Adam Bruin

​Adam Bruin is a primary school classroom teacher.

​As a primary school classroom teacher I have a captured audience to which I can perform for daily, but since attending Ira's QCR 2010 I changed the way that I approached the classroom in terms of pedagogy.

By facilitating dance, creative movement, dramatic play and 'clowning' in the regular classroom setting, I have found that:

* Students described by parents or former teachers as 'shy' or 'reserved 'come out of their shell'.
* Students become more willing risk-takers.
* Students become more verbally expressive.
* The sense of camaraderie and 'fun' generate a supportive classroom environment.

Whilst roaming the playground I have observed that there are a lot of children who do not know how to 'play'. Children often opt to play on a computer, rather than interact fully with playmates. When moving through designated play areas, on a supervising duty or just to have fun, I make the effort to model 'play', or entertain, during break times.

I have passed on a lot of the concepts or exercises I learned from Ira to children in my school. It is a very warm feeling to wander through the school and see the 'number 6 movement' being practiced by 7 year olds, or to hear children refer to 'Charlie Chaplin' or 'Laurel & Hardy'. It has encouraged me to continue my relationship with clowning and Ira's concepts.

I remember Ira saying something along the lines of, "..there are rules you must follow, but how you do it is up to you...I want you to follow the rules, but the rule is you have to break it!..."

Current trends in curriculum have a strong focus on 'problem-solving' and allowing students to demonstrate their understandings in a variety of forms. We want children to approach a task creatively, but we don't know how to teach 'Creativity'. I believe that clowning has encouraged my students to negotiate tasks with me as they seek ways to extend their learning.

So in terms of education, in my classroom, Clowning is serious business.

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