Volume 21 Number 30 October 19, 2020

The Effect of Drama-based Pedagogies on K-12 Literacy-Related Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of 30 Years of Research

Bridget Kiger Lee
University of Pittsburgh, USA

Patricia Enciso
The Ohio State University, USA

Megan R. Brown
Cedarville University, USA

Citation: Lee, B. K., Enciso, P., & Brown, M. R. (2020). The effect of drama-based pedagogies on K-12 literacy-related outcomes: A meta-analysis of 30 years of research. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 21(30). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n30


A recent national report heartily supported arts integration as an effective, innovative, and cost-efficient way to address teachers’ and students’ needs; however, the report called for a better understanding of when, for whom, and what content areas are best served by arts integration methods. The effectiveness of drama-based pedagogy (DBP), a type of arts integration, has been assessed in previous meta-analyses; however, an updated meta-analysis is warranted. In the present report, we review and meta-analyze thirty years of accumulated research of the effects of drama-based pedagogies on literacy related student outcomes. The findings show a significant positive effect of DBP on achievement, attitudes, 21st century skills, drama skills, and motivation. In particular, effects are more positive when DBP is led by a classroom teacher over multiple hours of instruction. Limitations and implications are discussed.

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