Improvisation in revealing and developing hidden competences

Adam Jagiełło-Rusiłowski


The more working environment change the more new competences are required on the employment market. Productivity, resilience and curiosity have been identified as hidden competences by employers while strong resistance to develop and validate them as learning outcomes by HE staff creates the challenge for educating the graduates fit for the dynamic working life. The paper presents the results of two studies on the perceived self-efficacy in productivity, resilience and curiosity of university students and academic teachers before and after improvisation training. Theoretical framework for the research comes from Albert Bandura's concept of self-efficacy and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Psychology of Optimal Experience. Theatre improvisation is used as an example of mastery experiences which enhance the self-efficacy beliefs. The distinct research groups were European and Indonesian students and teachers. The self-efficacy test based on 0-100 scale was administered before and after improvisation training which took place as part of innovation camps for students and teacher-development training for academic teachers both in Europe (Poland and Finland) as well as in Indonesia. Selected students and teachers were asked for narratives about the meaning of the improvisation training for their professional development. Improvisation is understood in the study as "suspended disbelief" spontaneous actions and dialogues (Keith Johnstone) and the training involves pair and group work with the use of body, mind and affect to explore ideas and solve fictional problems in order to gain new insights and flow experiences reducing the fear of performance and risk taking. The main technique in the training is "Yes and..." which encourages the participants to listen attentively, accept and build on ideas of the others rather than criticize or reject them, block any development of action. The results of the study do not show significant statistical difference in research groups both at the output in input level nor between the cultural identifications (European versus Indonesian) but they reveal some significant individual differences between the initial and output level of self-efficacy in specific competences. They are related to empathetic diagnosis of needs, ability to efficiently come up with solutions (productivity), ability to recover and push forward regardless of previous failures, ability to reflect, persist and adapt (resilience) as well as tolerance to ambiguity and interest in novelty (couriosity). The phenomenological analyses of the narratives give insights into how improvisation experiences work with particular types of personality and agency of the authors. The limitations of the study include the lack of control groups in the research plan and the inability to relate the increase in the self-efficacy beliefs to actual performance in working life context.
Author Adam Jagiełło-Rusiłowski (FSS / IE / DCT)
Adam Jagiełło-Rusiłowski,,
- Division of Curriculum Theory
Publication size in sheets0.5
Book Gómez Chova L., López Martínez A., Candel Torres I. (eds.): 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference : 7-9 March, 2016 Valencia (Spain) : conference proceedings, INTED Proceedings, 2016, IATED Academy, ISBN 978-84-608-5617-7, 8635 p., DOI:10.21125/inted.2016
Keywords in Englishhidden competences, productivity, resilience, curiosity, self-efficacy beliefs, improvisation
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)15
ScoreMinisterial score = 15.0, 05-09-2019, BookChapterSeriesAndMatConfByIndicator
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 15.0, 05-09-2019, BookChapterSeriesAndMatConfByIndicator
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