Pierce Healy

Play & humour as a pedagogical tool for teaching and learning in the art class

This thesis set out to investigate the potential of designing a Unit of Learning (UoL) that embraced and utilised humour and play as a pedagogical methodology to improve student engagement.
Current literature surrounding the key themes of this research – including play, humour, active learning, discovery learning, student engagement, Flow theory, Surrealism, and the process of teaching and learning – were examined.
The study was conducted through practical art lessons with a second year group of eight mixed-ability pupils.
The theme of Surrealism was utilised as a strategy to demonstrate how chance and absurdity can be catalysts for new ideas and different ways of thinking in relation to art and beyond. Ultimately, enabling a healthier learning environment with the goal to improve student engagement. The UoL employed created a more dynamic learning environment removing classroom hierarchies and obstacles thus improving communication, student/ teacher relationships, critical engagement, critical thinking and overall student wellbeing

Rathdown School, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.
Students work

Students work