Engaging with Popular Culture in the Classroom
Popular culture permeates students’ everyday lives. When incorporated into the classroom, it enables students to contribute their own expertise, bridge personal experiences to theoretical models, and generate reflection while thinking through real world problems. For instance: Can we move like Marvel superheroes and how does this impact our understanding of physics? Contemporary diet and fitness? How are Billie Eilish’s lyrics poetic examples of 4th wave feminist thought? How does the conversation around 4th wave feminist poetry shift if we include Harry Styles’ lyrics? These and other links between real world questions and pop culture examples can ground assignments that motivate, especially important considering pop culture’s applicability to all disciplines. This workshop explores ways to incorporate pop culture into the classroom, including planning lessons, assignments, and designing individualized pedagogical strategies.
The Pedagogy of Play
Students are often attracted to utilizing pop culture in the classroom because for them, it feels more playful and much less like “work.” Play is a key ingredient in sparking learning, shaping focus, and building confidence. This workshop discusses the “work of play” in a classroom environment and strategizes how to effectively incorporate playful approaches into assignments and activities to increase student innovation, motivation, and learning.
Movement Analysis for Every Classroom
Various contexts, such as cultural, historical, geographic, and sociopolitical, shape how our bodies move. Meaning is infused into our every movement and learning how to read body language and dance practices enables us to analyze how such meanings materialize as ongoing conversations about identity and ideology. This workshop explores strategies for reading bodies in motion, from everyday gestures to still images, films, and performance, then proposes ways to incorporate movement analysis activities for any level into lesson plans in order to engage students in thinking through questions and solutions connected to historical and contemporary issues.
The Physical Classroom
From an outdoor classroom to an indoor one, how can utilizing movement activities engage learning? This workshop brainstorms simple strategies of physical movement—whether implementing interactive games or simply shifting desk locations–to increase focus, engender excitement about learning, and shift students’ perspectives in learning environments, all making space for instrumental leaps forward in content mastery.
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