The risks and rewards of teaching with humour in Western Sydney: Adapting pedagogy to complex demographics
Keywords:HUMOUR, FACE THEORY, MOTIVATION, AFFECT, SOCIAL-LITERACY DISADVANTAGE
The University of Western Sydney (UWS) services Australia’s most multicultural region, where a large proportion of students are either migrants or the children of migrants, and many are from non-English speaking backgrounds. It is also an area of chronic social disadvantage. Apart from generic literacy issues, there is also what could be termed a deficit in student motivation. Thus, teaching in this context requires a more creative approach to engage and retain students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Humour, as used in topical content and delivery, has been very successful as a vehicle for these aims. This paper will present a summary of central findings over four years of teaching with humour in two courses. It will be asserted that negotiating students’ literacy levels is best performed through effective use of humour: students are more motivated to learn when they feel that humour use is in their best interests.
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Copyright (c) 2016 Adrian Hale
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