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Providing students with access to effective drama programming is a priority at the Toronto District School Board. Drama education is an important part of a student’s school experience and we are proud of the strong drama programs offered across our schools.
Drama is a strand in both the Elementary (Grades 1-8) and Secondary (Grades 9-12) provincially mandated Ontario Arts Curriculum. Expectations within all of the arts disciplines (Dance, Drama, Music, Media Arts, Visual Arts) are framed by the creative and critical thinking processes.
Drama in Elementary SchoolsThe elementary drama curriculum is intended to help students to develop an understanding and appreciation of drama, as well as the ability to create works using forms, concepts, elements, and conventions of the discipline. As students work in role in a context, they will come to understand particular situations, texts, ideas and stories. Drama provides many opportunities for elementary students to practice communicating with different audiences for a variety of purposes, through moving, speaking and writing in role. (adapted from the Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8, The Arts)
Drama in Secondary SchoolsIn secondary drama courses, students develop their awareness and use the elements of drama to create works that are related to their personal interests and experiences. In these courses, students will experience being a performer, audience, playwright, technician, designer, and critic. Through the process of taking on roles, students develop and express empathy for people in a wide range of situations. They develop the ability to interpret and comment on a range of drama works and activities and evaluate their own and others’ creative work. (adapted from the Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9/10 and 11/12, The Arts).
Drama in TDSB schools takes many forms and can be unique to each school and broader community. In order to graduate, students are required to take an arts credit and students can enroll in multiple credits in drama from Grade 9-12. Drama courses in TDSB Secondary schools includes multiple focuses with a strong emphasis on creativity and student voice. In addition to comprehensive drama courses, TDSB offers many specialized focus courses including: Music Theatre, Drama in the Community, Production, Playwriting/Theatre Production, Acting/Improvisation and more.
Performance OpportunitiesTDSB educators value the benefits that performance can offer to both students and the broader school community. They are also very committed to process based learning in the classroom including the facilitation and inclusion of student creativity and critical thinking, student voice, mental health and well-being, as well as practices that explore social justice in the classroom. TDSB educators are committed to exploring ways to use drama education as an anti-colonial practice, in classrooms, festivals, resources, and partnerships with the broader community.
In addition to offerings for students in their school programs, TDSB offers a variety of enhancements to the drama curriculum such as system wide festivals, artist residencies and artist in the classroom projects. Please see the events page for details.
Professional Learning for TeachersAll TDSB Teachers can access professional learning opportunities in Drama such as exploration classrooms and learning modules throughout the year. All TDSB board wide projects, festivals and concerts are embedded with professional learning, and are rich growth opportunities for teachers as well as students.
PartnershipsSchools are welcome to invite Artists from the TDSB Educational Partnership directory to their schools to enrich their drama programs with performances and/or workshops.