Life is Improv, why don’t we teach it?

Last night my daughter transformed a rolled up oven sheet into a broomstick. I said “yes”, rolled up another sheet and went on a short ride through the skies with her. Today that sheet could be a magic carpet, a fan or something I could never dream of concocting.

I am hoping that in two years when she starts school there will be space for this re-imagining. I can’t imagine that it is easy for any teacher to keep 30 spinning plates that are inquisitive young minds going at once. That is multitasking on another level. But having some spin on some plates at some points might be possible.

There is science behind teaching. Pedagogy informs our teacher trainers of what has worked and what no longer works. Improv is a relatively new kid on the block in terms of teacher aids. Papers on the topic don’t stretch back beyond 20 years. Drama of course has been proven as a learning tool. Improv still seems shrouded in mystery and cynicism.

Surely though, in a society where we need quick thinkers, people who will question the status quo, innovators, team players and good communicators, we should teach improv? Improv provides a quick and easy forum to maintain that young inquisitive mind that re-imagines a boring old kitchen object. In addition to teaching the young bloods at Universities, as it the case in many colleges in the US, surely it is an easier task to preserve the curious and unconstrained young minds that start school already creative. Just a thought……

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