Improvisation in the Lecture Classroom
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Improvisation in the Lecture Classroom

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Slideshow to accompany Christopher J Smith presentation on "Improvisation in the Lecture Classroom", Texas Tech University Musicology Colloquium series, Feb 4 2010.

Slideshow to accompany Christopher J Smith presentation on "Improvisation in the Lecture Classroom", Texas Tech University Musicology Colloquium series, Feb 4 2010.

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  • hence, improvisation is an absolutely ubiquitous, essential, fundamental for human interaction
  • What is it not: “intuitive”; “instinctive”; “a talent”; “innate”
  • Conventional definitions of “improvisation” tend to reference theatrical or musical improvisation, yet every conversation is actually an improvisation; hence, we all have thousands of hours of practice at this
  • not a linear progression or narrative, but rather the mutual, collaborative mapping of a terrain: recognizing its landmarks and their relationship to one another, demonstrating connections and orientations, providing students the opportunity to practice mapping and navigating that terrain
  • The outdoor sport of orienteering: “a family of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain”
  • almost all improvisation occurs within strictures and according to received/internalized expectations. In improvisation, strictures and expectations are useful guides.
  • In the classroom, the goal of improvisation is to achieve maximal focus of shared attention, and to clearly and in an energized fashion direct that shared focus, maintaining contrast & flow, attention and open-ness
  • In the classroom, the goal of improvisation is to achieve maximal focus of shared attention, and to clearly and in an energized fashion direct that shared focus, maintaining contrast & flow, attention and open-ness
  • Undergrad non-majors (large populations)Undergrad majors (medium populations)Graduate students (small populations)
  • Contrasting:largemediumsmall
  • addressing multiple modesminimizing text information; conceiving text at “visual prompt”
  • focus & attentionthe “present moment”detailwide-angle” & “zoomed-in” perspectivesconsciousness: shape/space/stance/breath/time/energy
  • promptsmnemonicstimelineskeywordschecklistsverbal formulaevocabularyphysical cuesweaning from the linear narrative
  • rhetoricmodelsverbal poetrycomedytheaterpresentation techniqueother communicative forms
  • CritiqueExperimentDrillSynthesisRefinementRepetition
  • introduce topic“student” good and bad responses“lecturer” call-and-response w/ adjectival & connotative choices

Improvisation in the Lecture Classroom Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Traversing the terrain: Developing a personal approach to classroom improvisation
  • 2. Disclaimer:
  • 3. Improvisation is:
    “the spontaneous selection and combination of pieces of information to create a unique and effective communication”
  • 4. What it’s not
  • 5. The widest definition
  • 6. Model: A map of the terrain
  • 7. Orienteering:
    “a family of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain”
  • 8. Recognition: strictures & expectations
  • 9. Goal: focus, flow, attention, energy
  • 10. Ethos: the zone
  • 11. venues and clienteles
  • 12. scope and amplitude
  • 13. Learning styles
  • 14. Needs:
    • focus & attention
    • 15. the “present moment”
    • 16. detail
    • 17. wide-angle” & “zoomed-in” perspectives
    • 18. consciousness:
    shape/space/stance/breath/time/energy
  • 19. Tools:
    • prompts
    • 20. mnemonics
    • 21. timelines
    • 22. keywords
    • 23. checklists
    • 24. verbal formulae
    • 25. vocabulary
    • 26. physical cues
    • 27. weaning from the linear narrative
  • Sources:
    • rhetoric
    • 28. models
    • 29. verbal poetry
    • 30. comedy
    • 31. theater
    • 32. presentation technique
    • 33. other communicative forms
  • Examples/exercises
  • 34. A Formula
    • Critique
    • 35. Experiment
    • 36. Drill
    • 37. Synthesis
    • 38. Refinement
    • 39. Repetition
  • I. Mapping exercise
    word-association
    movement
    graphic representation
  • 40. II. Connotative exercise
    topic
    “student” responses
    adjectival & connotative call-and-response
  • 41. Disclaimer:
    Find your OWN way.