Working with actors in the classroom

March 23, 2024

Man and woman speaking to each other from behind a white desk

As we creep closer to the end of our second year of our pioneering BA in Creative & Cultural Industries, I am really pleased to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve embarked on. One of the highlights has been the integration of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles into my management modules, providing students with diverse pathways for engagement and expression.

I invited actors into the classroom to illuminate the complexities of relationships in the workplace, a topic often overlooked in traditional management and organisational behaviour textbooks. David Herlihy and Lesley Conroy with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working for many years, brought invaluable insights and experiences to my students, enriching their understanding of the nuances of interpersonal relationships at work.

The feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive, reaffirming the value of these innovative approaches to education. Witnessing their enthusiasm and growth throughout the academic year was incredibly rewarding. It is my sincere hope that we can continue to build upon this success and further enhance our curriculum in the years to come.

I have always enjoyed finding creative ways of introducing students to the knotty topic of emotion in organisations. Emotion still remains a marginal issue in OB and management research yet commands considerable bandwidth for students anxiety levels. Working with David and Lesley has consistently been a brilliant way of allowing difficult feelings to emerge in a ‘safe’ and bounded way in the classroom. I’ve also worked with actors in business contexts too with similar results. It’s a topic I really love and am keen to do more with in and out of the classroom…

Photo credit: Dunk Murphy and thanks to PJ Mathews for continued support with the programme.

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