I have been involved in education for most of my life. And most of that “most of my life”, I have combined English and Drama. When I got to the university environment and began to teach English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) and English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) I thought my happy days of the Drama – English combination were forever gone.
Then, some years later, I met Eric Duval and Ken Robinson. Thanks to these two, my professional world has changed completely. I realised Drama, creativity, experiential pedagogy and other methods, activities and tasks I used to love so much had almost no place in my teaching not because of some objective obstacles but because it was my choice not to use them.
So, I changed my mind and started to read, research and risk - simply experiment. My aim was to find a way of teaching thanks to which students could enjoy learning without (necessarily) noticing that it is actually a lot of work.
So, what did Eric and Ken say?
Erik had a very simple idea. He claimed we can experiment with our teaching methods as much as we like. Why? Because let´s face it, learning outside of school has always been better so far. He gave an example of children who are learning how to ride a bike. They keep trying, they can fall down, they can scratch their hands and knees and....still, they want to continue. Continue to learn!
Let´s be honest - how many of our students are sorry when our classes are over? How many come and beg us to continue? How many want to stay and go on learning? ...
Those ideas gave me the courage to experiment.
And what about Ken? Obviously, he has a great amount of clever and inspiring ideas, but this thought was the one that made me experiment responsibly: