Drama and the Performing Arts are excellent methods of building confidence in children and adults alike. Learning through drama allows children to explore their creativity and have fun whilst leaving their shyness and worries behind. Drama also works by stimulating and supporting the growth of imagination and other skills.
Entertainment has become rather passive with cinema, television and video games becoming more popular. These screen-based methods have had a negative impact on communication. However, drama puts the get up and go’ back into entertainment. Children have the opportunity to connect with others in a more meaningful way as drama encourages speech development, awareness of body language and allowing the child to become more socially aware.
Play and drama are closely linked. When a child plays a game they are pretending and using their imagination and so are moving away from reality to create their own story. Drama is a vehicle through which children can express themselves more freely through mime, gesture, movement and speech to make education fun.
Children gain confidence by understanding that there is no final answer in drama and that their opinion and contribution is valued. Children are able to give a personal response to many issues and situations such as poverty, bullying, global warming and recycling. The issues that drama can tackle are endless. Drama and education have a strong link as drama can encourage children to take an active interest in other subjects such as Geography, History and English and so have a more rounded education.
As a drama teacher, I have witnessed children at their first class holding onto their parent’s arm-unwilling to let go. To then see the same child running into my class with a beaming smile is an excellent sight. Drama installs confidence in children by allowing them to improvise and experiment. Everyone is given the opportunity to shine within Drama.