Proposal Title

Psst . . . the Best Classes Are the Ones You Didn’t Prepare for Improvisation as Education

Presentation Type

Regular Presentation

Location

OM 3782

Start Date

19-2-2019 11:20 AM

End Date

19-2-2019 12:00 PM

Proposal Abstract

This paper views learning not as the acquisition of information, but as the development of an active problem-solving power as the basis of learning. To do so, it investigates an area seldom discussed: improvisation, improvisation in a classroom setting, with improvisation as a method of learning. It goes without saying that learning does include the acquisition of information, too, but we are in period where students acquire information by tapping keys and looking at screens, not by remembering things or needing to remember things. A culture, in other words, of the instant and on-call. No waits, total finger-touch control. But gradually the impact of this culture is becoming clear. For example, the need to know things changes when information is instant and at command. But the ability to understand information, the ability to analyze and apply it, to distinguish between important and less important, between what matters and what is a detail, is weakened. The ability to understand does not match the mammoth availability of information. In this situation, education is increasingly dominated by an obsession with predictability and control, instead of what students really need, which is the power to handle situations as they arise: the ability to problem solve, in short.

Statement

In this paper, I share my own experience with improvisation in the classroom, my own “adventures in teaching,” the times when losing control makes learning really possible. This loss of control, the development of improvisation, reverses the obsession with control so dominant in society. To do so requires, therefore, the inspiration of Paulo Freire and the tradition of critical analysis of society which is the backdrop of this paper.

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Feb 19th, 11:20 AM Feb 19th, 12:00 PM

Psst . . . the Best Classes Are the Ones You Didn’t Prepare for Improvisation as Education

OM 3782

This paper views learning not as the acquisition of information, but as the development of an active problem-solving power as the basis of learning. To do so, it investigates an area seldom discussed: improvisation, improvisation in a classroom setting, with improvisation as a method of learning. It goes without saying that learning does include the acquisition of information, too, but we are in period where students acquire information by tapping keys and looking at screens, not by remembering things or needing to remember things. A culture, in other words, of the instant and on-call. No waits, total finger-touch control. But gradually the impact of this culture is becoming clear. For example, the need to know things changes when information is instant and at command. But the ability to understand information, the ability to analyze and apply it, to distinguish between important and less important, between what matters and what is a detail, is weakened. The ability to understand does not match the mammoth availability of information. In this situation, education is increasingly dominated by an obsession with predictability and control, instead of what students really need, which is the power to handle situations as they arise: the ability to problem solve, in short.