Using drama training to simulate worklife experiences

During the coronavirus pandemic, many internships took a different shape, or were cancelled altogether. The Faculty of Education used some of its National Education Programme funding to offer additional drama training.

“Drama training lends itself well to tackling uncomfortable subjects”

Dennis Prins, second-year Social Studies Teacher student

“Normally, you take drama training once in the first year. Due to coronavirus, I took drama training twice. During the training course, you are taught some theory, and then you act out a real-life example. Last year, we had a group of four or five students.

Here’s a real-life example. Imagine you’re standing in front of the class, and there’s an unruly pupil in that class. How do you deal with that pupil? I played the pupil and my fellow students took turns playing the teacher. We acted out the situation, and then discuss it afterwards: what would you have done in such a situation? What is the best thing to do at any given moment?

Uncomfortable subject

Our group also wanted to practise a #metoo situation. A tricky subject, of course: you can easily find yourself in a situation where the lecturer is blamed. And you’re bound to experience uncomfortable situations from time to time. How do you deal with that? And how do you stave off undesirable predicaments or, better yet, how do you prevent them?

Creating a safe environment

Drama training lends itself well to uncomfortable subjects like these. Training sessions like these are more useful than attending lectures about this subject. We found that the best thing to do in class is to be clear about what kinds of behaviour are unacceptable because they create an unsafe environment. After all as a teacher you want to create a safe environment for everyone.

Drama training has definitely helped me with my internship. Fortunately, I was able to do an internship last year. The first six weeks I only taught online because of coronavirus. I didn’t mind that though. The advantage was that I wasn’t put in front of a class right away, so I had a little time to get used to teaching. I was lucky that way.”

7 July 2022