Managing Bullying through Drama
Empathy is vital to any relationships you create. It allows you to develop compassion to further understand and connect with individuals. In drama, you gain a deeper understanding of human nature, improving your ability to connect with the audience, as well as people you meet in your everyday life.
What happens if you lack empathy?
Lack of empathy is one of the paramount causes of bullying, a terrible experience that unfortunately occurs far too often in the school years. Recent research by Cogent Education showed that effective drama education improves interpersonal relations by reducing aggression, improving your ability to work within a team. The drama activities encouraged people to explore the experiences of others by role-playing and play-building.
Essentially, the cooperative nature of drama programs can improve one’s emotional intelligence, by developing qualities such as acceptance, trust, awareness and ability to share. These are basic qualities that are absent from bullies, and therefore, it has become an effective way of intervening and counteracting bullying.
The international project ‘Drama for Conflict Management’ (DRACON) has also inspired many schools around the world to implement drama programs in a successful bid to decrease bullying. The results from these showed a significant positive change in the behaviour and attitudes of victims, bystanders and perpetrators of bullying. Additionally, communication skills help individuals express themselves more effectively when facing conflicts, making it easier for others to empathise with them.
Our ability to empathise may decrease as an unfortunate consequence to the fast-paced technological world that we live in, where most interactions are digital. Acting and Communication Academy classes allow students to explore the intricacies of human relationships in fun and exciting ways, as well as learning strategies to prevent and speak up for bullying at the same time!
Written by June Wang