An investigation into how drama is used to develop young people's empathy and social skills in secondary schools

Prof Doc Thesis

Stavrou, Carla 2010. An investigation into how drama is used to develop young people's empathy and social skills in secondary schools. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsStavrou, Carla
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Since the 1920s psychologists and educationalists have increasingly recognised
the importance of promoting social and emotional aspects of learning alongside
academic attainment in order to educate the whole child and increase their
chances of enjoying and achieving in school and in life. The value of drama as a
medium for supporting children's social and emotional development has been
recognised and researched since the 1930s, and through approaches such as
Theatre in Education and Process Drama schools have used drama to support
pupils' personal development.
This research uses a sequential mixed methods approach to gather accounts of
how drama is being used in secondary schools in the UK to promote the
empathy and social skills of pupils. An initial postal survey of all Heads of Drama
in a large Local Authority was followed by qualitative interviews with ten of the
Analysis of the data indicated that dramatic content and techniques were used in
lessons to promote empathy, whilst processes and rules about collaborative
working and self-evaluation were reported to promote social skills. Furthermore,
Drama's non-statutory status allowed many teachers the autonomy and flexibility
to tailor schemes of work to target pupils with identified needs.
These findings offer an evidence-based understanding of the ways drama
techniques and processes can be used to promote social skills and empathy for
all learners, and how it can be used as an intervention for young people with
identified additional needs in this area.

Publication dates
PrintOct 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2014
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