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Theater and Learning

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We previously wrote about gamification, which is the process of introducing game-elements into non-game contexts. In this article we will discuss the usage of theater in the learning process or learning environment. To define this, we can say that using theater in education is the use of it other than for entertainment purposes. It is true that the use of drama can be fun. However, in this process, there is an aim to educate, create empathy and share experiences through fiction.

According to brainstormproductions.edu.au, Live theatre is a powerful way to attract students’ attention and keep them engaged. An Australian research study found that “the overwhelming majority of students demonstrate enjoyment and enthusiasm through watching educational theatre, are receptive and listen attentively, and can correctly identify the educational messages being portrayed”.

Why do we include theater in learning environments?

Theater is an immersive form of art and it stimulates auditory, visual, kinetic and linguistic activities. This means that participants can explore different choices as well as possible consequences without real-world ramifications. The main benefits of theater are:

  • active participation and exploration
  • introduction empathy
  • stimulates memory of situation and emotions
  • promotes self-esteem and confidence

Have you used theater or storytelling methods in your learning process before? Let us know in the comments on this post.

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