Incorporating Acting in the Non-Theater Classroom: Role-Play to Learn Photosynthesis

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm | CETLS, S510D

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Catarina Mata (Sciences)

Acting can be a useful tool for teaching difficult concepts. At this brown bag discussion, Catarina Mata will share her experience using role playing to teach photosynthesis, followed by a group discussion about how we might incorporate acting in our own classes across disciplines.

Photosynthesis is a notoriously difficult and complex topic to teach, particularly to non-majors. The dreaded concept comes loaded with long and difficult words with numbers in the middle, diagrams and equations. Often students are scared and give up before trying. By role-playing the essential parts of major pathways the whole class can learn the hard to grasp topic, rather than just the most motivated students. Acting is not the most common way to teach science, but when all else fails, is worth a shot. Getting up and being physically active improves the attention span and thus learning. Results show that role-playing has improved the whole class level of understanding of the material by at least 30%, and is fun too!

Email cetls@bmcc.cuny.edu.

This session is part of a faculty-led “brown bag” series on pedagogy that takes place once a month in CETLS, and was organized by the CETLS Advisory Board Teaching and Learning group:

  • Catherine Mbewe (Nursing)
  • Jennifer Delfino (Academic Literacy and Linguistics)
  • Miguel Fiolhais (Sciences)

Each meeting will focus on a specific topic related to teaching and learning. We will discuss effective teaching strategies as well as challenges in a non-formal environment. Please bring your own lunch!




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