Thursday, May 18, 2006

Teachers as Actors.

Taken from:
Tauber, T. Robert, & Mester, Sargent Cathy (1994) Acting Lessons for Teachers: Using Performance Skills in the Classroom, Praeger Publishers: USA

Things that a teacher should look at before presenting to a classroom:

1) Teacher showing ENTHUSIASM for teaching.

2) Hanning (1984) states "teachers have to develop a "teacher-self" when they start out".
To do that, they need to have the right tools in their toolbox, or props, being:

It is important that teacher master their subject matter because, " You may be able to fool some some of the people all the time, & all of the people some of the time".

3) Animation: Body
Summary: Use body animation to emphasize/ articulate a point that the teacher is trying to make.
-Teachers can use eye contact with a student whose interest in wavering.
-p.37, Typically, listeners typically put more faith in a speaker's nonverbal message than the verbal.
- teachers should not begin to walk (other than to write on the board) while a student is talking (Fisch 1991), being that the problem is that other listeners in the room will be attracted to the person in motion instead of to the person speaking.(Upstaging), including coin jingling, & pacing. That will not annoy not just the student who is trying to speak, but all of his/her friends in the room as well.

4) Animation: Voice
"It is not enough to know what to say, but it is necessary to know how to say it."Aristotle.

It is not how loud a person speaks, but how firmly the teacher speaks.
-Anderson (1977) states that a reasonably strong voice is thought to be confident, self-assured, and in control, being useful to the beginning teacher.

- Rate: p.46, teacher pause time, and "teacher wait time" allows the teacher to control the mood of the class. (Tobin, 1986), teacher speaking at a moderate pace (Grobe et al. 1973).

Expressive Voice --> Speaker Credibility --> Listener Comprehension.

p.48, Voices can contribute to the ability to maintain discipline, as it is a barometer of emotions.

5) Classroom: Space

"People like to be close enough to obtain warmth & comradeship, but far enough away to avoid pricking one another" -Sommer.

p. 60, in the theater, directors CONSCIOUSLY apply principles of proxemics (the study of interpersonal space) to determine the best placement for each of the characters within a space, to help the audience to understand the playwright's point in the scene.

The effective teacher should place themselves in such a way to:
a) establish the desired relationship btw teacher & students
b) provide emphasis for the most important ideas of the lesson;
c) maintain the students' attention.

p.55, Having a student in the teacher's direct line of sight would influence their responsiveness,affected by the classroom seating arrangements, which the teacher could be able to block their position within the confines of the scenery in order to enhance student attention, which can be done prior to the class, by carefully taking into thought the nature & substance of the material to be presented & both the limitations & creative possibilities afforded by the classroom space.

- p.58, If the teacher notes that the students seem reluctant to share ideas, a change in space relationship may be need, where a moving to sit at eye level with students may initiate a change in the power relationship.

6) Humour:

A safe way of incorporating humour, is using "curriculum cartoons" that talks something about the subject being studied (think about Fogarty during Early Childhood Professional lectures), which may help students learn the revelance of concepts, "facilitate the learning of definitions & symbols, & promoting insights into difficult concepts" p.69. (Powell & Anderson 1985, p.87)

7) Role-Playing:
Wearing the appropriate attire so that you as the teacher can feel & "get into character".
Role playing also allows the teacher by pretending to be another character, the teacher (p.80) "has created a situation in which students seem to feel freer to challenge & question ideas presented (Duncombe & Heikkinen, 1988). However, it should be a strategy to be used somewhat rarely for special emphasis & impact.

-The teacher must be well prepared, choosing and researching an appropriate character to portray, deciding whether to imitate the character (in full costume, props & staging) or suggest the character, and know what kind of dialogue to construct.

8) Props
an example of a prop, p.93, Reading from a book adds a dimension of reality; reading from one's notes is a step further removed from reality.

- Always test run your props, and carefully think about the ways to present it, as it can "make or break the lesson" p.93.

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