Education Matters

How creative skills empower students to engage with humanity

Posted by Brendan Duhigg on Jan 18, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Performing artsPerforming Arts subjects such as Drama, Film and Entertainment may indeed turn your sons into artists, but they will also do something much more profound. They will train minds to deal with transformation, to work as a team towards a common creative goal, to exercise consensus and to problem-solve in ways not yet imagined. It sounds as though I’ve just described the role requirements of the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

Trinity offers a broad curriculum (the most diverse of any school I know) that celebrates various talents and learning styles. Yes, core subjects are necessary, but they are not solely sufficient.

Some years ago at a Staff Professional Development Day, I witnessed a TED talk by Professor Ken Robinson. He described how the education model for most Western countries, which was basically designed to serve the economic needs of the Industrial Revolution, is outdated, outmoded, kills creativity and is detrimental to the learning needs of children.

Today, the only constant in the world for which to educate your sons, is change. So the imperative in education should be to empower students with the creative skills not only to cope with change, but also to relish it.
I recommend listening to Robinson’s talk, which you can access here

As a Performing Arts teacher, I am compelled to deal with the tension between what I hold to be philosophically important (promoting creativity) and the more prosaic but justifiable expectations of students and parents (getting top marks).

It challenged me to think about my own approach to teaching and learning in my subject area. In the end, the Creative Arts and specifically, Drama, have a huge role to play in getting students to engage with the essence of their own humanity, or as Robinson defines it, their creativity.

As renowned Drama Educator Jonathan Neelands puts it, “Drama is not simply a subject, but also a method, a learning tool. It is one of the key ways in which children gain an understanding of themselves and others.”

The Trinity Drama department offers not only Drama, but also Entertainment, IB Film and IB Literature and Performance.

In Literature and Performance, boys encounter the great canons of world literature and seek to understand and appreciate the messages and construction of various texts. Then they’re asked to do something different – transform them and create them anew in a different context. Isn’t this what we want … creative and critical thinkers?

The Performing Arts is a valuable avenue that allows students to define their identity and fully embrace their humanity in all its richness and grotesqueness.

To learn more about the ways Trinity can provide your boy with a comprehensive and quality education, download a prospectus here.Trinity prospectus download

Topics: Performing arts, Creative empowerment