Education

TEACHERS ON THE TIGHTROPE

December 15, 2006 1 min read

Mr. Lawrence overheard this surprisingly insightful comment while getting his morning coffee: “Good teaching is one-third basic instruction and two-thirds theater.” And that got him thinking:

A lot of people can be patient and explain a concept, but to make it "sink in" I'm starting to believe the "theater" part is the key—you need to "dress up" stale old concepts with flair to gain attention (and for the Playstation Generation, attention is constantly waning).
The trouble is, there's a fine line to it, too: recall that a major part of early theater were jesters, and the risk of looking like a fool (sometimes referred to disdainfully as the "cool teacher" or "just like the kids") is tricky.

So maybe there’s a balancing act good teachers should master, treading the line between effectively creative and ridiculous. What do you think? Does “theater” have any role in your classroom? Do students learn better when concepts are presented with flair?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.