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Session C9

7th Annual CNM Conference on Teaching and Learning

Presence, Listening, Working Together, and Self-Efficacy:  Using Improv Play in the Classroom

Patricia Gillikin (English, Writing Center, UNM Valencia); Elaine W. Clark (Math, Engineering, Computer Science, Division Chair,  UNM Valencia)

Ocotillo II, 2:00-3:15

In this session, two faculty from UNM-Valencia will demonstrate that improv teaches how to be present, how to listen, how to be fearless, how to be ready for anything, and how to accept what someone else brings while at the same time contributing from oneself—also known as “yes/and.”   One presenter will focus on the usefulness of this approach to fostering self-efficacy in math students, the other to its benefits for English and tutor training.

Attendees will first experience several improv warm-up games.  These promote attentive response and clear giving of information—relationship and collaboration.  Then, attendees will see and experience how improv practices can be used in role-play scenarios.  Improv games and role-play can be useful in the classroom—as ice-breakers, as community-builders, and as ways to practice brainstorming and letting go of judgment.  In fact, as participants in this session will experience, the frame of mind that improv play cultivates is remarkably similar to what freewriting does for writers. 

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