How can we re-imagine curriculum that responds to the pandemic? How might digital tools facilitate connection, community, and embodied learning? What kinds of online experiences can meet students’ academic as well as social-emotional needs as they process their own experiences of the pandemic and engage with the stories of others? With a focus on digital storytelling through interview-based monologues, this workshop will engage participants in exploring practical solutions to these pressing questions.
The presenter will begin by introducing the genre of the interview-based monologue and the story of how, during the Covid school closures, he re-imagined the practice as a way of engaging his high school students in meaningful research, writing and performance at a time when the loss of physical learning spaces and other traumas limited the effectiveness of many traditional teaching approaches. Examples of student work as well as professional mentor texts will be shared and discussed, including excerpts from the documentary plays of Anna Deavere Smith, which use interview-based monologues to engage with the complexity of racism and social justice—embracing multiple perspectives and diverse voices.
Members of the workshop will then be guided through a process of creating their own interview-based monologues: they will generate themes and questions to explore; record an interview with a colleague who is a participant in the workshop; edit and shape language from the interview into a written text in a unique format that blends testimony, poetry and dramatic monologue; experiment with basic performance techniques that are compatible with an online classroom; embody the words, perspective and manner of the person they interviewed in a low-stakes online performance; and analyze and reflect on their performed monologues as research data. Practical pedagogical strategies for teaching interviewing, active listening, empathy, collaboration, and performance in an online space will be modeled at every stage of the workshop. Prior performance experience or digital expertise is not required for participants.
The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for participants to design a lesson or project for their own classes that integrates, adapts or re-imagines the content and practices modeled in the workshop, applying principles from the workshop to the creation of innovative curriculum that is adaptable to online, hybrid or socially distanced instructional formats, responsive to the moment, and suitable for participants’ unique teaching contexts.
Sample Student Creations
About the Presenter
Andrew Rejan, PhD, has taught at the graduate-level at Teachers College, Columbia University and has ten years of experience teaching English and drama to high school students in suburban, urban, and global contexts in Connecticut, New York City, and Shanghai, China. Dr. Rejan has published articles in English Education and English Journal, facilitated workshops for teachers throughout the U.S., and contributed to the development of curriculum for schools around the world. He has been the recipient of a Stanford University recognition for exceptional teaching and a National Honor Society induction for inspirational teaching, and he was a nominee for the Northwestern University Secondary School Teacher Award. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, he received his M.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College and his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in English Education from Columbia University.
Who Should Attend?
Secondary Educators in English, Social Studies, Humanities and/or Performing Arts.
Each workshop will run from 9:00am-3:00pm EST; Log in at least 10 minutes early to give yourself time to get set up.
The cost of this workshop is $199.00 per person. For groups of 6 or more, please contact our program administration for group pricing - email@example.com.
This virtual event will be recorded, including breakout sessions where your camera and microphone may be turned on. This recording will only be shared with you and your fellow workshop attendees for 30 days. Your recorded image and audio will not be used in any other way.