Product reviews for The Little Book of Laughter

Dr Katharine Low, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
Dave Keeling's 'The Little Book of Laughter' is a delightful book that concisely brings together some of the key ideas and facts about the impact of laughter on a person in order to make the case for the use of humour in an educational setting. Keeling engages with a range of different perspectives on humour, from the scientific views on the impact of laughter and our brain's processing of humour, to the use of improvisational theatre techniques, and offers a resounding argument for incorporating play and laughter into the classroom.
Indeed, it is an engaging read, full of comic examples and interludes, which Keeling then takes care to unpack. Indeed, through his humorous and engaging writing, Keeling is modelling his suggested practice for the reader.
Keeling offers a useful distinction between laughter and humour, and the discussion on humour as a way of seeing and processing the world, as a cognitive process, is particularly relevant for the reader and he makes a strong case for the inclusion of humour in learning, emphasising its essential role as a communication tool. One of the key areas of the book is that it encourages the reader, and accordingly the educator, to consider their outwardly facing self or presentation to the rest of the world, or more specifically, the classroom. It encourages people to reflect on their body language, facial expressions, voice (tone and pitch) and the words used and to consider how they can use these to create an atmosphere of play, experimentation and fun in order to create more in-depth or -˜sticky' learning, through emotional connections. Throughout the book, Keeling offers useful examples and the final chapter outlines 30 different approaches and exercises to working with humour and laughter in order to develop children's reasoning, analysis, debating, memory and literacy skills, in a enjoyable and engaging manner.
This book encourages the reader to find their own comedy influences, to consider what it is that they find funny and to note when they are funny, in order to take these ideas and experiences and to develop them into approaches that they can employ in their own teaching. Crucially, this book inspires and encourages the possibility of risk-taking and laughter and the benefits of such play in your teaching practice, and, just as importantly, it makes you laugh.
Guest | 01/11/2013 00:00
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