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Thursday, June 19 • 2:00pm - 2:50pm
CON6.11 – Re-Imagining the Scripts of Formal Academic Settings: Using University Classrooms, Lecture Halls, and Theatres as Risk-Free Rehearsal Spaces for Learning in First-Year Orientation (Room A234)

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Students arrive to the university campus in their first year bringing with them a wealth of knowledge, experience, and cultural capital. Most importantly, they bring energy, idealism and a playful confidence. But as university staff, faculty, and administrators, we typically receive these students with an agenda of "filling in the gaps" of what they do not know about university life. Our assumption is that high school did not prepare them for the rigors of university and our job is to provide them, through orientations programming, with as much information as possible before class starts to compensate for their deficits in understanding.

What if we were to approach an orientation program as a rehearsal space?  What if, to get the most out of this rehearsal, the actors (first-year students) would need to bring as much of their knowledge, risk-taking idealism, playful energy, and vulnerability as possible to ensure success in the 'performance' of their first week of classes? What if classrooms, theatres, lecture halls, and faculty offices were presented as 'sets' where, for two weeks, freshman students from around the world could rehearse the actions, scripts, relationships and motivations that we know (based on years of theory, research on teaching and learning, and emergent neuroscience) lead to increased academic engagement and achievement?

This workshop will explore the interactive, embodied, and performative approach that the UBC Jump Start (www.jumpstart.ubc.ca ) program takes to introducing and inviting first year students into the campus community of academic scholarship. Through this presentation, the workshop facilitator will lead the participants through simulations of the experience (through lived experiences in the session and through multi-media presentations) and connect the various approaches to timely, recent pedagogical and psychological research and theories.

Thursday June 19, 2014 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
A234 McArthur Hall

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