The Place of Drama in Education

      The Place of Drama in Education is obvious. The educative value of Drama is being exploited fast in modern days. Scholars are making a special study of the various aspects of Drama. They have recognized the value of Drama in general and the educative value of Drama in particular. In American schools special experiments in education have been conducted, and it has been found that the acted Drama is a very valuable medium of Education and that knowledge can be conveyed to the young and growing minds more successfully through acted Drama than through conventional Forms of Drama as literature. Indian scholars and educationists who have been going abroad have realised that acted Drama as a medium of education should be introduced in India. Drama as a form of literature is there in our schools and colleges, especially from the time when English education has been introduced in our country, and acted Drama as a medium of education has not been there. Of course as entertainment it is found in the various cultural activities of educational institutions. But all entertainment is not education.

     In the past in India, Drama was enacted before it became a form of literature. In the days before Kalidasa, the Father of Indian Drama, dialogues were got by heart by the actors from the scripts given to them by the authors. Dramatic literature as such had not yet been developed then. It was Kalidasa and his contemporaries that added much to acted Drama and the age of Kalidasa became the age of Drama in Indian Literature.

     In modern days we can again see such a great dramatist as Kalidasa in Rabindranath Tagore. In Tagore's time, Drama was not only acted but also read. That is to say acted Drama and Drama as a form of literature, have become popular. In Santhiniketan these forms have been popularised by the poet. But after Indian Independence our educationalists do not seem to have taken in to their minds that the introduction of acted Drama in the curriculum along with Drama as literature would be the right medium of education. Mere reading of Drama as literature does not impress the young minds so much as acted Drama might. Many ideas, when taught in abstract do not go direct to the young undeveloped minds as they do when they are actually demonstrated. It is this argument that has made practicals a necessary medium of instruction in science courses. But unfortunately the same approach is not made in teaching Drama in Indian schools and universities. The study of Drama as literature is no doubt essential. Without it acted Drama is incomplete But Drama, as literature, derives its real inspiration only when it is put on boards. Thus acted Drama arid Drama as literature are complementary and are not opposed to each other.


       Before we proceed to consider the place Drama in education, it will be appropriate if we define education first. Education has been defined as reconstruction of experience, These new experiences do not come to us from nowhere. They are found in our daily life, and Drama is nothing but a reflection of these experiences in an artistic form, so that the crude aspect of life is put before the human being in a refined manner. It is a device to appreciate truth and beauty in a manner becoming the refined faculties of a human being. Therefore Drama pervades in every sphere of human life. In the words of Shakespeare all the world is a stage and we human beings are actors, who play their parts as they come in and go out.

       Without Drama life would become a bore. Therefore we find that all forms of human existence especially the refined one is reflected in Drama. Thus without Drama there can be no sculpture, designs, monuments, ornaments, coined money, pictorial art, mural decorations, illustrated books, attractive advertisements, postage stamps and so on. In short all modern life which finds reflected in Drama would not have been there had man not accepted Drama as a medium of expression in the past. Therefore Drama education not only shapes an individual into a human being but provides him with the necessary qualities of a refined human being.

      The aim of our education should not be to create intelligent appreciators of beauty through Drama. In other words the artlstic aspect of life should be conveyed to an individual through the medium of Drama in education.

     In everyday life man constantly proves that he is an artist. That is why he selects such objects as are other-wise merely utilitarian in their value. He arranges such things as papers, books, clothes in an artistic manner. He hangs pictures on the top of a wall not in an haphazard manner, but tries to beautify his wall with them. In this manner, in all his actions man tries to provide himself with facilities for the development of self-expression of one's own ideas which are creative. So care should be taken to see that Drama in education is not merely job oriented but it should be introduced to shape the youth for life. The student should be able not only to enact Drama but to enjoy Dramas being enacted. In the process of acting and in the process of appreciating acting the young mind learns the art of enjoying the real type of pleasure in creative activities. The success of such an educational system depends to a large extent on how wisely the working of the system is chosen and manupulated. Therefore Drama should be taken as a visual art. In a sense it differs from prose and poetry, because it contains all the other forms of art.

     The following may be some of the objects of introducing Drama as a medium of education in our modern curriculum:-