When I sit down to see a movie or play, I slouch in my seat waiting to be entertained. I’ve become a critic at best by analyzing acts, second-guessing performances, and judging the proper use of lines or voice for most effect. At the movies, I might even comment on camera angles, acting skill, or a scene’s usefulness.
When I’m sitting in a classroom, lecture, training, and the like, I may not slouch but I’m still an observer. Watching powerpoints, handouts, effective use of time, and key points explaining why-we-are-here-in-the-first- place. There’s nothing that triggers my mind to see an educational classroom differently from a performance theater.
Should this be the case? Should classroom and theater be treated as equal?
Despite a clear answer, we see teachers, speakers, educators, professors, even a student lecturing for the day, feel compelled to entertain us instead of educate. Maybe that explains “icebreakers?” These mostly pointless activities to keep us interested yet having nothing to do with the overall objective.
What these classroom ‘entertainers’ might consider is to do away with the performance bit. Instead of finding ways to entertain, they should disclose what’s behind the scenes…even share the script…giving their audience speaking lines too. Imagine if I went to a movie where I was an actor. Wouldn’t I call it “my movie” and would invite all who knows me to come and gaze at the screen. I might even sell “authorized” dvds! The point is that I’m not a distant observer anymore but an active participant and promoter of the film.
What if educational settings were directed in such a way? Where the students and learners have essential parts to play. Both practitioner and learner would have necessary roles— not for entertainment, but for learning shared by all