We believe that Community Performance for Education is integral to supporting and advancing students’ development, no matter their age. Various studies have demonstrated how participation in Community Performance can strengthen students’ overall academic attainment.
Furthermore, Community Performance is an important tool that can be used to bridge the gap between academics and social / emotional development. Education today can sometimes be overly focused on creating a purely academic environment, shifting the value of learning away from equally important humanistic areas of learning. Dialogue feels schools should not only aim to support the academic, but also the social and emotional growth of students. Performance can help to balance the scale by bolstering the social and emotional development of a student and equipping them with the necessary skills needed to be a thoughtful member of society.
In addition to classrooms being a space for social and emotional development, we believe that education needs to nurture students’ awareness of their communities. Given that schools are one of the most significant outlets influencing an individual’s growth, it is essential that they support and sustain all parts of becoming a well-rounded, thoughtful, educated member of society. In this regard, Community Performance may act as an arena in which students connect their classroom learning to current affairs and their everyday experiences in the community.
Dance, Drama and Theatre are often the most common forms of Community Performance being taught and used in schools around the world. As an organisation, we find the need to qualify our focus as being Community Performance for Education rather than Performance Education in its own right. This means that our focus is on how Community Performance is embedded in the curriculum in order to support students’ learning in a range of subject areas, and not on learning Performance as an art form itself.
While we recognise that the two will inevitably crossover, and the dividing line between them often may be difficult to discern, we feel that the documentation of Performance Education is already a well-developed field, with numerous online resource libraries and magazines fulfilling requirements. Community Performance for Education, however, tends to be less well documented, which is why it is the focus of our Documentation and Archival programmes.