Ritual and Intent in a Renaissance Faire – Taiwan


This action-research explores the effect of intentional embodied ritualization in an advanced college ESL experience. Forty-six sophomore students (from two different classes) were asked to work together to create a complete half-day Renaissance Faire experience for students and faculty at the Soochow University Campus, Waishuangxi, Taipei. Students worked in self-organized teams of 2-8 people. Each team took on the responsibility of bringing a Ren Faire activity to life: there were bards, madrigals, buskers, jugglers, swordfighters, dancers, board-game gamers, and more. Half the students (one class) was asked to create a ritual for their members to conduct prior to the start of the activity and a ritual greeting to use when welcoming attendees at their activity during the Faire. Half the students were asked to create neither a ritual for their members nor a ritual for greeting attendees/guests. Thus a “test” and a “control” group were established. Following the Ren Faire activity, students reported on their activity, what they learned from the experience, and, for the ritual-makers, how they felt their ritual affected the outcome or appreciation of the activity. Students’ after-activity reports showed a distinctly higher sense of achievement when engaged in intentional ritualization. Moreover, after-activity examinations – examination to assess how much students learned from other groups – showed that the ritual-makers retained greater historical knowledge and could better express social significance of various aspects of Renaissance culture. Such students also reported greater appreciation for the gains attained during the Ren Faire experience as a whole. Results indicate that intentional ritualization, when properly explained to students and when properly engaged by students, provided markedly improved educational experience.

Author Information
Sara Neswald, Soochow University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2023
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the ACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Neswald S. (2024) Ritual and Intent in a Renaissance Faire – Taiwan ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2024.174
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2024.174

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon