3S members Gill Seyfang and Helen Pallett took to the stage recently for UEA’s annual Learning and Teaching Day (5th May 2016), to demonstrate Comedy in the Classroom, an exciting new teaching method which is growing and catching on across UEA and further afield.
In an interdisciplinary School of Environmental Sciences, students who are more used to dealing with ‘facts’ than ‘theories’ often struggle to get to grips with competing perspectives on society and the environment. This session showcased our award-winning innovative teaching methods for enhancing student ngagement and effective learning. ‘Theoretical Theatre’ is a semi-improvised performance pedagogy with wide applicability across the curriculum
The keynote performance was ‘Swipe Right for Sustainability’, a scenario which sees lecturers take on the roles of two opposing approaches to sustainable development (green growth and degrowth, or weak and strong sustainability). The characters are matched on a green dating website and we follow them on their first date – they seem to have so much in common, what could possibly go wrong?
Gill Seyfang followed this with a keynote talk which focused on the pedagogical rationale for this new approach to teaching, the benefits and limitations of what we’ve achieved, and then went on to suggest some easy ways that other academics could adapt aspects of the method in their own teaching. The talk generated very positive feedback in particular for the hands-on experience of generating characters and interacting with each other – no drama experience necessary!
View the keynote performance and talk here: www.comedyintheclassroom.org