Possibilities and problems of using drama to engage with First Nations content and concepts in education: a systematic review

Danielle Hradsky, Rachel Forgasz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Educators around the world are increasingly considering and seeking ways to challenge their role in the colonial project. Some have turned to embodied pedagogies as a way to encourage holistic, relationships-based learning in academies which traditionally prioritise cognitive, objective knowing. This review analyses 27 studies, published between 2007 and 2020, that draw on drama-based pedagogies to engage with First Nations content and concepts in early childhood, primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions. We found that drama provides powerful but often risky and unpredictable ways to enhance student, educator, and community learning, engagement, emotions, and relationships. The educator’s role is vital to enabling or preventing outcomes which contribute to the survival, dignity, and well-being of First Nations peoples. Ethical guidelines and issues must be carefully considered by anyone attempting to work in this complex, awkward space.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalThe Australian Educational Researcher
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Decolonising education
  • Drama pedagogies
  • Embodied pedagogies
  • First Nations education
  • Systematic literature review

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