques that can enliven and deepen a student’s classroom experience.
Expert faculty are available for professional development workshops for teachers in how to use drama and theatre across the curriculum. Teachers in any subject can use theatrical methodologies to deepen a student’s comprehension of the material! Drama can be a powerful tool for comprehension.
The session is three hours long and involves a short lecture on the benefits and structures of dramatic methodologies, followed by a demonstration where teachers would be able to experience a drama lesson. we then provide teachers with sample lesson plans, at which point the teachers break off into smaller groups to brainstorm and plan how to incorporate drama activities into their individual classrooms. Additionally, we leave each school with two excellent books that will aid teachers when preparing future lessons.
The benefits of drama in the curriculum
Since much of the learning that goes on in the classroom involves creating relationships and exploring new ideas, theatre is a natural partner to education.
A social studies teacher can deepen their students’ understanding of the personal impact of the Civil War by having the students create tableaux (frozen images) of a specific family that was divided about the war. How would that family look gathered around the dinner table before, during and after the war? Drama can also be used for social aims, like increasing groups cooperative skills by having them unite as a class to solve a mystery. Drama can be used successfully at any age as a teaching methodology.
These are just some of the benefits of integrating drama into an academic curriculum:
- Students become self-motivated learners along with developing critical, analytical and reflective thinking skills;
- Students practice making difficult decisions, requiring them to weigh and balance competing needs, reinforcing the relationship between cause and effect;
- Students build bridges between disciplines, resulting in a better understanding of the world around them;
- Their education is guided rather than dispensed, resulting in student-centered classrooms;
- Teachers receive more precise and concrete information about the particular strengths and weaknesses of each child in their classroom, information that can aid them in future lesson planning, as well as when teachers are writing comments or in conference with parents.