What Instructors Can Learn From Improv & Why EVERY School Needs Comedy

We have been offering improv shows, workshops, and residencies to NYC area schools (DOE VENDORS) since 2003. Professional Development workshops too!

In an article for Chronicle for Higher Learning, Beckie Supiano talks to Keith Sawyer, a professor of education at the U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cultivating students’ creativity, experts say, shouldn’t be seen as an optional add-on to the college experience. Ultimately, it’s about how students are taught in every discipline…  Sawyer argues, instructors must shift away from “instructionism,” in which students absorb information and parrot it back to professors, to a mode he calls “guided improvisation,” in which instructors provide just enough support to students as they tackle open-ended problems. That approach requires educators “to be in a mind-set where you’re open and receptive and listening to each of the students,” Sawyer says. That allows instructors to “respond in the moment, in an improvisational way.” Guided improvisation, Sawyer writes, helps students develop what he calls “creative knowledge” of a subject — the kind of deep understanding that allows them to remember and transfer what they have learned, and use it to make something new.

ONLINE CLASSES

We are very excited to move to a subscription style service for online classes to maximize the value to our students and their parents. Get unlimited access to FOUR WEEKS of classes for just $125. Select the date/time of the first class you wish to attend. See below for current class offerings. Not ready to commit? You can sign up for ONE class for $25. FOUR classes for $75. ZOOM links sent after registration.

  • Stand-Up Comedy by Walt Fraser is a text book for comics and teachers looking to bring fun creative writing sections into the classroom.
  • Improv on Zoom by Walt Frasier is a list of games with tips and tricks to play online as well as Improv technique and wisdom.
  • Both books are now available via Kindle and Paperback on Amazon. Coming soon to Audible
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