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Teaching Improvisation Techniques Brings Creativity, Mental Flexibility to the Classroom

Teaching Improvisation Technique Brings Creativity, Mental Flexibility to the Classroom

Improv is not just for the stage. According to improv enthusiasts and communication science experts, teaching improvisational performance techniques can greatly benefit students in the classroom.

As Linda Flanagan at MindShift reports, "Improvisation is well-known as comedy and entertainment, but during the past decade it has grown as a method of teaching and learning as well, says Robert Kulhan, adjunct professor of business administration at Duke's Fuqua School of Business..."

Improvisation techniques encourage the "four 'c's:" creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication, and help students to grow past their fear of mistakes in a free-wheeling, creative environment, free of social judgment. Students benefit from skills in communication and public speaking, as well as quick thinking and engaging with ideas. Improv also proves beneficial for kids with introverted personalities. "When they know they'll be supported no matter their answer, introspective kids thrive," Flanagan reports.

Improv is also helpful in fields like science, "where emotional detachment is critical for success." Valeri Lantz-Gefroh, the improvisation coordinator at Stony Brook University, was reported to say: "Improv helps the scientist engage with their own passions in their work, get out of their head and connected to the needs of the listener, and be able to respond more freely, spontaneously and flexibly."

Read the full story, which includes helpful exercises to teach in the classroom.

By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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