Drama is one of the few classes that teachers real world skills. This is something that every drama teacher knows well. You know this. Despite resistance you may receive from parents, administrators, or even other teachers – the drama class is a vital and necessary component to a well rounded education.
It’s not computers or television that ruins the lives of students. It’s the square peg in the round hole. It’s testing. It’s the methodology that every single student must conform to one way. Students do not need to learn how to parrot back facts. That is the sole purpose of a test. Teenagers know everything is at the swipe of a finger, so why bother? How soon will it be before today’s visual learners rebel?
Students do need to know how to think on their feet in the 21st century. We have given them information at their fingertips, how do we take them to the next level? They need to know how to use their brain to create, to communicate, to innovate, to collaborate. These are the real world skills of the modern world, the 21st century skills. And they are happening in every drama classroom right now.
Are you shouting that from the rooftops?
The drama class is a microcosm for 21st century skills.Throw that on a poster and slap it on your classroom door. Make it your mantra. If you want parents, administrators, other teachers to take you seriously and to take your program use this sentence on a constant basis.
My class promotes 21st century skills.
The skills of the 21st century are not about technology, even though every teenager is fully wired. It’s about teaching students to think in a new way. Click on each link for classroom exercises and articles on these important skills.
The act of being in a play promotes all of these skills.
- We apply close reading to the script
- We analyze our characters and make inferences
- We ask and answer questions based on the script
- We interpret the script
- We develop choices for our characters
- We design the costumes, sets, and props based on the script
- We construct a vision both visual and thematic
- We offer feedback and suggestions during the rehearsal process
- We receive and process feedback from the audience
You may be thinking – Hold on. This is not why I teach drama. I teach drama not for the administrators. I am there for the students. I am there to create the only safe space they have in a day. I am here to bring theatre to life. I am not a spouter of buzzwords.
You don’t have to be. In the classroom it’s just you and your kids. But how are you advocating for your program outside the classroom? Is your administrator in your corner? Are the parents? What are you doing to keep your program alive? What language do you use to make administrators sit up and take notice?
Click here to download a brainstorming activity that asks: How does my class promote 21st Century Skills?Free 21st Century Skills Poster for your classroom!
Being in a Play is SO 21st Century!
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