1st Edition

Drama in Education
Exploring Key Research Concepts and Effective Strategies

ISBN 9781032084879
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
208 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

USD $48.95

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Book Description

As schools have become more aware of their role in addressing personal and social issues, the importance of ‘values and attitudes’ have begun shaping education and curricula worldwide. Drama in Education explores the six fundamental pillars of the national curriculum guide of Iceland in relation to these changing values and attitudes.

Focusing on the importance of human relations, this book explores literacy, sustainability, health and welfare, democracy and human rights, equality and creativity. It demonstrates the capability of drama as a teaching strategy for effectively working towards these fundamental pillars and reflects on how drama in education can be used to empower children to become healthy, creative individuals and active members in a democratic society.

Offering research-based examples of using drama successfully in different educational contexts and considering practical challenges within the classroom, Drama in Education: Exploring Key Research Concepts and Effective Strategies is an essential guide for any modern drama teacher.  

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Fundamental pillars of education
Ása Helga Ragnarsdóttir
I. Literacy
2. Language learning through drama
Rannveig Björk Thorkelsdóttir and Ása Helga Ragnarsdóttir
3. Performing literacy and social media
Kristian Nødtvedt Knudsen and  Daniel Schofield
II. Sustainability
4. Artful teaching of drama-based storyline 
Anna-Lena Østern
III. Health and welfare
5. Advancing social and emotional well-being through drama
Helen Cahill
6. 'I am just talking and talking. I have to stop, but this is so funny': Stories from immigrant students in drama classes
Ása Helga Ragnarsdóttir and Hafdís Guðjónsdóttir
IV. Democracy and human rights 
7. No direction home: Process drama as a response to new nationalisms
Peter O'Connor and Moema Gregorzewski
V. Equality
8.  Drama, diversity and equality: Working creatively together towards social inclusion
Jo Raphael
9. Imagining the possible: Using drama for gender equality in schools
Christine Hatton 
VI. Creativity
10. Living through creativity 
Adam Bethlenfalvy
11. Drama, inclusion and development of play-competence in kindergarten 
Merete Cornét Sørensen
12. Conclusion
Ása Helga Ragnarsdóttir

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Ása Helga Ragnarsdóttir is an adjunct lecturer in drama and theatre education at the University of Iceland, School of Education.

Hákon Sæberg Björnsson is an M.Ed. graduate from the University of Iceland.


The book Drama in Education: Exploring Key Research Concepts and Effective Strategies tries to connect the academic research based approach with the practical value of drama. Our education system was created for different times and so, towards the end of the second decade of the 21st century, we must explore how to transfer it for a new era – the age of constant, overpowering changes. To deal with them effectively, we need different personal and social skills which drama can develop. The book responds to the needs of the modern educational and cultural system offering academic evidence of drama impact and power as well as creative ideas for teachers to use in the classroom. It discusses the concept of fundamental pillars for education which are linked to different aspects of using drama in the classroom. The book is divided into six different chapters which are linked to introduced educational pillars. The international authors present different perspectives and experience in researching and applying drama.

Prof. Dr hab. Alicja Galazka, University of Silesia, Poland and Trinity College, London, UK


There is no shortage of books advocating drama as a powerful medium for learning, developing social skills and promoting equality and social justice. In less abundance are publications which support their claims for drama’s efficacy with empirical evidence. This is just such a book. The foreword focuses on the importance of considering context in research and this is acknowledged by each contributor as they set out their research projects. Their findings are all the more convincing because they include details of the practical sessions that provided the empirical evidence. Although each chapter describes a small-scale piece of practical research the number of issues covered is comprehensive ranging from how drama can be responsible for measurable improvements in literacy and reducing bullying to integrating immigrants and challenging the destructive rise of new nationalisms. This book will inform and encourage drama educators everywhere and serve as an inspiration to those wanting to regard their own practice as a potential subject for research.

Andy Kempe, Emeritus Professor of Drama Education, University of Reading, UK