Remember when learning was fun? Engagement is essential to teach anyone anything, but it is often forgotten in a classroom. “Robert Duvall Taught Me How to Read” models the use of storytelling, theatre techniques and an interrogative approach to reading to engage students and promote critical thinking.
Many of our classrooms are stale: students play on their phones, daydream or talk. More often than not, students are disruptive because they are not engaged. When they are not engaged, they will not learn no matter how well the teacher thinks he has taught the material.
Many of the countries in this region embrace a “memorize-and-repeat” approach to education. As a result, students cannot apply what they know to new problem sets, problem solve in an unfamiliar context, or critically think to build sound arguments.
People are hardwired for storytelling: stories put us to bed, teach us about morality, comfort us or pique our curiosity. Harnessing the power of narratives in teaching grammar engages students viscerally because they are “inside learning”. They become part of the story being told. Grammatical structures become language students can use because the structures are grounded in a story students have just lived.
Interrogating a narrative out loud in a group setting promotes critical thinking skills, deepens student engagement with a text and exercises communicative skills. It may also help students like reading.
This workshop is for anyone who wants new approaches to making a dead classroom come alive and fostering students’ critical thinking skills.