Teaching Drama

Pinning down Arts Education

At the Florida Association for Theatre Educators conference last week we heard lots of buzz about the fact that Florida is going to implement standardized testing for drama. A mind numbing concept. But if the arts teachers don’t do it themselves, it’ll be left to others with no drama experience. And if it’s not done at all, then drama could be done away with all together.

There is, and for the most part always has been, a need to pin down the arts. To make it more like math where there is a right answer and a wrong answer. Because, if it’s not like math it can’t be a real subject, can it? Oh that thinking just makes my teeth ache. Forget the fact that school is preparing students to be great test takers, which is what benefit in the real world? Forget the fact that drama is one of the few areas that teaches real world skills such as communication, self-expression, self communication.

Sigh. Over at Diversifying Form, they’re talking about how arts education needs re-thinking. And while I absolutely agree with the sentiment, I don’t see a change happening any time soon. Michelle mentions how acting classes should be between 8-10 students. I have one friend who currently has 28 in her drama class and another with 46. And no one thinks that’s inappropriate.

Why is learning being boiled down to right and wrong? Is there no other way to learn?

About the author

Lindsay Price


  • I teach acting improv to elementary, middle and high school students. Any class over 10 or 12 doesn’t work. 

  • When it comes to group size, 10-12 is the Magic Number. Fewer than that is insufficient variety. More than that and the cohesion isn’t as effortlesly sustainable. With 10-12, creativity can blossom inside that cohesion. Magic. Creativity is magic. It is what makes the world go around.