How the world teaches Shakespeare

Where, how and why is Shakespeare taught around the world?

In 2010, we sent out a survey through British Council offices to begin our exploration. The responses we received suggested that as many as half the world's school-children are encountering Shakespeare as part of their curriculum. It's unlikely that any other artist comes close to this. So why does and why should Shakespeare feature on school curricula in so many different cultures?

As part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012, The World Shakespeare Festival (WSF) celebrated Shakespeare as the world's playwright. As well as welcoming Shakespeare artists to the UK, WSF provided an opportunity to begin to explore Shakespeare's place in the lives of young people around the world.

Find out about our explorations into how the world teaches Shakespeare through the following:

  • Survey results - Teaching Shakespeare around the world
    Read more of the findings from the initial survey.
  • Shakespeare: A Worldwide Classroom
    Further research for the World Shakespeare Festival focused on seven countries: Brazil, Czech Republic, Hong Kong China, India, Oman, South Africa and USA. Read more about the project and young people's experiences of Shakespeare in these countries.
  • Worlds Together
    This international education conference, held in London in September 2012, was the culmination of our explorations for the World Shakespeare Festival. Find out more about the conference, the ideas and practice shared from around the world, download information and listen to audio.
  • International Youth Ensemble
    Learn about the journey taken by 19 young people from the seven countries in Shakespeare: A Worldwide Classroom, who came together during the Worlds Together conference to create a performance of King Lear.
  • Teaching Shakespeare
    Our ground-breaking collaboration with the University of Warwick - online professional development for teachers, accessible anywhere in the world. Use the resources individually or with a site licence for your school, or work towards a postgraduate qualification.
  • Shakespeare in education Wiki summary
    Read a summary report of the information uploaded to our 'Shakespeare Wiki' during the World Shakespeare Festival about where, how and why Shakespeare is taught around the world. [coming soon]
  • Pathways to Shakespeare
    Read some of the recollections of RSC actors and staff about their early experiences of Shakespeare growing up in different countries.
  • Tracy's travel blogs
    Tracy, our WSF practitioner, shares her experiences of visiting the seven countries for Shakespeare: A Worldwide Classroom. [coming soon]
  • Stand up for Shakespeare - America
    We have a long standing collaboration with The Ohio State University. Find out more and read some of the research examining active approaches to Shakespeare by teachers and artists in Ohio. [coming soon]

If you would like to know more about our international work or tell us about yours, email:

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