Justin Hopper

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

Committee Member

Anita Rich, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lee Stille, Ph.D.


This study explores teaching as performance in relation to Richard Schechner’s view on “performance in everyday life.” The focus of the investigation centered on why teachers in higher education develop teaching personas. The phenomenographic study used observation and interview to better understand the topic. The sample included nine lecturers from higher learning institutions in Southeast Michigan; data from field notes and audio recordings were used. Four of the lecturers taught or had professional experience with the performing arts. The correlation between those with performance backgrounds and those without was studied. Reasons for specific teaching personas being developed include the teacher’s method of assessment or field of study, their desire to approach teacher types pluralistically, and the impact of their own teachers. An awareness of existing personas is important in understanding the self and needs to be considered when exploring issues of teaching and learning.