Many of you have inquired about CODE's response to the Conservative Party's remarks about Justin Trudeau's ability to be a leader based on his work history, which included two years as a drama teacher. Below is CODE's official statement to the media about these remarks.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE)
The True Value of the Drama Teacher
Toronto, Ontario, April 2013
Suggesting that those who teach Drama are unworthy of leadership, or somehow lesser than those who lead is ignorant of the true value of drama in developing young people. The Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators is not affiliated with any political party and generally does not comment on federal politics. Education is a provincial matter. However, we do, as an organization, resent the negative connotations of the remark about Justin Trudeau’s experience as a drama teacher. Drama is a vital part of the curriculum at both the elementary and secondary school level. Participation in drama engages students and provides a powerful way for them to express their knowledge, ideas and to explore their understanding of the world around them. As Sir Ken Robinson says, “Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.” “The educators teaching this subject are highly skilled and trained. They are leaders in their schools and communities, developing our leaders of tomorrow, they are not ‘in over their heads.’ Our organization supports this profession with pride and passion,” states Brooke Charlebois, President of the Ontario Council of Dance and Drama Educators (CODE)
Drama is one of four mandatory arts subjects in Ontario.
The province of Ontario Arts Curriculum outlines that: "[Students] can identify common values, both aesthetic and human, in various works of art, and in doing so, increase their understanding of others. The arts can also encourage students to be responsible and critically literate members of society and citizens of the world. Students can learn to approach issues and present ideas and points of view in new ways and to challenge perceptions, while engaging their audience."
“Drama in fact, is a critical subject area that provides multiple tools and skills to help students to succeed in our very complex and ever changing modern world. They develop imagination, creativity, emotional literacy, communication skills, problem solving, and other critical thinking skills. All of these are essential skills for the 21st century citizen. Current education research demonstrates over and over that we need our future thinkers to be creative, critical, effective problem solvers who are process driven, flexible, open to change and able to create change themselves. This issue is not just about education but in fact our social, political and economic future,” says Charlebois.
The skills students learn in drama class are easily transferable to their experiences in the real world. Those who teach these skills are themselves leaders in education and our communities and should be respected as such. They are contributing to our children’s welfare and the welfare of our future economy.
Who we are: CODE is the Ontario provincial subject association for dance and drama. Our goal, as stated in our bylaws is to "encourage and support the development of drama and dance in education in Ontario".
To do this, we
- Promote strong arts education in schools and communities across Ontario
- Provide a forum a forum for the exchange of ideas among those involved in drama and dance in education
- Provide leadership and advocacy in drama and dance in education
- Provide professional development in those involved in drama and dance in education
- Cooperate with existing arts agencies and education organizations.
For further information:
Brooke Charlebois, President of CODE firstname.lastname@example.org