Teaching as the Art of Staging: A Scenario-Based College Pedagogy in Action

Teaching as the Art of Staging: A Scenario-Based College Pedagogy in Action

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Overview

College teachers all too often still play Sage on the Stage – lecturing to rooms full of passive and supposedly absorbed students. The cutting-edge opposite is still supposed to be the Guide on the Side – facilitating wherever students themselves are already going, mentoring and coaching them along the way. But who says that these are the only – or the best – alternatives? This book advances another and sharply different model: the Impresario with a Scenario, a teacher who serves as class mobilizer, improviser, and energizer, staging dramatic, often unexpected and self-unfolding learning challenges and adventures with students.

In this book, the author argues that to pose a single alternative to lecturing is profoundly limiting. In fact, he says there is no reason to have to choose between “student-centered” and “teacher-centered” pedagogies. The best ways to teach and learn are both. The same applies to the false choice between “active” students and “active” teachers – there can be more than enough activity for everyone. In particular, the author argues that we need a model in which the teacher is notably pro-active – a kind of activity for which certain theatrical metaphors seem especially appropriate.

Picture a college teacher who regularly sets up classroom scenarios – challenging problems, unscripted dramas, role-plays, simulations, and the like – such that the scenario itself frames and drives most of the action and learning that follows. For teaching as staging, the primary work of the teacher is staging such scenarios. The basic goal is to put students into an urgently engaging and self-unfolding scenario, trusting them to carry it forward, while being prepared to join in as needed.

This book offers a conceptual and practical framework for Teaching as Staging, grounding the approach with illustrative and sometimes provocative narrative from the literature as well as the author’s own practice.

Teaching as the Art of Staging offers a visionary challenge to the prevailing models of pedagogy. The book presents a thoroughly practical model that opens up new possibilities for anyone interested in dramatic new directions in teaching and learning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620365205
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 12/30/2018
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Anthony Weston is a professor of philosophy and environmental studies at Elon University.

Peter Felten is Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and Professor of History at Elon University. His publications include: Transforming Students: Fulfilling the Promise of Higher Education (Johns Hopkins, 2014), and Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2014).

Table of Contents

Foreword—Peter Felten
On Becoming an Impresario: A Personal Preface

1) A Different Kind of Teaching
2) Neither Sage nor Guide
3) Scenarios
4) Impresarios
5) Dimensions and Families of Scenarios
6) Daily Scenarios from my Classes
7) Adventures in Role-Playing
8) Whole-Course Scenarios
9) Under the Open Skies

References
Index

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