Acting Lessons for Teachers: Using Performance Skills in the Classroom

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 - Education - 224 pages

Acting Lessons for Teachers presents a solid theoretical foundation for the pedagogical benefits of enthusiastic teaching. Simply put, students are more engaged, misbehave less, and learn better from teachers who teach enthusiastically. A teacher's enthusiasm for his or her subject matter can be contagious. Since the dynamic of the classroom is similar to that of the stage in terms of speaker-listener relationships, the acting craft offers teachers a model for the skills and strategies that could be incorporated in their work to convey more enthusiasm for the material and for the students.

This book presents concrete descriptions of the specific acting strategies that would benefit the teacher: physical and vocal animation, teacher role-playing, strategic entrances and exits, humor, props, suspense and surprise, and creative use of space. Special attention is given to the potential advantage of instructional technology as a modern-day prop. Strategies are explained in terms of their importance and ease of incorporation into the classroom. Each is proposed as a skill that can be learned by any teachers who have the desire to enliven their teaching. Student descriptions of their own experience with teachers' use of acting strategies add real examples for each lesson. Finally, testimony of award-winning classroom teachers from a variety of disciplines and age levels provides evidence of the wide and easy applicability of these strategies.

 

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Contents

A Pedagogical Necessity
3
A Craftspersons Toolbox
13
Educational Foundations for Teachers as Actors
25
Animation in Body
35
Animation in Voice
45
Classroom Space
55
Humor
67
RolePlaying
83
Suspense and Surprise
117
Making a Dramatic Entrance and Exit
129
Behind the Scenes Loosening Up and Preparing
139
Just before Class Begins
145
A Conversation with Friends
163
Conclusion
177
Education Resources
183
References 209
210

Props
95
Technology Props
107

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About the author (2007)

Robert T. Tauber is Professor Emeritus, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Penn State-Erie, The Behrend College. He has taught and counseled in K-12, and has taught at the university level for 35 years. While at Behrend College he taught a variety of education courses, supervised students on field experience, and served as Dean's Representative for the College of Education. After retiring from Penn State University as Professor Emeritus, Dr. Tauber continues to teach graduate courses as an Adjunct Professor at Gannon University, Erie, PA, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. He is well published, both nationally and internationally, and has served two sabbaticals, one at Durham University (UK) and one at the University of Melbourne (Australia).

Cathy Sargent Mester is Senior Lecturer in Communication, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Penn State-Erie, The Behrend College. Cathy Sargent Mester is a 35-year member of the faculty in Communication and Media Studies at Penn State-Erie where she also currently serves as Program Chair. She has created a specialized course in instructional communication for pre-service teachers and frequently leads workshops for inservice teachers as well as business and community leaders. Co-author of three books and numerous conference papers and articles, Mester has taught at all grade levels, served as a school board president, a faculty organization president and is listed in Who's Who Among American Teachers.

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