The value of drama-in-education as a decolonising pedagogy through embodied drama strategies in a higher education classroom

  • Logamurthie Athiemoolam Nelson Mandela University


In this paper I provide a detailed account of how drama-in-education was used to engage third-year university students in an education module entitled Issues and challenges in education. The aim of the research was to introduce aspects of decolonisation in South Africa through the module and to implement drama-in-education strategies, such as the use of tableaux, improvisation, and role plays to enhance the understanding of these issues. The data collection method I implemented was based on students’ written reflections on their experiences of drama-in-education as pedagogy in this module. The findings indicated that although students were initially resistant to engaging with the drama-in-education process, through their embodied participation they became more involved in their learning. They felt that, since the strategies provided a context for learning, the issues that led to enhanced learning, engagement, and reflection could be interrogated more critically. I argue that as a decolonising pedagogy in the university lecture room, drama-in-education contributes significantly to an enhanced understanding of teaching and learning and the development of students’ critical and creative skills.

Author Biography

Logamurthie Athiemoolam, Nelson Mandela University
Faculty of Education, Dept of Initial teacher education, associate professor