Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Bud Coleman

Second Advisor

Oliver Gerland

Third Advisor

Beth Osnes


This thesis explores the possibility that by adapting a model of disciplined improvisation, the secondary classroom will become an engaging learning environment where a wider variety of student learning preferences and styles will be honored and cultivated. I believe that effective pedagogical theory and structure aligns with that of improvisational theatre models and by examining these models more closely and by comparing them with the theories of predominant educational theorists and psychologists, we will find both commonalities and effective teaching models and strategies. The theory and practice of Viola Spolin and Augusto Boal, supported by the theory of Lev Vygotsky and of Paulo Freire, respectively, provide two examples of non -traditional pedagogy for the secondary classroom.