Dr Kate Flaherty
Senior Lecturer in English and Drama
I teach courses in English literature from first-year to postgrad with a focus on drama. My study of Shakespeare’s playhouse fuels my ongoing interest in the relational dynamics of performance and teaching spaces.
Every semester I meet a new set of people who want to study Shakespeare’s plays. This inspires me because it suggests an adventurous mindset – an openness to encounter difference and a willingness to grapple with the complexity of human interaction. In Shakespeare’s plays we discover the intricate crafting of ideas through language and skilful, attentive listening. In an era where communication is instant and often superficial, many students find this extremely rewarding.
My vision for ANU is flexibly configured teaching facilities that support creative and analytical investigations of the dramatic text. This means capacity to move from a large group, to pairs, to small groups, and back to a large group - all in one teaching event with each configuration supported by relevant technology. Collaboration and connection is a key part of how students learn about dramatic texts because the content of the information and the form of the activity are inextricably linked. Collaboration and connection should ideally also be part of how teachers learn to teach. I want the teaching event to move away from one-way information delivery to a well-designed dynamic and participatory experience where students and educators buy in, put in, and learn from each other.
What is the most important transformative thing I have to share is: Expect more – of yourself and of your students. Talk about teaching and classroom culture with your students. Ask them what they think and what they can bring. Ask yourself what attitudes you model and facilitate in your teaching formats. You are a professional learner! You can probably get more out of teaching if you connect it to your own passion for understanding. Experiment. Treat every class as a mini-research project and watch how it transforms the event.
Name: Dr Kate Flaherty
School: School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
College: College of Arts and Social Sciences
Department: English program
Phone: 0413 593 049