Exploring New Pathways in Drama Education: President Aishwariyah at IDEA and IDIERI Conference

It was an absolute pleasure representing the Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA) at the IDEA (International Drama/Theatre Education Association) 9th World Congress in Iceland, Reyjavik from the 4th to the 8th of July and the 10th IDIERI Conference (International Drama in Education Research Institute) in England, Coventry from 4th to 15th July 2022. 

To be amidst Arts leaders, educators, pedagogues, activists, researchers and advocates for Drama from all over the world was an incredibly nourishing experience, both emotionally and intellectually. The inspiring presentations and keynotes on an array of drama related topics, reconnecting with old friends of SDEA and building new friendships were definitely the highlights of my trip.  

Despite being from different ends of the globe, 2 things that everyone had in common were firstly, Drama Education and secondly the experiences of the recent pandemic.  

It is unlikely that educators, researchers and practitioners will simply resume previous modes of practice and research, not least as the pandemic has profoundly impacted the young people and adult communities with whom we work and the IDEA Congress and IDIERI conference presented important opportunities to mark the necessary changes happening in our field around the world.  

Every presentation and/or masterclass sparked new conversations, ideas and connections. There was something for everyone: the early years drama educators to the younger generation of researchers in drama education to the more seasoned academics. The confluence of brilliant minds coming together to speak about matters that are relevant, immediate and important. 

As both events invited delegates to imagine the world anew, they sought to provide the drama community with a timely opportunity to collectively reimagine the purpose of drama and theatre in both formal and informal educational sites and applied contexts. 

This opportunity has definitely built new pathways for SDEA and we are excited about all the wonderful things that the new connections and ideas are going to bring for us!