We learn by doing, and we fill out expertise with experience. For many employees either entering the workforce for the first time or for those facing new expectations, a change in daily activities, their role and their behaviours can be a challenging prospect. This is especially true in team positions, management and public-facing roles. How do you become the professional you are expected to be? The accepted answer is with the right training, and in these cases, that training needs to be through drama-based learning.
What Is It?
Drama based learning (DBL) is an umbrella term for the teaching methodology which includes game playing, improvisation and role playing. By creating a safe and inclusive environment, class leaders introduce participants to their expected ability or behavioural goals and then allow them to learn and see their own performance through play and practice.
This technique is successful for a number of reasons. Firstly, we were not designed to learn in the sitting-down position. Studies show that when students are active and on their feet, learning is more instinctive. The nature of active learning also keeps the activities in the classroom fresh and stops participants getting bored or even tired.
We all know how a day of training and learning new things can be exhausting, and when sitting around a table looking at a whiteboard, the temptation to relax and to think of other things is far too strong. Drama based teaching encompasses a variety of techniques and keeps everyone engaged and makes sure that every type of learner is nurtured.
Make Learning Child’s Play
In order to learn and gain expertise in any field, we need to be able to take ownership of a topic and use our imagination to convey the ideas to others. This is a principle of this teaching concept, and in every case participants are required not only to learn the skills being taught, but to relay them too. Many of the activities in DBL involve participants explaining to each other the meaning or importance of the teaching. This is closely supervised to make sure they are on the right track, but once an individual has successfully conveyed an idea to another person, they are far more likely to embrace it themselves.
This can be seen in the play activities of children. Children love to role-play at being the teacher or mummy. They mirror and rehearse activities and attitudes by example until they are competent in the role and it becomes second nature. In professional DBL, creative role-play is also important. Managers can role-play discussions with disengaged employees, team members can role-play solution-finding processes with other team members and customer service employees can work through problem-solving conversations. Employees also tend to recreate examples specific to their role and experience, allowing the session leader to address these directly in the teaching.
All in all, drama based learning has proved itself to be a very effective teaching tool and has been embraced by companies across the globe, producing excellent results.