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What a performance! recognising performing arts skills in the delivery of lectures in higher education

What a performance! recognising performing arts skills in the delivery of lectures in higher education

Street, Paul (2006) What a performance! recognising performing arts skills in the delivery of lectures in higher education. EdD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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This thesis has investigated the notion that lecturing has similarities to acting and in doing so has empirically tested the work of Tauber and Mester (1994). Their model proposes that if teachers use the elements of acting, animated voice and body, space, humour, suspense and surprise, props and role play, within a class, they will promote student interest, attention and positive attitudes towards learning. This study aims to investigate this model against the backdrop of higher education in one School of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom, as opposed to the North American education system in which it was developed.

Results from this two-phase mixed method study with 81 lecturers and 62 students, suggested that students in a lecture could identify if the lecturer was enthusiastic, confident or not confident via the verbal and non-verbal cues he/she presented. It was also clear that lecturers were not seen to be credible unless they were able to appear knowledgeable about their subject area and had the skills to communicate that knowledge when delivering a lecture. Both lecturers and students showed high levels of agreement with Tauber and Mester's (1994) model suggesting that elements of acting do enhance both the lecturer's ability to deliver a lecture in a confident manner and the effectiveness of the lecturer.

Conclusions indicated that these lecturers assumed a persona when lecturing, which was different from that displayed in other parts of their professional life. This occurred, particularly, but not exclusively, when they were nervous. The data concluded that these lecturers went through a process of assuming and maintaining this persona before and during a lecture using the elements of acting proposed by Tauber and Mester (1994). This thesis offers a development of Tauber and Mester's (1994) work that integrates this process of persona adoption into the model's elements of acting. This study demonstrates the value of utilising acting skills to increase the ability of new or under-confident lecturers to deliver lectures to large groups of students. In the current climate of consumerisation in education when the performance of lecturers is not only measured by pass rates but also by student evaluations, the findings of this study have significance for both lecturers and universities.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: communication in education, acting, studying and teaching, teaching style, performing arts,
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
School of Health & Social Care
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:16

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