Let’s look at the power of Drama

Participating in Drama is known to promote certain qualities and characteristics amongst participants and this is why we believe our method can help a wide range of people to improve in a variety of fields.

Drama Improves Lisbon Key Competences in Education (DICE)*

DICE was an international EU-supported project. This two-year project was a cross-cultural research study investigating the effects of educational theatre and drama on five of the eight Lisbon Key Competences. 

The EU government recognises the Lisbon Key Competences as;

“8 key competences that are fundamental for each individual in a knowledge-based society.”*

and that

“In an increasingly globalised world, individuals need a wide range of skills to adapt and prosper in the rapidly changing environment.” *

6 Lisbon Key Competences, which participating in Drama can help to improve

The DICE study showed quantitative and qualitative results, from an international study of 4,475 students across 12 countries, that Drama is a powerful tool to improve the following 5 (out of 8) Lisbon Key Competences.

1.    Communication in the mother tongue
2.    Learning to learn
3.    Interpersonal, intercultural and social competences, civic competence
4.    Entrepreneurship
5.    Cultural expression

In addition to this, we suggest another of the Lisbon key competences (Communication in Foreign Languages), which we believe participating in Drama can have a positive effect upon.

What does the research tell us about those students who regularly participate in educational theatre and drama activities?

Here is a brief summary: compared with peers who had not been participating in any educational theatre and drama programmes, the theatre and drama participants:

  • are assessed more highly by their teachers in all aspects,

  • feel more confident in reading and understanding tasks,

  • feel more confident in communication,

  • are more likely to feel that they are creative,

  • like going to school more,

  • enjoy school activities more,

  • are better at problem solving,

  • are better at coping with stress,

  • are more tolerant towards both minorities and foreigners,

  • are more active citizens,

  • show more interest in voting at any level,

  • show more interest in participating in public issues,

  • are more empathic: they have concern for others,

  • are more able to change their perspective,

  • are more innovative and entrepreneurial,

  • show more dedication towards their future and have more plans,

  • are much more willing to participate in any genre of arts and culture, and not just performing arts, but also writing, making music, films, handicrafts, and attending all sorts of arts and cultural activities,

  • spend more time in school, more time reading, doing housework, playing, talking, and spend more time with family members and taking care of younger brothers and sisters. In contrast, they spend less time watching TV or playing computer games,

  • do more for their families, are more likely to have a part-time job and spend more time being creative either alone or in a group. They more frequently go to the theatre, exhibitions and museums, and the cinema, and go hiking and biking more often,

  • are more likely to be a central character in the class,

  • have a better sense of humour,

  • feel better at home.

* DICE website and link to full research document

* EU law website link