The Concept of Improvisation and the Role of the Student and Teacher in Improvisations

Topics: Education, Improvisation, Improvisational theatre Pages: 5 (1321 words) Published: February 27, 2013



In its simplest sense, improvisation is the ability to react spontaneously, from moment to moment. This is the base for all definitions of improvisation. The ability to improvise is certainly esteemed, as it is related to resourcefulness. The attitudes towards improvisation are knowledge, culture and environment dependent, and differ from person to person, in place and time. It is an underlying fact that improvisation as an integral part of a teacher work WHAT IS IMPROVISATION?

The term improvisation can be traced to the Latin word improviso, which means not seen before. Here are some definitions of improvisation Improvisation is defined by the Free Online Dictionary means “to invent, compose, or perform with little or no preparation”, and also as “to perform or make quickly from materials and sources available, without previous planning”. Improvisation has also been defined by some academicians as intuition guiding action in a spontaneous way (Crossan & Sorrenti, 1997), and also been defined as “making the most of what you have and getting the most out of what you make” (Keefe, 2002). From the above definition we can deduce that improvisation is the ability to take existing pieces and put them together in a new combination for a purpose. The pieces could be bits of information about a problem or they could be parts of a melody. Teachers or students apply tools or methods to these pieces in a very flexible manner. In relation to education this means teachers try to supplement, substitute or device means in inadequate material and equipment to facilitate effective teaching and learning among the pupils. Improvisation and fabrication can be explained as composing a careful selection and use of material as an alternative means of complementing the existing or otherwise instructional materials /equipment in schools

We improvise daily in conversations driving, cooking; it involves in-depth knowledge of the subject area, creativity and resourcefulness Education in general can only be successful with reasonable availability and proper selection of equipment, facilities and supplies. However, the fact remains that it is virtually impossible to purchase or make all the equipment, facilities and supplies required for sound and quality education available, especially in this part of the world. This makes it imperative for teachers to think of how best to make use of their manipulative skills to improvise so as to achieve their lesson objective at least to a reasonable extent. When improvisation is used in teaching, students provide different responses throughout the class session, and the instructor does not evaluate any given response but instead facilitates the improvisation process among the students, with the goal of guiding them toward discovery of their own knowledge (Sawyer, 2003). Instructional materials ensure that the learners see, hear, feel, recognise and appreciate as they learn, utilising the five senses modalities at the same time. When the real material and equipment are not available, improvisation becomes the next option as improvisation will take their place. This is to enhance the teaching- learning process as well as makeup for the expensive nature of scientific equipment, the difficulty experienced in procuring them as well as the excruciating and persistent problem of in adequate of funds. It is a fact that non provision of real material and equipment have all combined to worsen the teaching of science and technology education in schools. But with well packaged and relevant improvisation, the arbitrary and complete abstract of the subject matter in the face of the learner is significantly reduced to lend credence to the importance and essence of improvisation where and when the real instructional materials are not on hand....

References: 1. Cazen, Courtney B. 1988. Classroom Discourse: The Language of Teaching and Learning. Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH. LB 1033 .C34 1988.
2. Sawyer, Keith 2001. Creating Conversation: Improvisations in Everyday Discourse. Hampton Press.
3. Robotham, D. (1999). The application of learning style theory in higher education. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from
4. The Punch Newspaper. Monday June 20, 2011. Retrieved from the online archive from
5. Olayiwola M. A. (1996) Improvisational of instructional materials for schools and colleges in the year 2000; A journal of Educational studies C.O.E Gindiri
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