Power, Play and Pedagogy through the PowerPoint Performance-Lecture (International Journal of Management and Applied Research) Cite as: Tan, K. S. (2020), “Power, Play and Pedagogy through the PowerPoint Performance-Lecture”, International Journal of Management and Applied Research, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 382-394.
What could a visual-led approach to the learning and teaching of complex issues look like for a short online synchronous session? Through a playful performance-lecture exploring concepts in diversity, interdisciplinarity and social change entitled What could a neurodiversity-led 2050 look like?, this paper outlines the possibilities of visual-centred approach, using the ubiquitous Microsoft software PowerPoint (or open-sourced equivalents like Google Slides and Prezi). It seeks to contribute to discourses and practices around role of visual approaches in Higher Education (HE) to address ‘difficult’ topics like power and inequality in an engaging manner, and to empower learners as active participants, including those who may be think visually, such as dyslexic learners. Such approaches will be urgent in a reality characterised by profound socio-political injustice highlighted by Black Lives Matter (BLM), and amid a global pandemic, where teaching occurs online, and where learners and teachers alike may be short of time, attention and resources. Highlighting techniques and perspectives from art, film and neurodiversity, it invites the consideration of the PowerPoint performance-lecture as a simple yet engaging and responsive process for higher order learning and creative thinking. A secondary point of the article to call for HE to itself apply a degree of critical and creative thinking about its own position, to use self-knowledge to do better, in order to move forward. It welcomes feedback and challenges, and calls for the creation of yet more playful, innovative, visual-led approaches in the learning and teaching of complex issues in Higher Education.