Educating Through Dramatic Expression
Drama has been used effectively in education throughout the course of history, from as early as Ancient Greece, when Aristotle believed that theatre provided people with a way to release their emotions – as the Confucian proverb says: “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand.”
From the beginning of the progressive movement in education, emphasis has been placed on “doing” rather than memorising, and the integration of drama can help children to learn in a variety of ways. Most often used in the primary curriculum as a means of investigating feelings, knowledge and ideas, and to examine interpersonal relationships – by harnessing a young person’s capacity for make-believe, we can extend it into other areas of knowledge.
The transition to secondary education often spells the end for formal exposure to drama in education, unless the subject itself is selected for GCSE and A Level. However, exposure to drama is no less important to older children if we want them to maintain key skills developed in early childhood, such as the ability to improvise, work collaboratively, and have empathy for others.
In addition to developing verbal and nonverbal communication, the use of drama in learning can help develop a child’s creativity, and bring traditional subjects to life in an engaging way, while helping to support those who may not be confident learners.
At Starburst Theatre School, our aim to develop a young person’s confidence through participation in performing arts. As an all-abilities school, our classes are designed to inspire students in three core areas – singing, dance, and drama. We cover a wide range of styles and genres, offering each student the opportunity to express their individual personalities, and we focus on nurturing and developing individual talents in a fun and creative learning environment. Working closely with teachers from local schools, we enrich the standard curriculum through dramatic expression.