A study was conducted by Agrima Singh to measure and establish “The role of drama in enhancing life skills in urban-rural middle schoolers”. In this study, she aimed to answer the question, “Can drama be used as a medium to enhance the life skills of urban-rural middle-school children?” But what exactly are Life Skills, and more importantly, what is the significance of life skills education?
“Life skills Education (LSE) is an important aspect of holistic education that creates competencies that help students to face and overcome challenges in life. Students from the urban-rural sector of society come from a background of vulnerability and hence face adversities in everyday life. LSE is seen to be most effective in helping students overcome adversity.”
In order to measure the impact properly, “A pre and post-test was conducted by each volunteer for their respective group using the Dream Life Skill Assessment Scale (DLSAS). After commuting the averages of both scorers in each group a paired t-test analysis was run. The results of the analysis showed a significant increase in the life skills of the students post the drama workshop. The average score of the students increased from 3.14 (SD 0.76) to 3.882 (SD 0.77). The P-value was < 0.05 making it statistically significant. The observations made by the volunteers/assessors also revealed that creative drama increased class participation, positivity, and motivation levels.”
Life skills are something that goes beyond just the classic textbook education and curriculum followed in Indian schools. It is a much broader arena which covers a long list of skills that kids can apply in their life practically from a young age and benefit from it in the long run. Especially applicable to kids belonging to the middle class and underprivileged students, these skills, if effectively taught, can make life significantly easier, which is what the study focused on with the help of statistical evidence collected from young students belonging to this category.
Here are some important excerpts from the study-
1. “Building life skills along with cognitive skills can achieve high socio-economic outcomes for children from vulnerable backgrounds.”
2. “Drama therapy as a practice aims to improve the overall quality of life by promoting positive behavioral changes, improving interpersonal relationship skills, integrating physical and emotional well-being, and achieving personal growth and self-awareness.”
3. “Can drama be used as a medium to enhance the life skills of urban-rural middle-school children? The subjects attended a one-week drama workshop that conjointly designed by the researcher with Jazz Hands Foundation (Pune) and facilitated by the facilitators of the same organization.”
4. “The results of the analysis showed a significant increase in the life skills of the students posts the drama workshop. The observations made by the facilitators were also studied and revealed a visible positive impact on the students. Some of the observations made include, increase in-class participation, increase in motivation levels, higher positive attitude and better management of self and others”
"As symbolized in the above graph, the sample showed an increase in the Life Skills assessment score from the pre-evaluation to the post-evaluation. An increase in the score exhibits the impact of the drama workshop on the sample. The workshop had a positive impact that led to an increase in the life skills of the sample."
This study has established that the work and the curriculum employed by Jazz Hands has enhanced the lives of thousands of young students, not only by making them more proficient in English, but also aiding their life skills, helping them cope better with problems that life has to offer. The impact is not just short term but is an asset that aids these students in a long run in the aspects of decision making, problem-solving as well as dealing with hardships. It must be noted that all these positive and impactful changes were observed only after a single week of Jazz Hands’ drama based curriculum, hinting towards a much more profound and deeper impact if the curriculum is actively applied and utilized in a more elaborate manner over a longer period of time.
This study is a celebration of the hours of work our JazzFam volunteers have put in, proving that their effort has helped in improving life of kids, changing it forever, proving that one does not need to be a superhero to change a life.
You can read the full article in The International Journal of Indian Psychology by Agrima Singh here-
Singh A. (2020). The role of drama in enhancing life skills in urban-rural middle schoolers: an intervention study. International Journal of Indian Psychology, 8(4), 619-627. DIP: 18.01.077/20200804, DOI: 10.25215/0804.077