Improv for Special People
Improv is a performing art best known for comedy. What is less known is that improv can be a powerful learning tool.
Improv encourages free form associative type of thinking, along with an “anything is possible” attitude. This form of expression can be very liberating for students who are atypical learners or have learning disabilities.
Improv games allow students to abandon the fear of making mistakes. The first tenet of improv is that there are no wrong answers. Once students understand that their contributions are valued, they begin to build trust in the process, and feel more free to enjoy learning.
Improv games provide students with the ability to develop a sense of play and help socially awkward students to socialize more easily. This is especially beneficial to atypical learners and learning disabled students. While “mainstreaming” is available in most school systems, not all students have the ability to be mainstreamed. And a lack of resources for social activities in both the private and public sector compounds this, resulting in forced isolation for some students when outside the school environment.
Improv games allow disabled students to express their creativity, expand their thought processes and develop emotionally at their own pace. Improv also provides a social outlet that is fun and low-pressure.
Because improv encourages spontaneity and rewards intuitive ideas, it helps to clear away barriers that block creativity - that little voice in your head that edits everything you say. This helps to foster self-confidence that can carry over to the classroom.