Lisa Barker

Assistant Professor

Lisa Barker

Contact Information

PHONE
OFFICE
Hawkins Hall, Room 413L

Education

Ph.D., Stanford University, Curriculum and Teacher Education, 2012

M.A., New York University, Educational Theatre, 2004

B.S., Northwestern University, Secondary Education, 1999

Areas of Expertise

English education
Teacher education
Professional development
Classroom discourse
Educational theater

Biography

Lisa Barker joined Towson University as Assistant Professor in the Department of Secondary and Middle School Education in August 2014. She teaches courses on English education, young adult literature, and ethics in education; designs research on how the principles and practices of improvisational theatre can inform the work of educators; and facilitates workshops on improvisation and creativity for a range of international corporate clients.

Prior to her work at Towson, Dr. Barker taught at SUNY New Paltz and the Stanford Teacher Education Program, performed with the Stanford Improvisors and children’s theatre companies such as Chicago’s Barrel of Monkeys and New York’s Story Pirates, and founded Stanford’s first children’s repertory theatre company. She also served as Director of Education for Adventure Stage Chicago and Manager of CUNY Creative Arts Team’s Center for Educational Drama, where she helped launch the first MA in Applied Theatre in the US. She began her career as an English, reading, and drama teacher at James Lick High School in San Jose, CA.

Selected Publications

Barker, L. M. (2019). Improvisational theatre in teacher learning about facilitating discussion: Exercising pedagogical presence. Action in Teacher Education, 41(1), 43-60.

Barker, L. M. (2018). Promoting social justice: Rehearsing discussion leadership in a young adult literature course. English Journal, 107(5), 87-90.

Barker, L. M. (2017). Beyond “rock and roll”: How teachers reimagine their responses during classroom discussion. English Journal, 106(3), 87-91.

Halverson, E., & Barker, L. M. (2017). Performing arts and out-of-school learning. In K. Peppler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of out-of-school learning (pp. 587-590). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

Barker, L. M. (2016). Invoking Viola Spolin: Improvisational theater, side-coaching, and leading discussion. English Journal, 105(5), 23-28.

Barker, L. M. (2015). Defining ‘participation’: A rubric for assessing discussion skills. English Journal, 104(5), 110-113.

Barker, L. M. (2015). Care to elaborate: Encouraging students to build on others’ ideas. English Journal, 104(3), 97-100.

Barker, L. M. (2014). Audition notice(d): Taking steps to align mission and admission. In K. Dawson & D. A. Kelin (Eds.), The reflexive teaching artist: Collected wisdom from the drama/theatre field (pp. 71-77). Wilmington: Intellect.

Alston, C. L., & Barker, L. M. (2014). Reading for teaching: What we notice when we look at literature. English Journal, 103(4), 64-69.

Barker, L., & Borko, H. (2011). Presence and the art of improvisational teaching. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Structure and improvisation in creative teaching (pp. 279-298). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Selected Presentations

Barker, L. M., McQuitty, V., & Hickey, P. J. (2019, April). The beauty of pausability: Approximations of teaching in a virtual reality environment. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  

Barker, L. M. (2018, March). The teacher educator as theatre artist: Facilitating approximations of instructional practice in practice-based teacher preparation. Keynote address at the National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research Midwinter Conference, Towson University, Towson, MD.

Barker, L. M. (2017, March). Teaching teachers social justice through young adult literature. Paper presented at the 10th Annual Equity and Social Justice Conference, Richmond, VA.  

Barker, L. M. (2016, April). Listening up: Improvisational theatre as a tool for improving the leading of whole-class discussion. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

Barker, L. M. (2016, April). A self-study of side-coaching: Applying the pedagogy of improvisational theatre to teacher education. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC. 

Alston, C. L., & Barker, L. M. (2014, November). Helping prospective teachers read for teaching. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English, Washington, DC.

Barker, L. M. (2014, August). Invoking Viola Spolin: Side-coaching in teacher education. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Denver, CO.

Barker, L. M. (2014, January). The teacher moves that encourage student-student listening. Paper presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research Mid-Winter Conference, Elmhurst, IL.

Barker, L. M. (2012, November). Leading a whole-class discussion. Invited talk at TeachingWorks at the University of Michigan School of Education, Ann Arbor, MI.

Barker, L. M. (2012, April). Supporting teachers’ facilitation of classroom discussion: Where teacher education and improvisational theatre intersect. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.