Penn State Abington has been privileged to welcome speakers from diverse scholarly and personal backgrounds who have shared their expertise, perspectives, experiences, and stories with our campus community. In the interest of preserving a record of these professional development opportunities, the text above is linked to a list of featured speakers from events held through the Office of Inclusive Excellence (est. Spring, 2023), along with a brief description of their contributions to the PSU Abington community.
Inclusive Excellence Spotlight: The Intersections of Improvisation and Pedagogy
In August 2023, Dr. Walter Gershon (Rowan University) and Dr. Reagan Mitchell (University of North Carolina, School of the Arts) joined PSU Abington faculty to discuss the intersections of improvisation and teaching practices. Improvisation is often thought of as something that varies from a structure, a sense of going outside expected patterns, whether on a bandstand or in a classroom. This workshop addressed questions of improvising from a different perspective. Drs. Gershon and Mitchell used music and, more specifically, the art of improvisation, to create a space for participants to consider questions like: What if improvising isn’t moments moving away from how we regularly engage the world (structures)? What would it mean for teaching and learning if they are understood as constant improvisations that combine to create what we think of as academic content and pedagogical decisions? Conversely, how can one improvise when schooling so often appears to rely on previously constructed lesson plans and keeping pace in the scope and sequence of textbooks and publishing packages?