Drama involves performance and it has been used as a tool in the line of education, it involves self-expression and way of learning. This aspect of drama involves the students socially, emotionally and physically to relate well with others and the issues that affect them in their day to day lives.
The activities involved in the drama such as improvisation, enactment or even pantomime engages the participant’s creativity and improves their critical thinking skills.
Drama is a very powerful tool when it comes to education. It enables the student to have the skill of problem- solving, thus, the student develops some sense in their thinking, emotions and even their set of goals in life. During the performance, a student may find himself relating to the activities taking place around him and relate them to what’s actually happening in his daily life and the problems he faces in life, it will provide some solutions to these problems hence, the student’s creativity to solve such problems will be developed, Snowman, Jack (1997).
Consequently, drama enhances communication skills within the students, during the performance, each and every student is expected to participate, this enables those to express themselves and communicate to each other as the performances are not preplanned, and they depend on the creativity of the individual at a specific time depending on the topic.
Dramatization enables the students to interpret their emotional feelings as well as that of the others. Peoples reaction towards some topics can be easily identified only if there is an expression of emotions, for example, when there is a play connected with the death of parents and children remaining orphans, there is a way others will react to such a topic not only those that are affected but even the other students can be able to express their attitude and remorsefulness to the idea. Which is actually good, it enables students to share other people’s pain and suffering or even happiness.
Therefore, a drama is a tool that allows participation, demonstration, observation and is open in a non-threatening environment. This tool enhances creativity and promotes confidence among the students as they feel free to express their ideas effectively.
It also provides a platform where students develop self-discipline, accepting whom they really are, ability to defend themselves positively when they are being criticized and even the ability to corporate well with others and accepts them always despite their differences in social, economic and physical appearance, Farrell, P. (2010).
Psychology of classroom performance
Performances in class enable the student to develop some skills which in turn helps him in class activities such as reading. These skills include:
Children who engage in performances improve their verbal skills, they develop a sense of understanding of texts. These skills include reading, understanding of the story or even the subject, their vocabulary becomes rich. This, in turn, has improved academic progress among these students, Huitt, W; Hummel, J (2003).
Children learn how to deal with their emotions and get to understand the emotions of others as well as their own. This is made easy if they participate in a drama which actually deals with a set of different emotions. They learn to express and suppress them accordingly. They develop a self-concept which connects to emotional knowledge, this is extended in academics.
After engaging in drama, children become closer to each other, this enhances the ability to create friendship amongst them and this culminates to social communication, imitation and even social creativity. This in return leads to performance in academics as the children will always feel free to discuss with their fellows or even ask questions freely in class.
Principles of Educational psychology
Students who focus on this principle are able to excel in academics, they are able to discuss what affects them and what they are unable to understand in class, this is rectified in drama because the student who participates well in these performances will have a different turn in the mind. Her mindset malleability is accurate.
Student’s prior knowledge affects both his conceptual growth and change, the students are able to add something new to what they already have and remove the errors or mistakes they always have about certain knowledge. This is manifested in drama during performances, they will learn to omit the errors they always make and add to the knowledge of what they already have a clue of.
Limit of stage theories
It is noticed that cognitive development and education are not limited by stages of development. It is notable that these changes do not affect learning at all cost, in fact, the students with such changes will always approach older people with different abilities for instructions. This is also manifested in drama as it enhances social communication which in the long run enable students to connect with other students irrespective of their social status.
Helping students understand the topic is made easier when they are taken by the teacher from context to the other. The easiest way is to have students use their knowledge about a particular unit which will give a solution to problems happening in the real work, this is directly connected to drama in education. They will relate well to the problems outlined in the drama and find solutions to the problems.
Students who practice what they have learnt in class are able to adjust well in academics, this will increase their knowledge, skills and even confidence with others. Just like during performance, they talk to each other, express their emotions, with constant practice it is made possible. This applies in their day to day lives.
Giving the students immediate feedback and responses increase learning and even motivation to engage in academic activities. This is very important in the learning process. This is manifested in drama, there is a problem created and a possible solution given at the same time during the performance. There is immediate feedback at hand.
Students are supposed to learn to have self-control, organization, planning, and memory strategies and improve their learning skills. These skills give them the ability to highlight some concepts that they need to do a lot of practice.
Plato and Aristotle
These researchers came up with the differences in education, body training, and the formation of good character, the possibilities and limits in education. They even came up with the effects of music and poetry in education, the growth of an individual and the role of a teacher to students. Knowledge has the ability to evolve gradually through experience and understanding of the individual. Plato even came up with the principle of association which includes, contrast, similarity, succession and contiguity, Toomas (2011).
John suggested that learning was only achievable through experience only and most people are born without knowledge, they acquire it. His argument suggested that understanding knowledge is only built on knowledge and experience. He further explains that learning can only be done through experiences of the external force Lucas, Blazek, & Riley, (2005).
Juan believed in direct observation and investigation of the study of nature. He emphasized that the location of the school really mattered to the learning process, the environment really matters, the air quality should be good and there should be enough food for the students and teachers. He, therefore, suggested that practice is the tool to education.
Johann Herbart (1776-1841)
This is the father of educational psychology, he believed that learning was affected by interest in the subject and the teacher, therefore, teachers should review the materials that have been learnt by the students for easy understanding.
Drama in education is very vital for the students learning. It enables the students to acquire some important skills such as problem- solving, creativity, literacy skills and the aspect of social interaction amongst them.
Consequently, with the principles of education when put into place enables the students to cope well in their learning environment, just like Juan Vives said, an environment in which the students learn on is much important as it affects their thinking, it should be eco-friendly and flexible depending on the nature of learning.
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