What the project is?
The project is developing and evaluating a radical feedback framework in the performing arts to help meet some particular challenges of working with students at the highest artistic levels in rapidly changing contexts, recognizing the need both to build on the exceptional artistic strengths of teaching staff and to empower students to explore their own creative and professional voice. The framework is based on two interconnected pedagogies:
1. Critical Response Process (CRP), a feedback system for work in progress, developed by American dancer and choreographer Liz Lerman: http://www.lizlerman.com/crpLL.html, to date rarely used in music or theatre;
2. Coaching in and through the performing arts: integrating coaching skills (drawn from leadership/management contexts) within learning, teaching and mentoring, including within one-to-one instrumental/vocal tuition in music, the core of the discipline’s pedagogy.
Together these offer practical and rigorous tools that help diverse individuals bridge the gap between their potential and current performance, while at the same time continuing to champion the foundations of high-level artistic craft.
Teachers/mentors engaging in the development we are offering are noticing that they are getting better at:
- Trust and rapport with students, and thereby openness to change;
- Supporting independence, resourcefulness and resilience in students;
- Respect for and ability to engage creatively with diverse perspectives and people;
- Targeted reflective practice, leading to more “double-loop” learning;
- Adapting to different learning styles, noticing and challenging limiting beliefs;
- Working more consistently in Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development.
What the project hopes to achieve?
The project aims to embed a powerful transformative feedback practice at the heart of our learning and teaching at Guildhall, with more than 80 staff trained in the specific skills, and able both to adapt the techniques to the demands of their own discipline, and to explore their application within their own artistic practice and within the organizational life of the School.
In addition, the project aims to refine the work into a sustainable and replicable model that can be shared widely across the performing arts and with other disciplines, nationally and internationally. Systematic research will provide robust evidence of the processes and techniques being used, and of their impact on student learning and staff experience.