Clowning and Creative Teaching: How to Be a Clown-Teacher

Sean Mccusker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In previous chapters we have looked at the resonances and overlaps between clowning and teaching. Ideas and philosophies which are applicable across both professions are explored in terms of their academic provenance and their professional practice. However, whilst these analyses tell us much about what teachers can gain from a better understanding of clowns and their practices, there is little which helps teachers to ‘be more clown’. In this chapter, the teachings of two of the clowns most influential in the writing of this book, P. Nalle Laanela and Andrea Jiménez, are unpacked in the context of other clowns and clown-teachers and in terms of their relevance to those in teaching professions. Laanela and Sack’s Clown Manifesto (Laanela & Sacks, 2015) presents clowning as the act of connection and playfulness and it is in this that the greatest resonance with education is found, in that teaching and learning should also be seen as an act of connection and playfulness. Andrea Jiménez is a theatre director, actor, clown and pedagogue, who has trained with some of the most acclaimed clowns, including Philippe Gaulier, and has taught clown workshops around the world. Through participation in her workshops and subsequent discussions and shared projects, her views on clowns, clowning and the development of the clown spirit amongst educators have been informative, entertaining and enlightening.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPedagogy of the Clown
Subtitle of host publicationClowning Principles in Education
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783031392214
ISBN (Print)9783031392207, 9783031392238
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2023

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