Towards a Model for Teaching PAR in the Undergraduate Classroom


social justice

How to Cite

Hatton, O. (2021). Towards a Model for Teaching PAR in the Undergraduate Classroom. PARtake: The Journal of Performance As Research, 3(2).


This essay draws on the author’s experience teaching two ensemble performance courses to develop a PaR pedagogy for undergraduate students. The model is inspired by Robin Nelson’s proposed elements for a “justifiable” PaR practice: making the tacit explicit, principles of composition, and building connections between “know what” and “know that.” In both versions of the course, the subject of inquiry was California’s use of solitary confinement, and the modes for investigation and presentation of student research were embodied and performative. In the first iteration, students devised original scenes, movement pieces, and immersive explorations. In the second version, students rehearsed and performed a play adapted from the letters, poetry, and artwork of a man who had lived in solitary for over thirty years. After describing the contrasting learning outcomes and performance formats, supplemented with student reflections, the author concludes with a list of proposed tenets that aim to scaffold PaR for novice practitioners while remaining flexible enough to adapt to diverse scholartistic processes.