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Thinking Spaces: Sophie Brown, “Improvisation, Pedagogy and Pre-Texts”

September 13, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sophie Brown graphic for Thinking Spaces. Black and white photo of a woman with long, dark hair smiling in the middle. Colourful squiggles and dots decorate the graphic. Thinking Spaces: Improvisation, Pedagogy and Pre-Text. Sophie Brown. Wednesday, September 13, 4 pm ET.

Thinking Spaces, “Improvisation, Pedagogy and Pre-Texts” is presented by Sophie Brown, and takes place Wednesday, September 13 at 4pm ET. The talk includes a presentation followed by a guided Q&A and conversation period. 

Sophie will provide an interactive overview of Pre-Texts, a creative teaching protocol integrating civics, literacy, and innovation. Based on her recently published co-authored chapter, “Counter-Melodies and Creativity: Filling the Gaps in a Rural Colorado School,” Sophie will reflect on the improvisatory nature of Pre-Texts and how the application of this approach can close the gap between the idealism and practicality of a creative, collaborative, and co-owned classroom experience.

Joining us for this session of Thinking Spaces is Sophie’s external respondent, the renowned scholar, Dr. Georgina Barton.

This talk will be a hybrid event, taking place in-person in ImprovLab, University of Guelph, and virtually, via Zoom (a Zoom link will be emailed to all virtual attendees on the morning of the event). Registration is required to attend in person and via Zoom. Sign up now!

More about this talk:

Sophie’s talk is based on her recently published chapter about Pre-Texts, and offers an overview of the method for integrating civics, innovation, and literacy in the classroom. It draws on the experience of Lindsay Bobyak and Sophie Brown in using Pre-Texts with elementary students as part of Creative Roots Collective, which provides educational opportunities in rural Colorado. Sophie will outline tangible strategies for elementary teachers and educators which can improve literacy and oracy outcomes for students and bridge the gap between the idealism and practicality of a creative, collaborative, and co-owned classroom experience. The presentation includes vignettes of the arts-based protocol in action and breaks down the component Pre-Texts activities. Finally, Sophie will look at positive changes in student behaviour and provide guidance for integrating Pre-Texts into the classroom.

More about the speaker:

Sophie Brown is a PhD student in Critical Studies in Improvisation with a collaborative specialization in International Development Studies. In partnership with the British-Academy funded Education, Peace, and Politics research network, she is conducting research on higher education pedagogy at Koya University in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In addition to graduate studies at the University of Guelph, Sophie is part of the 2023 MBA Cohort at the Global Leaders Institute for Arts Innovation. The program focuses on social entrepreneurship, cultural management, sustainable impact, and community development. This is the first executive MBA in Arts innovation in the world, and Sophie is a part of the first graduating cohort.


September 13, 2023
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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MacKinnon Room 108, 87 Trent Lane, University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario N1G 1Y4 Canada
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