UIC Business faculty showcase improv as teaching approach

Mike Brunlieb (from left), Diana Soriano and Stephanie Anderson.
Mike Brunlieb (from left), Diana Soriano and Stephanie Anderson.

Faculty members Diana Soriano, Mike Brunlieb and Stephanie Anderson from the Professional Development Program-iLEAD at UIC College of Business Administration led an engaging workshop May 15 at the annual TEACHx conference hosted by Northwestern University.

Their 90-minute session, Play and Presence: An Improvisational Approach to Teaching, kicked off the conference with an interactive exploration of improvisational theater techniques pioneered by Viola Spolin and Neva Boyd at Chicago’s renowned Jane Addams Hull-House in the early 1900s.

The workshop guided 25 educators through improv exercises that demonstrated a non-authoritarian approach to group leadership and facilitating student learning. Participants engaged with core improv concepts and left energized with new insights into how the philosophy of improvisational play could enhance their teaching.

The TEACHx conference aims to “bring together peers to showcase classroom experiments and celebrate successes in a community-oriented environment.”

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