In the previous post we talked about creativity, one of the fundamental values promoted by Theatre in Education. Now I would like to focus on cooperation. We could say that this is an intrinsic value that is acquired through class dynamics since students are not specifically told that the aim of an activity is to “cooperate” because that would go without saying.

In Drama lessons, the teacher usually implements “drama games” based on an object, a premise, or an idea. Then the class is divided into groups and each group must carry out the proposed activity. They are given a certain time so that the students can develop the task, rehearse minimally, and then make a representation in front of the rest of the class. And it is here where the magic happens, because in the first instance each student will try to impose his or her idea so that it is accepted, but then they realize that there are many ideas apart from their own and that time is running out. Therefore, there is a need for choosing one of the ideas. This decision is the most difficult and it is the one that takes the longest, but when taken, students radically change their thinking because after having the idea chosen and agreed upon, they begin to develop it with other new thoughts, actions, images, etc; for the benefit of the group, and they begin to give shape to that primary idea in order to turn it into a scene that will be performed in front of their classmates.

With this example, we can see how students cooperate with each other to achieve a certain result. Because they propose and accept; they give and receive; they help and are helped, they listen and are listened; and everything happens without them being aware of what is really happening, because their focus is merely on playing. We can assure that cooperation then is intrinsic to the learning process. They just learn it by experiencing it.

Juan Luis Granato

Juan Luis Granato is an uruguayan actor, producer, drama teacher and cultural manager. Founder of the theatrical company “The Company Educational Drama” dedicated to educational theatre in English and with more tan 10 years of experience in theatre applied to education. In addition, he manages The Anglo Theatre, belonging to the Anglo Uruguayan Cultural Institute.

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