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What's So Funny?!

March 11,2015

Bringing Comedy into the Classroom

Kim Lenters is researching how best to introduce the concepts of humour to students

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Mar 11 2015 - Ask any 10 year old boy what he likes to read, and he might mention a title like "Captain Underpants" or some other humorous work. Check with a preteen girl to see what's on her nightstand, and you might hear about Junie B, a character in a book series that focuses on the pains of growing up—but in a humorous and amusing manner.

Different books and different subjects to be sure, but they have two key elements in common. First, their readers find them extremely funny and fun to read; and secondly, they're not part of the curriculum in any school.

But why aren't they? If children enjoy and explore humour, parody, satire and irony through pop culture—by watching movies or television or reading—why not bring those pieces into the classroom?

That's the question Kim Lenters is asking. The assistant professor in the Werklund School of Education is the recent recipient of a SSHRC grant to study how best to introduce the concepts of humour to students.

And as she describes in this Quick Chat, she's starting right at the source.