Breshaun Joyner is a doctoral candidate in the Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies department at University of New Mexico. Her dissertation topic: “From WTF to Aha!: An Educator’s Journey in Teaching Shakespeare’s Macbeth“ explores how students make meaning or understanding of Macbeth and how does teaching help or hinder that process. A defining feature of her teaching of Shakespeare is an approach that utilizes second language acquisition teaching techniques.
Breshaun has taught in diverse learning environments for more than twenty years, which has helped her develop an educational philosophy that promotes the idea that a sense of inventiveness and a student-centered approach to instruction is vital. This effectively introduces new ideas to students and capitalizes on what they already know. It also challenges students to absorb and develop their own thoughts, resulting in an eagerness to build an ever growing and evolving body of knowledge. Moreover, Breshaun believes the teacher takes this journey as well, thereby creating a community of learners.
Breshaun first began her foray into Shakespeare exploration when she was asked to direct a summer Shakespeare camp at a small Midwest non-profit performing arts theatre. In the years she has taught Shakespeare, the tactic she feels is best is a broad approach utilizing numerous processes. Because students are not homogeneous in terms of their learning styles, abilities, and interests, it is important to employ a number of activities and lessons that can effectively stimulate each student’s individual intellectual strengths and that support cultural background and expression. English-as-a-Second-Language teaching strategies squarely supports this pedagogy.
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