Proposal Title

Helping Students Embody Multiple Perspectives through Theatrical Performance

Proposal Abstract

Students often demonstrate difficulty managing the inherent tensions involved in holding multiple and often contradictory perspectives. It is imperative that social work students learn how to function within the dominant paradigm of mental health and mental illness—a psychiatric medical model point of view—and question that paradigm. Social work classes in psychopathology can become polarized between those who want to “hang a shingle” and those who want to change the world leaving students unable to fully master what they need to know.

Theatrical performance in the form of games, scene work, and a way of viewing oneself in the learning process has proven very effective at minimizing polarization and maximizing learning of both the dominant paradigm and alternative ways of seeing and being. Ways in which performance enhanced the classroom dynamic and improved learning outcomes in three graduate level psychopathology classes will be presented. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their own experiences with tensions that arise in the face of students’ grappling with multiple perspectives in their respective fields. After the presentation, participants will be able to 1) identify ways in which theatrical performance facilitates learning and 2) apply principles of theatrical performance in their own teaching.

Location

Room 2002

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 27th, 11:00 AM Mar 27th, 11:45 AM

Helping Students Embody Multiple Perspectives through Theatrical Performance

Room 2002

Students often demonstrate difficulty managing the inherent tensions involved in holding multiple and often contradictory perspectives. It is imperative that social work students learn how to function within the dominant paradigm of mental health and mental illness—a psychiatric medical model point of view—and question that paradigm. Social work classes in psychopathology can become polarized between those who want to “hang a shingle” and those who want to change the world leaving students unable to fully master what they need to know.

Theatrical performance in the form of games, scene work, and a way of viewing oneself in the learning process has proven very effective at minimizing polarization and maximizing learning of both the dominant paradigm and alternative ways of seeing and being. Ways in which performance enhanced the classroom dynamic and improved learning outcomes in three graduate level psychopathology classes will be presented. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their own experiences with tensions that arise in the face of students’ grappling with multiple perspectives in their respective fields. After the presentation, participants will be able to 1) identify ways in which theatrical performance facilitates learning and 2) apply principles of theatrical performance in their own teaching.