On Monday, we were appreciated the difference between a straight lecture about a collection of still life paintings from the 19th century and a participant-driven conversation concerning a sculpture from the Great Depression. Much of what we've heard so far has merely confirmed what we, as experienced educators, already understand. Our methods in the classroom are a consistent attempt to engage our students, and we avoid lecturing whenever possible.
The richest part of our Monday involved methods developed at the Kennedy Center. Our afternoon was spent learning strategies for using improvisation and theater games to explicitly address classroom discipline. Sean Layne of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts developed the program.
Sean Layne has taken the foundational elements of acting such as concentration, cooperation, and collaboration and created a structured process, which can become the basis for effective classroom management every day. This engaging step-by-step approach empowers students to take ownership of and be responsible for their own behavior. In this workshop, teachers learn how to help students build the skills necessary to establish a sense of self-control, accountability, and teambuilding in their classroom.
Another part of our Monday training included having groups of students create tableaus - a technique of teaching that allows students to use their imaginations and collaborative skills to respond to a wide array of curricular needs.
Led by Sean Layne, drama educator, this course begins teachers’ journey with tableau, a creative, controlled, low-risk drama technique. Tableau helps students apply and expand their knowledge and understanding in subjects across the curriculum by asking them to take on the roles of people or objects to create living pictures.