How would your teaching change if it was a requirement that you have fun in order to succeed? We know children learn some of their most important lessons through play, so how can we create that type of engagement with our university students, even in a large lecture hall? How could discovering and tapping into your own unique sense of humor and “finding the game” change your lesson plans?

Through workshops, classroom visits and individual sessions, researcher Sandi Carroll along with Carla Zembal-Saul from the College of Education, explore the impact of learning the “discipline of play”—as it is taught by traditional comedy techniques—on how we teach. We introduce methodology to develop participants’ own unique sense of play and explore how educators can transform classroom interaction with students to engage them kinesthetically and ignite their imaginations.

It is well documented that children learn through play, so why not adults too?  Our hypothesis is that learning “the discipline of play” can increase the quality of engagement we have with our students. In this era of online education and two-dimensional communication, our face-to-face interactions have the potential to transcend lectures, power-point presentations, and discussions to become interactive, engaging, funny, and potentially even moving ways to invite our students into learning.