1st Edition

Teaching with Confidence in Higher Education Applying Strategies from the Performing Arts

By Richard Bale Copyright 2020
    196 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Presenting higher education teaching as a performative, creative, and improvisational activity, Teaching with Confidence in Higher Education explores how skills and techniques from the performing arts can be used to increase the confidence and enhance the performance of teachers. Guiding readers to reflect on their own teaching practices, this helpful and innovative book proposes practical techniques that will improve higher education teachers’ abilities to lead and facilitate engaging and interactive learning sessions.

    Encouraging the creation of inclusive learning experiences, the book offers insights into how performative techniques can help place the student centre stage. Drawing on a variety of performing arts contexts, including acting, singing, stand-up comedy, and dance, as well as interviews with academics and performers, the book helps readers to:

    • Critically analyse their own practice, identifying areas for improvement
    • Manage their anxiety and ‘stage fright’ when it comes to teaching
    • Become more aware of both their voice and body, establishing professional techniques to improve physical and vocal performance
    • Learn to improvise in order to prepare for the unprepared
    • Understand the concepts of active learning and inclusivity within the classroom.

    Raising awareness of good practice as well as potential areas for development, Teaching with Confidence in Higher Education is ideal for anyone new to teaching in higher education or looking to improve student engagement through the performance aspects of their teaching.

    Chapter 1: Teaching and Performance. Chapter 2: Mirror, Mirror… Reflecting on and Reviewing your Teaching Performance. Chapter 3: Performance Anxiety and Stage Fright. Chapter 4: The Voice. Chapter 5: The Body. Chapter 6: Improvisation: Preparing for the Unprepared. Chapter 7: Performance, Active Learning, and Inclusivity. Concluding Remarks.


    Richard Bale is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and a Senior Teaching Fellow in Educational Development at the Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship, Imperial College London, UK.

    This book provides a great primer on how to apply insights from the performing arts to the work of the higher ed classroom, including handy activities, pauses for reflection, and quotes from people with relevant expertise. Both enjoyable and full of insights I’ll carry into my classes next year.

    Sarah Rose Cavanagh, Associate Professor, Assumption College