Performance Pedagogy

I am disturbed by the trend at some Universities to reduce the amount of performance classes in favor of theory or method classes. I've been in places where this topic comes up - how classes like public speaking or argumentation are classes that are dated and irrelevant.

As rhetoricians have argued for years, wait - make that centuries, performance is a key element not only in persuasion, but in self-identification, realization and understanding. Performance is how we recognize ourselves and who we are, who we'd like to be, and what our relationship with all of these Others should be.

All of this is just a background to a cool new (old) pedagogical website I found where students are required to read primary texts and then communicate, argue and persuade each other that their perspectives are right. It looks like 2/3 primary research and reading and 1/3 role playing.

RIP Gary Gygax, although it seems his ideas live on in the classroom!

http://www.barnard.edu/reacting/index.htm