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The University of Toledo - Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, Education
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - BA, English Language and Literature/Letters
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - MA, English Language and Literature/Letters
As he has explored various educational methodologies, Josh Keidan has also explored the relationship between learning and identity expansion — the way that learning changes who we are as individuals. This has helped him understand why we each are at times resistant to learning, and why, despite the fact that almost anyone can learn almost anything, we regularly don’t learn. This understanding has led him to explore methods and techniques that help open individuals up to learning, and to changing and growing into themselves as individuals.
To this end, Josh Keidan has turned to the principles and practices of improvisational theater — in which plot, characters, and other vital information are created on the spot by the actors — to foster such learning. Such techniques bring participants fully into the moment of the activity, and ask them to bring themselves to the table by listening and responding deeply to others, all while saying “yes, and” in order to accept what has been offered and add their own spin to things.
Josh Keidan holds a PhD in Education at The University of Toledo (May 2020). His dissertation was entitled Learning, Improvisation, and Identity Expansion in Innovative Organizations. He looked at high-performing organizations (businesses, religious organizations and non-profits) to understand how they create exceptional learning cultures.
Over the course of his time at the university, Josh served as a Learning Specialist, Curriculum Developer, managed and copy edited the journal Learning to Teach, managed the Teacher Education department’s accreditation process, and taught and developed several courses and programs for faculty, teachers, and schools. He has also conducted research alongside this work, particularly in relation to a course he developed and taught on improvisation in the classroom entitled Discourse for Learning. He has presented at academic conferences on subjects ranging from improvisation in education to the history of education to superhero movies to teaching about terrorism.