We have an increasing body of research that illustrates the value of an arts-rich education and the benefits of using rehearsal room approaches to teaching Shakespeare with students of all ages and abilities.

Studies and reports

The Work of RSC Education in the first year of the Associate Schools Programme (Lindsay, Winston, Franks, and Lees: 2018)

This report, commissioned by RSC Education, is on research conducted by CEDAR and the Centre for Education Studies (CES) at the University of Warwick, focusing on schools involved in its Associate Schools Programme (ASP). In its first year, the ASP replaced RSC Education’s Learning and Performance Network (LPN) that operated for 10 years between 2006 and 2016. This report is based on questionnaire survey responses from 99 teachers engaged with the ASP: 48% from lead associate schools and 52% from associate or cluster schools. Follow up interviews were undertaken with teachers and students in six selected schools which had experience of working with the RSC through the ASP and LPN. In addition, researchers drew upon a limited amount of observation of Shakespeare lessons. 

Read the report (PDF)

Time to Listen (2018)

In the most comprehensive research study of its kind, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tate and the University of Nottingham examined the benefits of taking arts and education seriously. Funded by Arts Council England, and conducted in secondary and special schools in England, the TALE (Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement) study analysed 6,000 responses from young people aged 14–18, tracking students and 63 teachers over three years. The depth and breadth of the research gives significant new insights into the positive difference that sustained engagement with arts and cultural education has on the lives of young people through their own voices. 

More about Time to Listen 

Ten Years of Transforming Experiences of Shakespeare Through the Learning and Performance Network (2016)

The booklet was produced alongside our Whose Culture? symposium in July 2016 to celebrate 10 years of the Learning and Performance Network. It maps its journey from initial launch in 2006 as a fledgling programme to 2016. It charts each year of the LPN’s growth and development, highlighting the specific changes internally (for the RSC, schools and Regional Theatre Partners) as well as externally (in terms of policy and funding changes) that the evolution of the programme has responded to. It also describes the expected and unexpected outcomes of the programme for teachers, children and young people wider communities, and partners, including schools and theatres. 

Read the report (PDF)

Whose Culture? (2015)

A transcript of a presentation given by Jacqui O'Hanlon, RSC Director of Learning and National Partnerships, at the No Boundaries symposium on the role of arts and culture. The presentation discussed the importance of first encounters with Shakespeare, the key factors that have shaped RSC education strategy, challenges to its implementation, and how those experiences might inform our approach to securing the very best cultural education for all young people. 

Read the report (PDF)

Worlds Together (2012)

In September 2012, Worlds Together, an international education conference for the World Shakespeare Festival, brought together presentations from practitioners and educators from around the world in a two-hour symposium. Abstracts of the presentations can be found in this symposium booklet. 

Read the Worlds Together booklet (PDF)

Would you risk it for Shakespeare? A case study of using active approaches in the English classroom (Irish: 2011)

An article from English in Education (NATE journal) exploring the pros and cons of teaching Shakespeare on your feet. Drawing on the experience of teachers in the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network, and considering the issues facing teachers around space, commitment, time, and confidence, the article evidences the benefit of engaging actively with Shakespeare’s texts to produce high quality work.

Read the case study (PDF)

History of the Teaching of Shakespeare in England (Irish: 2008)

As background to the Royal Shakespeare Company's Stand up for Shakespeare campaign, this report examines the changing opinions and policy in teaching Shakespeare over the last 100 years. 

Read the report (PDF)

Other Research Into our Work

Winston, J. (2015) Transforming the teaching of Shakespeare with the Royal Shakespeare Company, London, Bloomsbury.

Winston, J. (2013) "Play is the thing!": Shakespeare, Language Play and Drama Pedagogy in the Early Years. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 47 (2): 1–15.

Neelands, J., and O’Hanlon, J. (2011) ‘There is some soul of good: an action centred approach to teaching Shakespeare in schools’. In: Holland, Peter, (ed.) Shakespeare survey. 64, Shakespeare as Cultural Catalyst. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Galloway, S. and Strand, S. (2010) Creating a Community of Practice: Final Report to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Learning and Performance Network, Warwick, CEDAR.

Thomson, P., Hall, C., Thomas, D., Jones, K. and Franks, A. (2010) A study of the Learning and Performance Network, an education programme of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Newcastle, Creativity, Culture and Education.

Neelands, J., Galloway, S. and Lindsay. G. (2009) An evaluation of Stand up for Shakespeare, The Royal Shakespeare Company Learning & Performance Network 2006-­2009, Research for the Training and Development Agency for Schools, CEDAR, University of Warwick.

You may also like