Drama-in-education is an innovative educational practice; the use of drama conventions creates a safe space that breaks down, or temporarily suspends, the hierarchies between teacher and student, as well as between students. The use of drama conventions such as teacher-in-role, freeze frames, and image theatre contribute to a problem-posing theory of education, where teachers and students arrive at possible answers/solutions through a collaborative process. These conventions can be tailored specifically to students’ school syllabus, creating an enriching learning environment that contrasts heavily with traditional rote 'learning'—learning is a dialogue between teacher and student, not a teacher's monologue. Conventions can be further used to help develop foundational language skills. The foundational literacy skills outlined in NIPUN Bharat, make drama uniquely positioned — as a holistic, play focused, discovery oriented, activity-based pedagogy, to address foundational literacy with primary school children, and to do so in such a way as to affect broader socio-emotional development.
The use of drama conventions helps students develop their self-efficacy and articulation skills, which are tracked through the following indicators: improvisation, creativity and imagination, engagement and involvement, thought process/critical thinking skills. Additionally, our drama conventions can be used to create customized drama modules on topics ranging from child safety to design thinking. As part of this process Kutumb’s team works with school educators to create and implement modules, and conducts training-of-trainer workshops.
Over the years, Kutumb’s work on this theme has been supported by Boeing International, ING Vysya Foundation, Thales Group, Sopra Steria India Foundation, HCL Foundation, and scores of individual donors.