Richard Plunkett - University of British Columbia
The act of teaching is an improvisational activity. This holds true regardless of pedagogy. TBL facilitators encounter uncertainty, complexity, and change in their daily teaching activities. Like jazz musicians, they need to improvise, managing a tension between the structure imposed by the learning objectives and the freedom necessary to meet learners where they are. This workshop will draw upon traditions of jazz education to help facilitators explore their voice, an important developmental task in improvisation. Voice incorporates facilitation skills into one's own style, conveying authenticity and fueling synergy and harmony in human relationships. Teachers who have developed an authentic voice are more likely to create memorable experiences in the classroom, and to reach learners and help them navigate the difficulties of learning new material. These skills will benefit instructors teaching in any discipline, at any level, and with diverse student groups.