The Body as Performative Mode: "Teaching Performance"

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The Body as Performative Mode: "Teaching Performance"

  1. 1. “ Teaching Performance”: Investigating the Body Language that Teaches A Multimodal Project by HANNAH RULE
  2. 2. Some inspiration for this project—how the body delivers meaning Experiences in the classroom, observing a professor <ul><li>This instructor was very adamant in delivering her readings of the text at hand; she was forceful and told us what she thought. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some inspiration for this project—how the body delivers meaning Experiences in the classroom, observing a professor <ul><li>This instructor was constantly trying to draw connections— between our comments, the text at hand, and her knowledge </li></ul>
  4. 4. How the body delivers or undercuts “authority” I had a mentor tell me that my constant use of “right?” made it seem like I was asking the class for validation, making it as though they knew more than me. It cracked my authority veneer—a veneer (still according to this “mentor”) that was already undercut by my being a “young and female. ” Especially for young teachers, the body is a significant surface of expressing who we are in the classroom. <ul><li>“ Right?” </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Project <ul><li>I recorded myself in the classroom for two 50-min. sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzed the resulting tape and isolated meaningful stills </li></ul><ul><li>Original goal: to see what I could see; make the teaching body—which is transparent in experience—visible and available for interpretation </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Project—Guiding Questions <ul><li>How does the teaching body make meaning? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the teaching body aid in or undermine the delivery of information and ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>How does body reinforce or undermine the projection of “teacher authority”? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Hands deliver language — hands play a big role in my classroom communication: bring focus, push an idea across, illustrate sequences/order
  8. 8. Enact instructions and lessons: Very procedural and often narrate instructions; act out the situation, hand language emphasized by technology <ul><li>Using the Student Guide to write an abstract </li></ul><ul><li>In a lesson about in-text citations’ relationship to the Works Cited entries </li></ul>
  9. 9. Illustrate/reinforce concepts through gestures Trying to show how writing an abstract makes us think in terms of the big picture of our writing/project goals
  10. 10. Soliciting response Encouraging student response; my body becomes bendy, exaggerated, humorous <ul><li>My body is exaggerated here; breaks tension/silence </li></ul><ul><li>I pretend I can’t hear them when only one answers meekly </li></ul><ul><li>Body demands response here </li></ul>
  11. 11. Teaching Persona vs. OBSERVED BODY <ul><li>I THOUGHT I WAS ENCOURAGING OF STUDENT PARTICIPATION —made it a one-to-one conversation by taking in student response and saying a lot about it, gestures go towards the student, not the class </li></ul><ul><li>I THOUGHT I WAS FUNNY— when I make jokes my voice trails off, can’t hear anything or anyone on the tape </li></ul><ul><li>I THOUGHT I ENGAGED THE STUDENTS, THAT I WAS A COMMANDING PRESENSE —make little eye contact and move, a lot. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Teaching Performance? Some Final Observations and Questions <ul><li>Looked like a teacher! Not the feeling I get when I’m “up there” </li></ul><ul><li>I pace, A LOT—is this being open to students across the room, or a nervous habit? </li></ul><ul><li>I do indeed say, “right?” a lot. Now I have added “ok?” When I do this, I noticed that I often gesture out to the class—does this provide another way to read this verbal tick? </li></ul><ul><li>I disseminated information much more than I thought I did—in other words, I’m at center stage a lot </li></ul>
  13. 13. Teaching Performance? Some Final Observations and Questions Making the teaching body visible—invaluable Risk—vulnerability involved offering the body, voice, image as text Multimodality—body as “communicative technology”

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