What the theatrical pedagogy is and why it is important in the learning path of children and adults
Article by L’Albero
The theatre courses are almost always associated with a final performance, a year-end recital, in short, with a final theatrical event.
The pedagogy, instead, is almost always associated with children’s education.
In both cases, there is a mistake.
Let’s start with the meaning of pedagogy. Pedagogy is a term that indicates the theory and the practice of learning, and how this process influences, and is influenced by, the social, political and psychological development of learners. Therefore, pedagogy doesn’t only refer to children but to all the individuals and to their education, training and development as learners.
A theatrical course is a full-fledged pedagogical activity, rather than an artistic one. In fact, those theatrical courses, in educational or recreational contexts, that are aimed exclusively at “the final performance” – skipping over a preparatory work on the individuals and on the group – are not only useless but, in many cases, counter-productive and sometimes frustrating.
These kinds of theatrical courses are limited to taking care of the mise-en-scene, in other words finding and adapting a script, assigning the parts, and giving indications of how to pronounce the lines. This means that these theatrical courses are aimed only to realise a ready-made product that does not produce real psychological and emotional impacts on the theatre learner.
A theatrical course, in fact, is able to touch all the possible learning spheres:
- the physical sphere, because theatre is movement, stimulation of the five senses, awareness of the own body, of the own posture and of the surrounding space;
- the cognitive sphere, because theatre is curiosity, exploration, discovery, deduction, imagination and language;
- the emotional sphere, because theatre is self-listening, comprehension of own self, autonomy, and self-confidence;
- and finally, the social sphere, because theatre is contact with the others, relationship, participation, integration, cooperation, respect and acceptance of others, and respect of the collective rules.
These are the reasons why we wish all of you, children and adults, as well as recommended by several educationalists and psychologists, could try, even just once, a theatrical course that helps you to connect, in a different way, with all these your four important spheres.