There are numerous benefits to engaging students in healthy living through drama, which include the following:
- Contributing to a Healthy School Approach by fostering a learning environment and learning opportunities that support the cognitive, emotional, and social development of students; encouraging students to explore diverse perspectives on issues and concepts related to healthy living; and helping students become informed, thoughtful citizens and respectful, caring people
- Engaging students in Inquiry-Based Learning by exploring issues that are relevant to their lives and providing opportunities for them to learn, practice, and promote positive and healthy communication skills, decision-making skills, and behaviours in a safer space before they experience real-life situations in which decisions have to be made
- Differentiating the content, process, and/or product that students produce in order to address the diverse needs of students; engage them in learning about themselves — their interests, skills, strengths and aptitudes — and others; and to develop and promote well-being
- Connecting learning to the fundamental principles of Health and Physical Education by providing opportunities for students to interact with other students, school staff, their family, and their community through sharing their learning; by supporting students in making authentic and relevant connections between what they are learning in healthy living and their own lives; and by providing opportunities for students to develop the skills they need to make informed decisions about their own health
- Supporting students in developing 21st century competencies by engaging students in problem-solving, critical, and creative thinking; collaborating; and communicating effectively with others
- Providing opportunities for imaginative and critical thinking about issues of fairness, equity, and social justice
Students need to see themselves in the curriculum: it must be relevant to their lives and presented in ways that allow them to practise living skills while applying their learning to situations in their personal lives, their communities, and the world around them. When we, as educators, use skill-based and creative strategies in our teaching, we help students learn how to synthesize complex information, communicate effectively, and make informed, healthy decisions for themselves. Role-playing and other drama techniques can provide the supportive environment students need for discovery and learning. Drama is uniquely qualified to intellectually and emotionally engage youth in complex and multifaceted issues, thus raising social consciousness and triggering social change.