Parents should make sure their children act in school plays because a new study has found acting may have academic benefits. The research led by Professor Linda Espin from the Department of Psychology at the University of Sydney showed that students who acted in school plays had significantly higher marks than students who did not.
The study also found that the academic performance of the actors was likely to be higher across all subjects as opposed to just English or Drama. The results have been published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology.
420 Year 12 students at a single, unnamed, public high school in New South Wales volunteered to participate in the study, which looked at the impact of acting in a school play on academic performance. Each student was asked to complete an assessment before their final year English elective course began and one month after it finished.
The students were broken into three groups – those who acted in their high school play, those who did not act but had attended the play, and those who did not participate or attend.
The students were asked to answer questions on the English coursework they had completed in their final year of high school, including the essay question and major pieces of written work due for assessment. These results were compared against each other to determine if there was any change in academic performance.
The analysis showed that the students who acted in a school play had significantly higher marks than those who did not act or even attend.
“This research provides evidence that acting, and being involved in theatre more broadly, has academic benefits,” said Professor Espin from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Education & Social Work. “As we continue to build the evidence base, this research encourages us to remember that not only is theatre a relevant and engaging area of study in and of itself, it also has an important role to play in education across disciplines.”
Spotlight Acting School offers year-round opportunities for students to engage in theatre and add to their academic résumé. The Spotlight staff members have always expressed the belief that their programs help students and it’s great to see the clear connection between performing arts and academic achievement, particularly in a time where there has been so much focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects.
To get your student involved with Spotlight simply visit their website at http://www.spotlightactingschool.com or call 859-661-0600 to inquire about enrollment.