Drama in Education: Why Drama is Necessary

Manon van de Water (USA)

The article dwells on the use of drama and performance techniques in education and social work in connection with multiple intelligence theory, emotional intelligence theory, and brain based learning. The author connects the use of drama in the alternative theories of teaching and learning based on recent neuroscientific research, and lays out an integrative approach to teaching and learning that promotes inclusion, diversity, and social awareness, through embodied and contextualized learning. If we perceive cognition and emotion as interrelated, then drama as an educational tool becomes essential. It creates metaphors of our lives, which we lead through both cognitive and emotional domains. Art and creativity play an essential role in connections between the body, emotions, and the mind. Moreover, as we live in relationship to the rest of the world around us, our learning is embodied, our brain, emotions, and physiology are constantly connected. Thus, the article demonstrates that drama and performance are vital in teaching the whole child, whether taught as a discipline or used as a teaching tool. This means, the author claims, educators, neuropsychologists, and theatre and drama specialists have to have open minds and be willing to step out of comfort zones and together make a case for using theatre and drama methods as a way to improve human lives.