SDEA Code of Professional Practice


The Singapore Drama Educators Association, known as SDEA, promotes the value of theatre and drama education in presentation and performance as well as the applied uses of drama in community and educational environments. SDEA believes in the value of Drama Education and recognizes the drama educator as a professional. As in any professional body, SDEA proposes a Code of Professional Practice for its members.

In the Classroom

  • Creates an environment that encourages respect for the participants, the work, the work space and aesthetics of theatre.
  • Ensures the physical, emotional and psychological safety and welfare of participants.
  • Encourages participants to discover the potential in themselves for personal growth, creation, reflection and aesthetic appreciation.
  • Values the diversity of race, gender, religion, age, ability or national origin.
  • Provides opportunities for meaningful and inclusive participation by every individual in all drama sessions.
  • Observes professional practices of punctuality.

In Practice

  • Advocates and reinforces good practices and reputation of drama education.
  • Practices student centred learning and the inclusion of every participant.
  • Respects the privacy of all participants with regards to documentation or promotion of workshops.
  • Abides by all intellectual property rights.
  • Consistently seeks to upgrade and develop skills.

In Professional Relationships

  • Enters into agreements with objectivity, respect and transparency.
  • Explains the purpose and process of any given programme in relation to the expected outcome.
  • Recognises that an organisation or institution has its own mission and values.
  • Observes appropriate professional behaviour in the work space.
  • Acknowledges that a drama educator's contribution has an impact on the larger community.
  • Discussions on the above started in November 2011. This sub-committee over two years included Judy Ngo, Kristine Oehlers, Prudence Wales, Kang Chee Hui, Harris Jahim, Shireen Abdullah, Michele Lim, Elvira Holmberg and Peggy Ferroa. The sub-committee was last headed by the late Christina Sergeant.

The articulation of this Code was facilitated by Mr Robin Chan Tuck Wai, Senior Associate Director of NUS Institutional Review Board (NUS-IRB). Robin is the first Certified IRB Professional by the Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA) USA. He is also a member of the Hospital Ethics Committee in the Singapore Institute of Mental Health, the Code of Ethics Committee of the Singapore Pharmacy Council. the National Transplant Ethics Committee - Ministry of Health, and consultant to Ministry of Community Youth and Sport and Singapore Polytechnics on research ethics.

This Code was agreed on and by adopted by SDEA members at the AGM on 25th March 2013. This means that every SDEA member agrees to abide by these set of practices as part of their profession. This Code will be reviewed in two years and eventually will move to a Code of Ethics presided by a board. GLOSSARY

Professional body An association or organisation, usually non-profit, that has formed to further the profession, the individuals engaged in that profession, and to serve public interest. Professional bodies often prescribe to either a discretionary or mandatory code of conduct for their members.

Code of Ethics A code of ethics is a set of principles of conduct within an organization that guide decision making and behavior. The purpose of the code is to provide members and other interested persons with guidelines for making ethical choices in the conduct of their work. Members of an organization adopt a code of ethics to share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the organiation's principles and standards of practice.

A Code of Ethics will have an impact on how SDEA members conduct their own teaching and facilitating as well as how we define ourselves as Drama Educators. It will also have an impact on the image of a Drama Educator who is a member of SDEA and will change how Drama Educators interact with government bodies, businesses and organizations. A Code of Ethics will also need to be periodically reviewed by an appointed Board who will, when necessary, take action to investigate and act on complaints of its violation. The existing code is called a Code of Professional Practice and can move towards a Code of Ethics with involvement and discussions from members and stakeholders.

Drama education: The art form of drama used as a pedagogical tool in educational settings, as an approach to address various topics or facilitate theatre making.

Environment: The physical layout, circumstances and conditions where learning and teaching takes place.

Participant: Individuals that participate. share or are involved in a theatre or drama activity.

Aesthetics of Theatre: Visual, aural and sensory elements that make up the production's sense of style and artistic interpretation

Student Centered Learning: An approach in which the teacher facilitates the learning experience, offering activities and lesson structures to allow active participation which enable independent learners.

Good Practice: Ethical decision making and behavior in relation to the profession. Documentation: All audio and/or visual recordings, images, interviews and reflections taken during lessons and workshops.

Promotion: Any activity or event to raise awareness or advance sales, publicity and/or marketing.

Intellectual Property Rights: Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the human mind. A creative work, an original expression, or technical solutions to a problem can all be creations of value. These creations of the mind when duly protected can become valuable intellectual property. Copyright is a bundle of rights given to creators of works to make sure that only they can use and reproduce what they have created for their own purposes. It protects works like novels, computer programs, plays, sheet music and paintings. These rights enable a copyright owner to control the commercial exploitation of his work.

Transparency: The full, accurate, clear, and timely disclosure of information required for collaboration, cooperation and collective decision making. It applies to agreements, practices and transactions to which there is accountability. Accountability is the responsibility for actions, decisions and working processes and the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences.

Larger Community includes but is not limited to:

  • Peers and colleagues in the same profession
  • Government and public organisations that recognise drama education
  • The families/organisations /homes that drama participants belong to
  • Communities defined by culture or circumstance
  • Society in general