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Zakopoulos, V.; Makri, A.; Ntanos, S.; Tampakis, S. Drama/Theatre Performance in Sustainability Awareness Education. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 02 December 2023).
Zakopoulos V, Makri A, Ntanos S, Tampakis S. Drama/Theatre Performance in Sustainability Awareness Education. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed December 02, 2023.
Zakopoulos, Vassilis, Agoritsa Makri, Stamatios Ntanos, Stilianos Tampakis. "Drama/Theatre Performance in Sustainability Awareness Education" Encyclopedia, (accessed December 02, 2023).
Zakopoulos, V., Makri, A., Ntanos, S., & Tampakis, S.(2023, September 15). Drama/Theatre Performance in Sustainability Awareness Education. In Encyclopedia.
Zakopoulos, Vassilis, et al. "Drama/Theatre Performance in Sustainability Awareness Education." Encyclopedia. Web. 15 September, 2023.
Drama/Theatre Performance in Sustainability Awareness Education

The use of digital technologies in theatre/drama performances in education that address the sustainability issues that plague today’s world is highly acknowledged globally by the scientific community since digital technologies offer a variety of ways to provide students with an interactive and engaging learning experience. 

digital technologies sustainable education sustainability awareness drama/theatre performance

1. Introduction

New technologies have played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and throughout the rest of the pandemic era and have significantly affected a broad spectrum of activities in all aspects of life and scientific fields, including education. The wide use of digital technologies is an essential vehicle for the digital transformation that characterizes the 21st century and portrays the shifting paradigm that has created innovative ways of thinking and working across many sectors.
When discussing digital transformation, Hamidi et al. argue that the literature refers to the transformation taking place in business activities, processes, competencies, and models to make use of the changes of digital technology and their effects in life [1]. But digital transformation is expected to have crucial outcomes on business and on society as well and the core area of education, which is referred to as “sustainability” [1] (p. 723). Education employs digital transition and application of digital technologies to raise awareness among students about significant ecological and environmental challenges. Sustainability is one of the main competencies that derive from incorporating digital technologies and platforms in education to mitigate sustainable development problems worldwide.
Sustainability is undeniably a rather ubiquitous and broad term that has gained tremendous popularity in scientific discourse since it has appeared in many scientific publications and official political documents, which will be further discussed. When discussing sustainability in education, scholars see it from a broader perspective and refer to the strategic measurements and management of educational organizations and institutions of all levels sensitive to environmental, social, and financial issues and their attempt to propose sustainable solutions. Drama performances with innovative digital technologies are adapted from educational systems for sustainable development and are expected to be used as a tempting teaching method. Digital drama/theatre is deemed as an effective teaching mode for students to construct new knowledge and enhance their concerns regarding sustainability in education and in their present and future lives generally.
There are a great variety of sustainable digital education teaching tools, such as “videos and other multimedia materials, virtual activities, games, educational animations, or simulations” [2] (p. 2). The categories of digital theatre and performance also include other emerging new technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, gamification, and immersive theatre, to name only some of the many possible models and teaching modes of digital liveness [3]. In this sense, a digital teaching and learning paradigm shifts from a teacher-centered to a more student-centered educational environment. Drama/theatre performance is mediated through digital technologies since it is created through different digital means and infrastructure. Many web-based platforms create a space where drama/theatre is created, edited, distributed, stored, and retrieved through technological tools [3].

2. Drama and Digital Drama Education

Drama is the art of narrative performance on stage by synthesizing body language, props, dance, and music. Özgen and Erbay present the opinions of drama leaders who give their definitions of drama and perceive it more as an educational teaching strategy, lifestyle, art, creativity, and socialization and who pay attention to the relationship between drama and education as a collaborative and hands-on learning technique [4]. Drama education is the development of professional drama talents through various drama methods and techniques, along with the popularization of drama education among students [5][6]. It is the application of pedagogical strategies, methods, and techniques to educate students in cultivating drama and theatrical acts. It includes not only performing actions but designing drama-based activities as well. Through drama activities, school institutions encourage students to participate in the process of dramatic experience and express themselves, also enabling them to feel a sense of being on stage, contributing to the all-around development of children [7].
In recent years, the scientific community has stressed and recognized drama education’s value. Drama education is an art discipline that allows children’s personalities to shape and develop physically and mentally. Additionally, it cultivates students’ imagination and ability for group work, fostering language skills, body coordination, creativity, and better growing up [8]. It is based on students’ life experiences and drama methodologies like role playing and improvisations performed by groups of students. Consequently, drama can be conceptualized as the use of theatrical techniques, such as role playing, improvisation, and animation, through which students learn via dialogues, movements and sound, verbal and non-verbal styles, and kinesthetic movements.
The use of drama-based activities in educational contexts offers significant opportunities for compelling experiential intercultural learning experiences since students interact and develop active listening competencies, empathy, respect for classmates, and other social and affective skills. More significantly, educational drama may be a feasible way to motivate students to process new ideas and to be less passive when absorbing new information [9]. This leads to the development of creative skills for students, life skills that are considered to be of extreme importance for their personal and professional lives.
Drama integrates fact and fiction and activates cognitive effects and socio-emotional outcomes, such as empathy, when dealing with global injustice [10]. Unesco describes many critical characteristics of education for sustainable development, interdisciplinary, holistic, and value-focused competencies, and skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making, among many alternative options [11]. This explains the interconnectedness of drama education with the potential of sustainable development in education since both are triggered by adopting life skills that are useful in the 21st century. Previous research has claimed that working within a dramatic educational environment might allow students to develop skills and attitudes necessary for being active citizens, facilitate learning for sustainability purposes [12][13], and increase motivation for critical reflection [14]. Art-based activities in drama education, such as dramatic play, improvisations, dramatization, role playing, and pantomime, have created an effective learning environment [15].
Drama is a performance using words and gestures that allows people to see the relationship between their own lives and society. It is also used as a tool that can improve life in society through people’s imagination [16]. It can be argued that drama is an art form, an enjoyable personal and social learning experience. Through the apprenticeship’s experiential, communicative, and playful nature, the students’ aesthetic culture and the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and perceptions that make them creative and active human beings can be promoted. The authors of [16] have supported that drama has been linked to the way people live and can be used as a tool to examine people’s lives in accordance with their imagination. Therefore, drama in science has been used as a tool to manage learning at individual, community, and social levels.
The significance of implementing drama as an art form is acknowledged since more research has been carried out incorporating a STEAM curriculum rather than a STEM curriculum; this means adding arts to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [17]. Another systematic literature review provides evidence of the rapidly expanding use of innovative technologies in the STEAM context [18]. Although the findings emphasize the development of knowledge in STEAM-related disciplines and the development of 21st-century skills in students, a targeted emphasis on the development of an understanding of the arts seems to be significantly missing.
In terms of drama education, due to the digitalization of education, there seems to be an urgent shift from performance constituted within a physical and “in-person” learning environment in traditional classrooms to an otherwise online space, which becomes not only a digital space for performing actions but rather a space where performance happens entirely digitally [3], especially during the pandemic crisis. This has raised a lot of challenges in acquiring access to different online learning platforms and using various technological tools in drama/theatre education. There is a plethora of terms to describe the various forms of online drama performance, such as digital drama/theatre, online drama/theatre, virtual drama/theatre, interactive drama, life drama, multimedia performances, creative online drama, and hybrid theatre that have emerged even before the outbreak of the pandemic.

3. Sustainability, Sustainable Education, and Drama Education

Concerning the impact of economic development on the environment and the waste of resources, many political documents and global policy papers launched the idea of sustainability in all facets of life and education. In this regard, at the dawn of the 21st century, educators and policymakers proposed the term “Education for Sustainable Development” (ESD), which was officially presented by the United Nations (U.N.). UNESCO declared the decade from 2005–2014 as the U.N. decade for Education for Sustainable Development, aiming to solve environmental and socio-economic problems through education [11].
In 2010, UNESCO developed the “Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education”, a policy articulation on arts education that was supported by almost all governments in the world, which refers to resolving the world’s social and cultural issues. For example, the Australian curriculum emphasizes sustainability as one of the priority areas for study that connects and relates relevant aspects of content across learning areas and subjects [19]. Another vital policy document developed by the General Assembly of the U.N. is entitled “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” [20]. In this document, educators introduced, explained, and reflected on ESD’s importance in achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in which education plays an immense role in shaping people’s lives. Another essential document is the “Global Action Plan for Education for Sustainable Development”, which provides a framework with the aim to create a more peaceful and sustainable world, in which all individuals and communities must be equipped and empowered with skills, knowledge, and values. Although the importance of culture is implied, no cultural dimension was detected in these political documents, and none of the SDGs referred directly to the option of implementing culture into sustainable development plans [21].
Sustainability as a concept has been extensively explored by scholars and policymakers in official political documents. It can be seen from different perspectives, and since it is an ambiguous concept, it is difficult for experts to address a single definition. Eizaguirre et al. indicated more than one hundred definitions of sustainability practitioners and scientific scholars used to shed light on the concept. Qualitative education is assumed to be a core contributor to achieving sustainability goals [22]. Both sustainability curricula and educators can play an immense role in developing awareness of practicing the concept of sustainability in the context of education [23]. Generally, sustainability can be understood as actions, activities, and approaches that impact the existence and well-being of the human race, and concerns environmental, economic, social, and educational areas for improving living conditions for future generations [24]. Sustainable education is forced to manage many complex fundamental environmental, social, and economic challenges. Each of these problems, such as climate change, ocean pollution, soil erosion, unsustainable consumption patterns, urbanization, depletion of biodiversity, poverty, unjust distribution of wealth, and hunger, is too complex. However, the interrelation between them requires an even higher level of complexity for political and scientific analysis.
Drama for developing students’ awareness of sustainable development can be adopted at all educational levels, including higher education. For example, Keles [25] developed a course plan in Turkey to enable undergraduate students to learn more about sustainable life and sustainable production using a three-faceted drama method: warming-up activities, improvisation, and role playing and evaluation discussion. Through these procedures, the students were encouraged to think profoundly about the life cycle approach and the concept of sustainable production and developed skills for education for sustainable development. 

4. The Digital Technologies and Drama Techniques in Digital Drama/Theatre Performances

The application of digital technologies should be understood in the context of the general digitalization that characterizes our lives in many crucial sectors, like the economy, work, labor, and education. Drama education, arts, and aesthetics contribute not only to understanding the digitality of our world but also shape it toward cultural sustainability [26]. The use of digital means in drama performance education is not a new phenomenon, and it is rendered in a variety of terms, including “digital performance”, “new media performance”, “multimedia performances”, “interactive digital performance”, “cyber theatre”, “virtual theatre”, “online drama”, “hybrid theatre”, and the newly appointed term “digital drama/theatre”.
Digital drama is not just a combination of digital technologies with classic methods of drama performance. It can be perceived as a concept of a new aesthetic epistemology that aspires to unite a great range of digital media and tools with traditional drama performance methods. It can incline to use the broader term “digital drama” because it is not limited to the digital existence of innovative technologies but imply a huge variety of digital tools. Digital performance should not be understood as a means to replace or substitute traditional theatre-based activities due to the pandemic crisis but as an alternative complementary and supportive method for potential future disclosures [27]. The same authors claim that “digital skills and competencies are also central to achieving political aspirations for finding innovative global and local solutions to address social, economic and environmental problems” [27] (p. 3), thus leading to the implementation of digital technologies for sustainability purposes.
Especially during the pandemic, drama practitioners and teachers thought of the importance of using blended pedagogical strategies and pedagogies as a necessity due to the COVID-19 crisis. They also decided to combine media knowledge, technology, methods of applying and handling video cameras, and video editing techniques to ensure the sustainability and quality of the hybrid theatre [28].
As technology has blossomed, the stigma imprinted on drama has also increased, giving students and participants a more immersive experience. In this sense, students now have the opportunity to evolve into fully immersive environments through virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality technologies that require active audience interactions and interactivities between students and audiences. This means that participant students in a digital drama performance transfer from their real-life context into the digital dimension of drama context and are lured into a fantastic story or a particular problem. The technologies used for addressing the needs of performance call for specific digital skills and competencies for creating immersive live dramatic experiences. Such new trends and technologies in digital drama performances include innovative emerging technologies, such as gaming platforms, virtual/augmented/mixed reality, motion capture technology, artificial intelligence/robots, smartphone apps, or other digital media techniques [27].
The environmental and ecological effect in education is considered of utmost importance since it focuses on constructing new identities of environmentally active citizens with ecological responsibility. From this perspective, students are encouraged to gain a deeper and broader comprehension of the interconnectedness between humans and the environment, which may lead them to try and resolve significant problematic situations on our planet. This could be achieved through the application of digital theatrical performances of experiential nature, the use of digital tools and instruments, collaborative documents (e.g., Google docs), dramatization, and collaboratively written scenarios based on specific ecological themes such as sustainable development, climate change, management of poverty, power consumption, renewable energy resources, and inclusive education followed by performance role playing, and thus achieving the cultivation of students’ ecological awareness.
It must be pointed out that even though drama and its performing methods appear to be contradictory to all kinds of digital practices in many educational discussions, nowadays, due to the digital transition in educational systems, more and more digital tools and platforms are called to be applied in drama education. A case study in Australian educational contexts as part of a larger digital rolling role drama project called “The Water Reckoning Project” focused on sustainability issues, namely water shortage, and investigated any shifts deriving from the implementation of such a digital rolling role model [29]. Students created characters, participated in sustained collaborative role play, and acted as experts and researchers. In this regard, knowledge was co-constructed as students were involved in the drama’s episodes, artefacts, and creative works. Students’ engagement in the drama process was heightened through drama strategies such as the mantle of the expert through improvisations, the teacher in role, devising processes, and collaborating role-based inquiry. The project enabled students to critically and creatively be engaged with significant issues of global sustainability relevance. Findings also reveal the students’ awareness of creating digital content for other students globally, which added value to their drama work.
Through multimedia technology, drama knowledge is more visualized and situational, encouraging students’ enthusiasm to participate in the drama learning process [8]. In the study, the researcher focused on applying a three-dimensional interaction technology mode for kindergarten children (voice interaction technology, image interaction technology, and somatosensory interaction technology). The experimental results show that the majority of teachers in preschool drama education are very satisfied with the integration of drama art and interactive devices, which make the drama process more dynamic, increase the fun characteristic of drama, enrich the sense of the picture, and make children quickly enter the learning situation. Proper guidance from teachers is suggested; otherwise, children cannot work cooperatively, are immersed, ignore knowledge acquisition, reduce their enthusiasm to learn, and thus result in harmful effects of drama activities and low scores [8].
Also, role playing is referred to as a didactic method to be used in teaching online drama. “Role-play is used here as an improvisational act of representing characters and behaviours of someone or something as an explorative and creative activity in a dramatic context” [30] (p. 70). Through role play, students can interpret real-world situations with different perspectives and create a new understanding [30]. The abovementioned researcher further explores how drama can play a significant role in science education and transdisciplinary learning related to sustainability issues. However, the paradox is to align drama with science education. Science education has a tradition of focusing on cognitive aspects, whereas drama also includes affective and performative qualities [30].
In addition, one of the methods applied in online drama education is digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is creating “short stories that allow students and educators to enhance their information-gathering and problem-solving skills and their ability to work on a collaborative team” [31] (pp. 427–428). In a case study [32], the authors introduced digital storytelling utilization in preschool education to raise awareness of local cultural heritage and sustainability issues. More specifically, linear digital storytelling in a video format, representing a local cultural myth about watermills, revealed accepted positive attitudes of students and teachers in using digital storytelling as part of the educational process. The application of mobile technology and digital storytelling is considered a powerful and effective educational tool with various benefits for students. They promote the acquisition of new knowledge and could be characterized as drivers for developing cultural literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, and media literacy. Also, they enhance students’ motivation, interest, self-reflection, imagination, and creativity of young children and their engagement in the learning process [32].
In a theoretical, analytical, conceptual, and typological framework on the use of digital technologies in theatre, managed to determine the essence and peculiarities of the integration of methods of using digital technologies in the modern practice of performing art, as well as investigated the variations of innovations offered in this field. Results demonstrated that using innovative digital technologies, multimedia, robotics, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence and their peculiarities is a novelty in education and has altered how drama is performed. Digital technologies are deemed powerful tools since they harmoniously combine visual and sound effects and graphics to create a unique, complex, and rich production, promoting interactivity and immersion in the educational drama process [33].

5. Creation of 21st-Century Skills through Digital Drama for Sustainability

Sustainability through the application of drama pedagogies and techniques successfully and directly engages students in comprehending their interrelations with the environment and its global challenges. Thus, in today’s complex world, engaging students and drama educators with deep thought is crucial to develop perceptions and awareness of sustainability in education. Also, digitalization and post-digitalization in the context of aesthetics and cultural education are explored in a research study [34], which investigated the impact drama may have on participants’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to sustainable development. Drama allows students to imagine alternative ways to a more optimistic view and adopt more sustainable practices regarding sustainability matters. In this way, many affective and cognitive skills are created and promoted among students. Notably, empathy is promoted through integrating different identities. Also, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as meta-thinking and meta-reflection skills, are stimulated, which are core ingredients of quality education, as a major parameter in sustainable education. The teamwork and sharing nature of drama involves interaction between students since it creates contact, communication and cooperation, negotiation and compromise skills, and participatory decision-making.

In a quantitative survey [35], the researchers searched teachers’ views and attitudes towards drama-based activities when conducting environmental education programs and the expected cognitive, socio-affective, and behavioral benefits for students involved in drama performances. According to the survey’s main findings, teachers’ positive attitudes towards the use of drama activities in environmental education are indicated since when environmental education is based on drama-based activities, it has a significant impact on students. In particular, it increases resourcefulness, creates greater understanding, empathy, and willingness to engage in social actions, and share responsibility, commitment, and sensitivity. Drama education is linked to the cognitive domain of improving the learning potential, promoting positive attitudes towards lifelong learning, collaboration, and responsibility, skills that are interrelated to the sustainable goals of education. These results comply with research in Finland about the promotion of the cognitive and affective domains in drama education [36]. The researchers elaborated on the potential of drama as an art-based approach to sustainability, emphasizing climate change from a cognitive and affective point of view. The findings highlighted the significance of drama as a learning experience for students and their emotional engagement. Using drama as a research process provided a deeper comprehension of the challenges of climate change. Drama performance seems to have a positive impact on students’ behaviors and attitudes concerning the increase of social interactions and sustainability competencies, as well as the improvement of fruitful cognitive dialogues, critical thinking, and more importantly, emotional, cultural, and self-awareness of the interconnectedness regarding big sustainable issues.
Also, the affective domain of education is boosted by the use of drama-based activities, which is linked to the interaction developed between peers and between students and drama teachers, the invigoration of collaborative learners’ empathy, and the acceptance of diversity. In the affective domain, promoting emotional intelligence, creating a safe environment for expressing students’ feelings, and eliminating offending behaviors are promoted. These findings are in accordance with Moreno-Fernández’s research [37], in which the researcher investigated teachers’ opinions about motivation and values of applying drama as a didactic resource to favor the treatment of socio-environmental problems. Teachers perceive theatre as a pedagogical approach that ameliorates the dynamization of the classes, imagination, interactions between students, group socialization, teamwork, and most significantly, cultivation of emotional feelings towards tackling serious environmental problems.
UNESCO also describes the learning objectives that are interrelated to the U.N.’s sustainability goals that belong to the development of three main domains: cognitive, socio-emotional, and behavioral. According to the literature, many of these ESD characteristics have also been detected in drama education. To achieve all those salient features mentioned before, a transdisciplinary approach is proposed to achieve better learning outcomes, such as designing collaboration between drama pedagogists and sustainability/science teachers [38]
Though it may seem to be a paradox to align science education with drama education, using drama pedagogical elements as educational tools in sustainability issues imply a transdisciplinary approach, which is typical enough in science education for socio-scientific matters but still represents the main idea of drama education, this is translated to exploring and experiencing affective dimensions [30] and leads to the creation of critical competencies. Based on Zourna and Papavassiliou-Alexiou’s storytelling [39], Ødegaard [30] introduces a pedagogical drama framework for sustainability issues. Firstly, she suggests implementing little dramas of individuals to motivate students to explore their values and make their choices. This involves in-depth understanding and empathetic reflections on people’s norms and values in their negotiation of sustainability matters. Understanding the consequences of one’s choices also requires self-awareness and anticipatory competency. Then, middle stories that evolve at interpersonal and sociocultural levels with a focus on explaining power relationships and organizing the society, in which the participants experience, learn, and reflect, individually and as a group, cultivating strategic and problem-solving competencies and anticipatory thinking, since the participants reflect on the societal outcomes of everyday decisions. Finally, she presents big, symbolic stories of sustainability that raise essential questions and shape imagination about what can and cannot be achieved in the world. Participants primarily deeply understand their sustainability values and then extensively collaborate and exchange critical views in making a common play for solving significant sustainable problems.
However, although digital drama performance and the importance of digital technologies in the arts sector and drama education have been investigated in the recent literature, there needs to be more content relating to digital aesthetic identity. This means that there is little specific detail concerning soft “baseline” (transferable), namely working with computers and communicating via emails and the Internet, and “specific” (technical) digital skills, such as competency in the use of specific technologies in the use of technologies in performing art sector [27]. For this reason, the latter two researchers proposed a three-layered digital skills framework for drama education, including: (a) specific “technical skills” related to the application of digital technologies, devices, systems, software, and internet media solutions for performance; (b) baseline “transferable” digital skills, referring to collaborative work; and (c) digital aesthetic identity, related to digital construction of self.
It should also be noted that by using environmental and art-based pedagogies, students are connected with the local environment and start to build their sustainability consciousness and deep knowledge about it. Davis [40], engaged children in a primary school setting in learning about their local environment to reinforce their cognitive and affective responses and learning. She designed an art-based project, named “Tree Mappa”. The project concentrated on celebrating significant local trees, which could be significant because of their endemic nature and their historical and cultural role in an ecosystem. 
But the participation of students in drama performances for the treatment of socio-environmental problems is sometimes constrained due to potential difficulties, especially in primary education. Moreno-Fernández [37], presents as challenges the time available, finding adapted works for a primary school related to socio-environmental contents, the reluctance of some pupils to participate due to shyness or embarrassment, the large number of students in the classrooms, and the lack of adapted works to address specific socio-environmental problems especially at primary school level. Similarly, Özgen and Erbay [4] mention the difficulties experienced by drama leaders arising from educational institutions, parents, and children, respectively, as issues concerning the lack of sufficient knowledge, education, and experience in drama. Finally, drama educators have to face and solve problems arising from technology or internet infrastructure and they have to deal with difficulties concerning how to make games or physical activities suitable for digital platforms [41].

6. Summary

Several digital technologies can be used in performing drama performances in educational contexts. Video- and audio-recording equipment are introduced to capture performances and rehearsals for later review and analysis, virtual and augmented reality to create immersive experiences for students to explore different theatrical environments and scenarios [3], and online collaboration tools to enable students to work in groups remotely and collaborate on scripts, rehearsals, and performances. Additionally, technological systems such as digital sound and lighting systems are used to enhance the audio and visual aspects of theatrical performances. Digital projection and visual effects are applied to create stunning visual effects and projections that can help bring performances to life. Social media platforms are used to promote performances and connect with school audiences. Digital theatre and experiential actions, as well as the use of digital tools and instruments, for example, Google Docs, collaboratively written scenarios based on specific themes, such as sustainable development, climate change, poverty reduction, sustainable consumption, and many others, and then directing and performing scenes could empower students to work collaboratively and interact each other, and as a result discover new knowledge. There seems to be a positive effect in the learning outcomes and by engaging students in the learning process in drama performance they become protagonists of the learning experience by collaborating with their peers [42] and improving their social skills [43]. In this way, they are involved in a diversity of activities, such as script writing, scenery making, directing, and acting, and thus reflect critically about the major environmental problems of our world, trying to propose feasible solutions and practicing higher level thinking skills.
Also, digital scriptwriting and editing software are incorporated to create, edit, and share scripts with other students and teachers. Using digital drama-based activities in education can have a significant impact on increasing sustainability competencies and have a multitude of potential effects. First of all, digital educational drama can increase awareness among students about the importance of environmental sustainability practices and the impact of human activities on the environment, help them realize the effects of their actions on the environment, and motivate them to positive changes. Students are educated about the consequences of unsustainable practices and are encouraged to take action to protect the environment. Thus, students can actively participate in creating and sharing messages about environmental sustainability. They can work collaboratively and communicate effectively with classmates while promoting their sense of responsibility towards the environment. Also, they can develop helpful social and communication skills and teamwork among learners, such as active listening and clear expression of ideas that are essential for dealing with sustainability issues. Digital drama techniques can make learning more engaging and interactive, leading to better information retention and greater interest in sustainability issues. Through applying digital drama-based activities, students are provided with an interactive and immersive learning experience that assists them to stay stimulated and focused on sustainability topics, which can lead to better learning outcomes.
Additionally, through the use of digital media and technological tools that offer interaction, communication, interactivity, interconnection, and collaboration experiences in alignment with the experiential nature of theatrical actions or events, students are invited to collaboratively write theatrical scenarios or scripts, act out roles, think critically, etc., about solving sustainability issues not only within the real-time education in the classroom but also online by creating online learning communities. Taking into consideration that globalization and digital transformation is a reality nowadays and several virtual communities have arisen in the educational environments, drama teachers and students could implement new digital tools to create drama content, exhibit, and distribute it if their intention is to remain functional and follow the imperatives of modern society [44].
Also, digital drama-based activities can be personalized and customized to meet learners’ individual needs and interests, making the learning experience more relevant and meaningful. They can also provide students with opportunities to be involved in creative real-world problem solving and improvisation concerning sustainability challenges, such as climate change, resource depletion, etc. In this way, students can think critically about all these issues, develop their analytical skills and understand the complexity of environmental problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to address them and explore new perspectives and ideas related to future welfare. As a result, they lead to developing decision-making skills as they analyze these significant matters and consider potential solutions. Creativity and innovation are increasingly promoted among students, encouraging them to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Digital drama enhances cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and imagination, independent thinking and decision making, awareness and clear expression of emotions, and merely social skills, such as communication, cooperation, and group work, as highlighted in recent studies [4][45][46][47].
More importantly, digital drama activities enable students to develop empathy and be emotionally engaged toward the environment and other living beings. Thus, they are encouraged and motivated to become more sentimental and be involved in voluntary environmental actions. By exploring different perspectives and experiences, learners can develop a deeper understanding of the importance of sustainability and its impact on people and the whole planet. All these are supposed to lead to students’ changed attitudes and behaviors, leading to more sustainability-friendly citizens. The complex nature of contemporary environmental issues can be a motivator for students to adopt environmentally friendly attitudes and practices in their everyday lives through acting in a collaborative and sustainable way. Engagement with ESD would be a result of developing a positive attitude towards sustainability through the education of future teachers as well [48].
Overall, the drama educational performance with the application of digital technologies is the pathway to foster students’ awareness and deep understanding of sustainability matters while also developing the skills and competencies needed to address these issues for a prosperous future environmental citizenship. In order to be harmonized with the technology boom and the pedagogical shift to a more student centered and engaged pedagogical scheme, there is an urgency for drama educators to adopt interdisciplinary collaboration with other disciplines, such as games, virtual/mixed reality, and artificial intelligence aiming to provide immersive opportunities and prepare students and drama teachers for similar future crisis or disruptions of the learning process. Among the most critical skills gained in drama performance is the establishing empathy for others’ feelings, ideas, and behaviors while recognizing both themselves and other group members [25].


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