Theatre and dramatic arts techniques are making their way into the classrooms of schools and education centres. Did you know these techniques can provide huge benefits for learning? In this post, we want to help you discover what they are and bring you a real example very close to home. Keep reading!
The benefits of bringing theatre into the classroom
Some of us are still surprised by the fact that schools and education centres use dramatic arts techniques to enhance learning. However, thanks to a team of dedicated teachers, they are slowly making their way into classrooms. And when theatre eventually makes an appearance, students, parents and teachers are all fascinated by the benefits it brings!
It is important to understand that when we talk about theatre at school, it doesn’t simply refer to putting on plays or performances. The real magic comes from applying dramatic techniques to learning in order to help assimilate knowledge and specific subjects, such as mathematics, languages or history.
Being in the XXI century, we need to break away from the idea that learning can only come from books and theory. In fact, putting things into practice is how we best assimilate and remember facts, something we stand firmly behind at dothegap.
As explained by the teachers who have committed themselves to applying this theatrical methodology in the classroom, they favour autonomous learning, deep understanding and oral and physical expression, as well as reading comprehension, one of the most common difficulties faced by students today.
But these types of activities also provide a whole series of positive values. They help to break down stereotypes, generate empathy, stimulate cooperation, reasoning and the ability to be critical.
Focusing on teamwork in every class reinforces these skills in particular, among others. When students have to prepare a group project, which might be performing a play on a certain subject written by the entire group, they end up feeling more connected to one another.
The subject being covered therefore is much easier to assimilate as there is a practical outcome that all students benefit from. They are not just given theory to study, which can often seem abstract and dry.
Progress and the success story of Chiclana de Segura
Theatre has landed in schools in Brazil and in the German state of Hamburg it is a compulsory subject. In Spain, the Unión de Actores de Murcia (Murica Actors Union) has organised an initiative to introduce it into nursery and primary schools. However, in Chiclana de Segura (Jaén), dramatic arts are already a reality in the classroom.
Lourdes Jiménez García, a pioneering teacher awarded on several occasions throughout her career for her progressive teaching methods, was given the task of introducing drama to Santa María de Nazaret, the education centre in which she works. She has managed to implement it in physical education using different methods such as puppet shows, storytelling, writing a play or her own performances.
The teacher has highlighted how students acquire lifelong abilities, skills and competencies, such as public speaking, the ability to think freely, controlling your state of mind or co-existence alongside others.
Jiménez García has taken the experience one step further and has also created a group for parents: this gives them the opportunity to take part in their children’s education by doing similar activities, as well as incorporating the same tools used in drama. The result is a gala organised by the whole group in the Chiclana theatre where they will demonstrate their creativity.
What’s more, the youngest students have also learnt to think about others and not just themselves. Perhaps the kindest initiative has been when students visited other children of the same age in the Oncology and Pediatrics department of Jaén Hospital, putting on shows, playing games and helping lift the patient’s spirits at least for one day.
If you want to read the whole story about this exciting experience in Jaén, you can do so via this article from La Contra de Jaén (in Spanish), it won’t fail to surprise you!
The benefits of bringing theatre into the classroom are endless, but it can also be taken into other education centres, associations and federations of any kind. In fact, it could even be the focus of an exchange, which could be carried out with a drama school or theatre group.
If you are a member of one of these centres and you want to take part in this enriching experience, what are you waiting for? Register and propose an exchange in which you can explore all the benefits that theatre can offer! With dothegap, the process is easier than ever and you won’t have to deal with intermediaries… We’re waiting for you!