Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education



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Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education
A conference organised by the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in collaboration with the Higher Education Academy
Cardiff January 8-10 2007


Stand-Up or Fall Down! Pedagogic Innovation, the Comedy Club and the Seminar Room
Kevin McCarron

Roehampton University

e-mail K. McCarron@Roehampton.ac.uk

Copyright © in each paper on this site is the property of the author(s).  Permission is granted to reproduce copies of these works for purposes relevant to the above conference, provided that the author(s), source and copyright notice are included on each copy.  For other uses, including extended quotation, please contact the author(s).

Abstract
Drawing on my years of performing stand-up comedy while also lecturing in Literature in higher education, I suggest that academics can learn a great deal from stand-up comedians, particularly from the performative power and effect of such qualities as spontaneity and flexibility. This paper will argue that all too often teachers, particularly in the Humanities, are far too well `prepared’ for seminars, which limits the opportunity for students to interact. Extensive preparation for seminars is often a form of control over students, or is done not to `teach’ the students but rather to protect the teacher.

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