Creative Drama

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There are plenty of definitions of drama. A famous Chinese proverb informs “Tell me and I will forget; teach me and I will remember; involve me and I will learn.” (Heldenbrand, 2003). Drama is one of the best ways for a child to express himself/herself in classrooms. The creative drama which can be used as an instructional approach to teaching is in the form of informal process-centered drama. McCaslin (2006), defines creative drama as a type of creative plays consisting of acting many types of plays, a universal art, and an improvisation required for a human being. Creative drama is a fun, open-ended, relaxed, and informal way to learn. There are many different types of creative drama techniques in education. Theatre games, mime (pantomime), role play, simulations, storytelling, story dramatization, and improvisation are the most common types of drama that can be used by educators in classrooms.

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Many studies confirm the usefulness of drama in education. Drama is an effective instructional approach that enhances achievement and other adaptive student outcomes, such as engagement and persistence, when compared to traditional instruction (Lee, Patall, Cawthon & Steingut, 2015). Heldenbrand (2003) suggests making the classroom a small stage for everyday learning that will prepare students for the larger stage known as life. Creative drama-based instruction promotes students to be active participants in the learning process (Gaudart, 1990; Smith & Herring, 1993; Takn, 2013). Students are the center stage where meaningful learning is elevated above acting skill and knowledge is managed and created through the contributions of teachers and the students themselves (Saglamel & Kayaoglu, 2013). Creative drama approaches likely to increase students’ intrinsic motivation and encourage students to creatively express themselves in the classroom. Besides, creative drama supports students’ basic psychological needs. This approach provides students the opportunity to choose, think, talk (autonomy); actively engage, and manage the concrete materials with peers (relatedness); share perspectives, reach decisions and perform (competence).

For today’s class, using creative drama is easier than in the past. Especially for gifted and talented education, it might be one of the effective ways to create a more lively and enjoyable learning atmosphere. Creative drama is a unique method of instruction considered advantageous in the nurture of the gifted and talented child. Drama is an important teaching method in the development of creativity (Batd & Batd, 2015). According to Johnson (2000), the creative drama is an effective learning tool to use with highly creative and intellectually gifted students. Creativity, aesthetic development, critical thinking, social growth and cooperation, and improved communication skills are some of the learning objectives that are combined with drama (McCaslin, 2006). Creative drama approaches an optional and creative way to set up a more convenient learning atmosphere for gifted students. Applying creative drama techniques in gifted education can improve students’ achievement in especially social studies and the language arts classrooms which require more social interactions.

Even though its effectiveness has been confirmed (Gaudart, 1990; Smith & Herring, 1993; McCaslin, 2006; Taskn, 2013), the creative drama is not a widely used instructional strategy among K-12 teachers. Many educators relegate drama to a separate fine arts course or extra-curricular activity instead of adapting creative drama to enhance learning in core subjects. However, teachers in any content area at any grade level can use creative drama to establish successful pathways for actively engaging students in the learning process, for providing multiple entry points into the curriculum, and for revealing multiple layers of understanding content-specific topics (Stephens, 2013). Creative drama techniques can be integrated with multiple ways for various topics and it can be used as a successful pathway for actively engaging students in learning (Stephens, 2013). If teachers know how to integrate creative drama techniques appropriately in their class, they can make their class environment more suitable for their students.

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Creative Drama. (2021, Apr 06). Retrieved October 1, 2022 , from
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