Celebrating the International Drama Theatre and Education Association Day

IDEA Day is 27th November.

New Zealand Drama Teachers might want to give consideration to marking the International Drama / Theatre and Education Association Day in some way. In many countries of the world Drama is considered to be a waste of government money at best and highly subversive at worst. New Zealand is fortunate in that it has a national Drama curriculum and an internationally recognised Drama examination system for secondary school students. Moreover, New Zealand universities accept those secondary qualifications as offering a legitimate pathway into tertiary education.

At present in the U.K. a campaign is underway because none of the arts subjects, including Drama have been included in the highest school qualification, the EBacc. The UK government considers Drama to be something that will sit outside of the school system to be privately funded. We can never take our New Zealand situation for granted.

The President of IDEA, Patrice Baldwin writes:
Dear IDEA member, since becoming the President of IDEA in 2010, I have visited countries where I have never previously been and I have met wonderful drama teachers and theatre practitioners from many cultures. It is humbling and thrilling to become aware of how much we can learn from each other and how much we need to understand and embrace beyond our own communities, cultures and countries.

Often as I travel, I hear messages from members about how Drama builds community and encourages empathy. We all need to act as beacons in this respect, open our hearts and minds to other practitioners locally, nationally and internationally; there should be room for as many expert drama and theatre practitioners and researchers as we can develop in this world. We need to work together and practice inclusivity rather than exclusivity, professional community rather than professional elitism. Let us try next year to cooperate professionally with at least one IDEA member that we have not worked with previously. We need to forge cooperative relationships within each of our countries as well as come together as IDEA members to support one another globally. Both Drama and IDEA will be stronger if we work with goodwill in partnership rather than in isolation or competition. Rebuilding bridges and/or creating new bridges may require courage and will also require honest communication empathy and a sense of drama community.

Personal, professional, political integrity…..inclusivity, acceptance and community……These are powerful ideas for IDEA members locally and IDEA as a global organization to focus on now and in the future.

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