HomeLEAPS: Miriam College Faculty Research Journalvol. 31 no. 1 (2009)

Theater Education and Child Development: An Exploratory Study

Noel O. Mcrae | Lynda C. Garcia | Jesus Enrique G. Saplala

Discipline: Performing Arts, Child Development



Two groups of thirty kindergarten pupils from the Child Study Center (CSC) of Miriam College who appeared in the annual musical play “Ang Hiwaga ng Carousel”, which was performed in March 2008, were chosen to participate in this study.


There were thirty major and thirty minor role players who participated. The first and fourth quarter assessments of both groups for the five traits (1) social interaction (2) cooperation, (3) following directions and attending to various tasks, (4) language arts and (5) self expression.


For quantitative analysis, five two-way ANOVAs revealed significant differences between quarter grades (first and fourth) for four of the five traits and role for social interaction.


In summary, the pupils significantly improved their scores from first quarter to the fourth quarter along all the indicators of learning except for self expression where they were already doing so well. For self expression the first quarter scores were already at a high of 4.4 to begin with.


For the qualitative data, various CSC administrators, teacher-directors, and parents, as well as experts in Children’s Theater, were interviewed and their narratives were examined to discover themes. The results of the qualitative data analysis consistently indicated several themes-increased self esteem and confidence, improved memory, cooperation, and responsibility, better ability to express ideas.