Working Conditions for Teaching and Learning in Drama is a position paper developed by Drama Australia, last updated in April 2009. While written for Australian schools, it nevertheless serves as a very worthwhile guide for Drama teachers in other countries.
Drama Australia, the peak national body for drama education, is comprised of various state and territory professional associations. Here in Melbourne, Drama Victoria is itself a member of Drama Australia, while in turn Drama Australia is a member of IDEA, The International Drama/Theatre and Education Association. Drama Australia’s Board consists of drama teachers, university academics and theatre in education practitioners from across the country.
I highly recommend this document for all practising drama and theatre teachers K-12. It covers recommended guidelines for issues such as:
- class sizes
- length and frequency of lessons
- student access to performances
- classroom spaces and resources
- storage space
- production work and other co-curricular activities
- environmental, health and safety conditions
The paper is expertly written by University of Melbourne drama education academic, Dr Richard Sallis, and covers the needs of drama programs in schools, students and teachers.
Is your drama classroom too small? Do you suffer from inadequate storage space? Are your Drama rooms sufficiently ventilated for the summer months of schooling? Are you not being compensated or remunerated for outside class rehearsals for curricular and co-curricular drama activities? These are just some of the common issues Drama teachers and their students face every day in Australian schools and this position paper details guidelines for all of them, plus many others.