DRAMA NEW ZEALAND – MAHI WHAKAARI O AOTEAROA
WHAT IS DRAMA?
Drama is an art form, a practical activity and an intellectual discipline highly accessible to young people.
In education, it is a mode of learning that challenges students to make meaning of their world.
A drama education which begins with play may eventually include all the elements of theatre.
- Drama is the enactment of real and imagined events through roles and situations.
- Drama enables both individuals and groups to explore, shape and symbolically represent ideas and feelings and their consequences.
- Drama has the capacity to move and challenge values, cultures and identities
- Drama includes a wide range of experiences, such as dramatic play, improvisation, theatrical performance, film and television drama, and includes both the processes and presentation of drama.
- Drama draws on many different contexts, from past and present societies and cultures.
Drama is one of the four art forms to make up the Arts, an essential learning area as identified in the New Zealand Curriculum Framework.
AN EDUCATION IN DRAMA
Drama in the school curriculum can develop students’ artistic and creative skills.
It can also provide knowledge and skills that are transferable to a variety of artistic, social and work-related contexts.
An education in drama can:
- humanise learning by provide lifelike learning contexts in a classroom setting that values active participation in a non-threatening, supportive environment.
- empower students to understand and influence their world through exploring roles and situations.
- develop students’ non-verbal, individual and group communication skills.
- develop students’ intellectual, social, physical, emotional and moral domains through learning that engages their thoughts, feelings, bodies and actions.
- enable students to become critically reflective members of the New Zealand community through their engagements in dramatic contexts relating to identity, societies, cultures, ideologies, gender, time and change.
- give students knowledge and understanding of drama and skills in drama to participate throughout life in one of the oldest yet most dynamic art forms.
- give students experience in and understanding of the other Arts.
The Arts are important to the growth of self-knowledge and self worth. They encourage students’ to investigate their own values and those of others, and to recognise the aesthetic and spiritual dimensions of their lives.
DRAMA IN SCHOOLS
involves aesthetic learning
Students engaged in drama activities are participating in aesthetic learning.
This is a mode of learning in which students engage with their senses.
An education in drama involves:
Students as dramatic artists
- in making, creating, and presenting drama, students learn to control and manage the elements of drama in order to make their own drama or to interpret and recreate existing drama.
- students develop drama process skills as well as skills in a range of areas such as acting, directing, playwriting, technical theatre and design. They learn specific skills related to the effective use of voice, gesture and movement.
- in working through themes and issues in making and presenting activities, students explore and test out values and ethics, and find ways to symbolically represent their own ideas and feelings.
- students learn about the nature and function of drama, dramatic forms and styles.
- through participation in drama, students develop their capacities of expression and imagination and learn to focus on and use their senses.
- the process of making and presenting drama gives students opportunities to develop skills in interpreting, researching, negotiating, problem-solving and decision-making.
- in presenting drama, students share their work with others, learn about the importance of clear and evocative communication and in so doing develop self confidence and communication skills.
Students as dramatic critics
- students engage in a range of responses to drama from the spontaneous to the critically analytical.
- the spontaneous response to drama involves emotions, intuition and cognition.
- other responses involve students describing, reflecting upon, interpreting, evaluating and making judgments about drama using logical, conceptual, metaphorical and symbolic thinking processes.
- students learn, through oral and written communication, to evaluate and justify their own drama and the drama of others.
Students as dramatic historians and social commentators
- students place their own drama in the context of contemporary New Zealand society. They, consider past and present New Zealand drama and the drama of other cultures and other communities and societies, including Maori and Pacific Island cultures and groups.
- their involvement in an historical perspective on drama helps students to understand how communities’ cultural and social identities are shaped and how they function in today’s world.
The Arts are powerful forms of personal and social expression. They link imagination, thinking and feeling.
They provide essential learning for living and develop a wide range of both general and specific skills which are significant in many aspects of life, including employment. They are important for recreation and leisure.
DRAMA, THE CULTURAL INDUSTRY & EMPLOYMENT
Drama and community development
- The New Zealand Government recognises that culture plays an essential role in forming a strong and progressive sense of national identity for all New Zealanders.
- New Zealand students, through an education in the Arts, can play a role in the cultural shaping of New Zealand.
- An education in drama can contribute to making this new vision for New Zealand’s community cultural development a reality.
Drama, the economy and employment
- The New Zealand cultural industry makes a significant contribution to the nation’s economy, both in terms of consumer expenditure and employment opportunities.
- An education in drama provides essential learning for many areas of employment.
- The New Zealand Curriculum Framework identifies a set of essential skills for effective participation in work, further education and in adult life generally.
- Drama education develops all these essential skills.
- communication skills
- numeracy skills
- information skills
- problem solving skills
- self-management and competitive skills
- social and co-operative skills
- physical skills
- work and study skills
Drama leads directly to employment in the Arts, Communication and Entertainment Industries. Many tertiary courses are available throughout New Zealand to prepare young people for specific roles in these industries.
Employment opportunities in hundreds of different careers and jobs are enhanced through a background in drama. Many occupations, particularly in the tourist and hospitality industries as well as those which involve close contact with the public, actively seek recruits with a drama background.
Drama helps the individual develop confidence in dealing with other people, confidence in developing new skills and confidence in presenting an appropriate public image for the employer.
CAREERS & OCCUPATIONS RELATED TO DRAMA
Here are some jobs related to the rapidly expanding Arts, Communications and Entertainment Industries.
- actor (stage, film TV)
- lighting designer
- sound recordist
- advertising agency worker
- lighting technician
- sound technician
- arts administrator
- make-up person
- stage manager
- camera operator
- mime artist
- stunt performer
- movement coach
- technical producer
- television announcer
- community arts worker
- television presenter
- continuity person
- preschool teacher
- tertiary lecturer
- costume designer
- primary teacher
- theatre critic
- costume maker
- production manager
- theme park entertainer
- production secretary
- voice coach
- dance teacher
- properties person
- wardrobe supervisor
- director (stage, film TV)
- publicity manager
- workshop leader
- disc jockey
- public relations consultant
- youth arts worker
- arts organisations
- public servant in education officer in arts
- film/TV editor
- related departments
- radio announcer
- journalist – print/TV/radio
- leisure officer
- secondary school drama teacher
- set designer
ADVOCACY – NZADIE POSITION STATEMENTS
These position statements are for your use in any form, educational or community, where advocacy for the place of the Arts and Drama in educational settings may be necessary.
- The Arts have been endorsed as one of the seven essential areas of learning in the school curriculum. A balanced curriculum should allow every student at every level of schooling access to an Arts curriculum. It should include dance, drama, music and visual arts.
- All Arts curriculum areas within a school should have equal status. Drama, like all the Arts in schools, should be appropriately staffed and funded, with adequate facilities provided.
- Drama, whilst forming part of the national Arts curriculum, must be recognised (as must all of the Arts subjects) as a separate subject area in its own right with its own curriculum.
- There is a strong recognition that interaction between drama and the other Arts can contribute to the diversity and richness of the Arts experience.
- Those parts of the community that directly influence educational policy should recognise the importance of an aesthetic education for all students. Drama provides rich opportunities for aesthetic education ie opportunities for students to engage sensuously, imaginatively and cognitively in a mode of enquiry that contributes uniquely to the students’ understanding of the world we live in.
- Pre-service teacher education in early childhood, primary or secondary institutions should include learning about and implementing a drama curriculum appropriate to the age of students. There is an onus of responsibility on teacher educators in tertiary institutions to be well informed on drama education and to be proactive in raising its profile in all teacher education.
- Drama education at all levels of schooling should be socially and culturally relevant to the students in recognition of New Zealand’s social and cultural diversity.
- Drama education is an opportunity to develop in students a consciousness that an aesthetic response to the world can contribute to an ecologically sustainable future.
- Drama education at all levels of schooling should provide opportunities to learn about the indigenous cultures and dramatic traditions of this country.
New Zealand Association for Drama in Education
NZADIE is an association which exists to provide one national voice for drama in education by representing drama educators at every level of schooling. It communicates the interests of drama in education to other bodies – regionally, nationally, and internationally.
NZADIE aims to:
- encourage and promote all facets of drama in education at all levels of education
- provide a national focus for drama activity in New Zealand
- promote awareness of the value of dram in education in the wider community
- provide a national forum for the exchange of ideas on drama and education
- promote qualitative and quantitative research in drama and education
NZADIE is an affiliate of IDEA, the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association. IDEA advocates in the international forum for the universal rights to an Arts education and, in particular, for the place of drama/theatre in the education of each person.
- Drama Makes Meaning – National Association for Drama in Education Australia
- New Zealand Curriculum Framework – Ministry of Education, Learning Media.
- Australian Association of Drama in Education and the New Zealand Curriculum Framework
Drama New Zealand – Mahi Whakaari O Aotearoa WEB SITE Contact: http://www.drama.org.nz
Postal address: P.O. Box 44033 Pt Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand