Learn All About Theater Pedagogy

26 June, 2020
In this article, you’ll discover what theater pedagogy is all about, as well as its importance to facilitate learning in students of all ages.
 

Pedagogy as a discipline studies educational phenomenon, organizing learning processes so they’re in in accordance with certain purposes. Theater pedagogy is a useful tool in this sense. From the development of theatrical techniques, an educational purpose is sought regarding certain objectives.

What’s theater pedagogy?

This is an area within pedagogy whose intention is to facilitate teaching and learning through theater. It’s a useful tool to help students develop at all levels of compulsory education, both within the formal sphere and in other informal settings.

Theater pedagogy considers that theater and teaching theater produce many benefits in the educational field. These benefits, used according to the specific criteria of pedagogy as a mother discipline, make theater pedagogy a powerful teaching-learning resource.

The use of theatrical discipline and the application of dramatic expression as a methodological instrument in school environments is relatively recent. In fact, there are many controversies regarding the impossibility of teaching theater in schools since, from the most traditional point of view, teaching dramatic techniques or body language isn’t really teaching theater.

Children acting in a play.
 

However, other less critical positions advocate for not making such a strict delimitation between art and pedagogy. Those who aren’t so critical argue that, when theater is done at school, it’s more educational than theatrical or artistic. In these cases, even when good artistic levels are achieved, the goal is to achieve educational goals.

Aspects that characterize theater pedagogy

  • Firstly, consider the educational dimension present in theater as a social and cultural manifestation.
  • Secondly, it’s an active methodology that allows the active participation of students in their learning processes.
  • Also, schools can adapt it to specific content within the corresponding didactic programs according to the educational stages.
  • Schools can adapt it to their student’s needs, characteristics, and ages.
  • Likewise, it involves a playful methodology, fundamental as a stimulus in the integral development process.
Children in theatre class.

  • It allows children to develop their communicative and expressive capacities to the fullest, both at the level of language and discourse, as well as physically.
 
  • In addition, it works and stimulates everything related to people’s emotional and sensory world.
  • It stimulates creativity, imagination, and critical thinking.
  • Finally, it encourages the acquisition of social values.

Teacher training

The use of dramatic activities or theatrical techniques, which become resources, procedures, or lines of work in teaching with educational goals, requires training based on two types of knowledge.

On the one hand, an indisputable, specific pedagogical knowledge oriented to the organization of the teaching-learning process. On the other hand, a theatrical knowledge, with knowledge that can be very diverse coming from its different branches, such as acting, stage direction, or dramaturgy, among others.