The Importance of Drama
Drama, like much of the arts, has been regarded as a second-rate, hobbyist subject in schools. But drama can be a powerful tool for teaching even non-arts subjects.
Drama-in-education should not be confused with drama as a subject. While the latter focuses on studying the art form itself, drama-in-education is an approach that applies drama to different areas of learning.
The typical classroom used to feature rows of tables facing the teacher’s board. However, our education system is evolving! Schools are moving away from rote learning and are promoting more interactive and collaborative learning.
Drama-in-education is one of various responses to rote learning. This approach engages students in critical-thinking, active discussion, and creative application.
How does it work?
Subjects like mathematics expose students to abstract concepts. Educators have a choice—either get students to memorise formulas or create a hands-on experience.
In Singapore, the Teaching Through the Arts Programme (TTAP) uses art forms like drama to introduce math concepts. In a primary level lesson about area and perimeter, students take on the role of a farmer and manage a plot of land. Not only does the imaginary scenario help students visualise these concepts, children learn how to apply them in a real-world context.
Such drama-based pedagogy is used in schools across the world to teach language, history, and geography. Research has found them to be effective in enhancing both personal development and academic achievement.
Educators who implement drama-in-education in their classes observe that students show more confidence, leading to an increase in participation. Many noticed that they can attract and sustain students' attention more effectively.
Students are also better able to remember and apply what they learned. They find drama-based lessons more fun and memorable; challenging concepts are less daunting.
How else is drama incorporated in our education system? More specifically, how is drama used in a preschool setting? Find out in our next article!