17 November 2010

Requested: Educational Paradigm Shift

I think I've posted one of these brilliant sketch videos before (whoops, I had the wrong video in that previous post). I watched this one and just wanted to say that his words totally echoed with me? I feel that I'm a smart enough person, but that the education system was so much jumping through hoops that I don't often get around to realizing my true creative potential . . . I just hope I can find some solutions for my only children some day. Obviously it's going to take more than just one person.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing. His words echoed with me as well.

    On a tangental note, at the U, the masters dance program focuses heavily on film and dance. I didn't see the use of it then (besides to make dance marketable and profitable) and I still think it defeats the purpose of performance. Live performance, especially in dance is visceral yet intellectual and I think neither experience can be conveyed well through film (and sometimes not at all).

    If the education system could find a way in which learning (I don't like the word instruction here) was like attending a live performance I'd pay anything to be there all day long - now that's marketable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was awesome! Lots of food for thought.

    I took a class in the teacher ed program that was amazing, and I can honestly say that most teacher ed programs ARE trying to promote a paradigm shift in how children are taught. ie, we don't open up their heads and dump in "knowledge," but incorporate strategies that promote critical thinking, problem solving skills, and collaboration.

    The problem comes when a very idealistic new teacher, full of excitement, begins teaching and realizes that if your students don't do well on the test, you could lose your job. Or get paid less.

    To me, standardized testing is not valid or reliable from a statistical perspective. They don't show what a student knows, and I don't think results would be consistent. I mean, how can you judge knowledge.

    I had a great professor who ridiculed "GPA" as a measure of achievement. He said that was like taking the average of a tree, a chair, and a fireplace. I mean, how do you average those things?

    Glad you shared! "Unschooling" is looking like a possibility for my kids!

    ReplyDelete
  3. And just as a side comment, I'm not sure teacher's should be performers, but how about collaborators, encourages, etc. I don't think kids learn as much, even if the performance is highly entertaining, when watching. They learn by doing. Learn fractions by cooking, by doubling recipes, by doing real world things and taking away the abstractions. How are they supposed to apply what they learn to their lives if they are "taught" so abstractly?

    Also, teaching is exhausting. I would go home and just veg at the end of the day. It's hard to perform 8 hours a day and then grade papers and take care of all the administrative crap and deal with parents, etc. Plus meetings and "professional development." Our teachers are phenomenal!
    Obviously you've hit on something I'm pretty passionate about! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad Michelle placed this on her blog, it seems to have opened a platform for something that I hope many more will become passionate about. It's great that we get to discuss.

    A few things are brought to my mind upon further contemplation on the education system. What we teach, how we learn, and the purpose of the arts are where my thoughts converged.

    To MommyD, I taught youngsters dance classes and I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to teach a full day of classes. But many, including myself believe that performance is a collaboration between a performer and the audience. That there is an actual interaction that occurs during a live performance. Good performance is not meant to be one sided. Hopefully this would seem more feasible to incorporate into the class room.

    Secondly, I believe that the purpose of the arts has been lost over time and has been degraded to that of just entertainment. Unfortunate. Especially since I think one of the purest ways to learn certain concepts is through symbolism - something that requires critical thinking and something that is rampant throughout fine art especially dance.

    Of course, a lot of what the performing arts can teach is abstract. But what is at the core of learning? Isn't it the ability to think abstractly? We must understand something abstractly before we can begin to put it into practice. And isn't it our theoretical awareness that separates us from the animals? To free a mind so that it may think outside of the box, to realize that there may be more than one answer (as the gentleman in the video suggests) is what we are aiming for. And that may take something more, something outside of our comfort zone. Even something that the performing arts can provide!!

    Although the core subjects are important to teach, I am not necessarily referring to these. Although, if we're talking about practical applications in learning, many principles of math and even foreign language are necessary to understanding choreography and music (I'm also guessing that this is the reason why medical schools accept a high rate of music majors and are beginning to make their students attend art history courses). The lessons I believe that are missing or are being overshadowed are ideas like ethics and civic duty. Of course these ideas should be taught in the home (another topic for another day). But why are they not important enough to be incorporated into the school system? Even something as simple as hope and the power of the human spirit. These ideas are found in literature but can be expressed and felt more fully when experienced in live performance. The arts are a lost language, something that the world seems to no longer value. Yet it's a powerful teaching tool!

    From there, how does society progress and rise above the current paradigm? My thoughts go back to history and how we can remember what has been lost in order to move forward. Although there are many other changes needed, one stands out to me as an artist - that many throughout history understood the teaching power of dance, art, and music. Why can't we?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm glad Michelle placed this on her blog, it seems to have opened a platform for something that I hope many more will become passionate about. It's great that we get to discuss.

    A few things are brought to my mind upon further contemplation on the education system. What we teach, how we learn, and the purpose of the arts are where my thoughts converged.

    To MommyD, I taught youngsters dance classes and I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to teach a full day of classes. But many, including myself believe that performance is a collaboration between a performer and the audience. That there is an actual interaction that occurs during a live performance. Good performance is not meant to be one sided. Hopefully this would seem more feasible to incorporate into the class room.

    Secondly, I believe that the purpose of the arts has been lost over time and has been degraded to that of just entertainment. Unfortunate. Especially since I think one of the purest ways to learn certain concepts is through symbolism - something that requires critical thinking and something that is rampant throughout fine art especially dance.

    Of course, a lot of what the performing arts can teach is abstract. But what is at the core of learning? Isn't it the ability to think abstractly? We must understand something abstractly before we can begin to put it into practice. And isn't it our theoretical awareness that separates us from the animals? To free a mind so that it may think outside of the box, to realize that there may be more than one answer (as the gentleman in the video suggests) is what we are aiming for. And that may take something more, something outside of our comfort zone. Even something that the performing arts can provide!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Although the core subjects are important to teach, I am not necessarily referring to these. Although, if we're talking about practical applications in learning, many principles of math and even foreign language are necessary to understanding choreography and music (I'm also guessing that this is the reason why medical schools accept a high rate of music majors and are beginning to make their students attend art history courses). The lessons I believe that are missing or are being overshadowed are ideas like ethics and civic duty. Of course these ideas should be taught in the home (another topic for another day). But why are they not important enough to be incorporated into the school system? Even something as simple as hope and the power of the human spirit. These ideas are found in literature but can be expressed and felt more fully when experienced in live performance. The arts are a lost language, something that the world seems to no longer value. Yet it's a powerful teaching tool!

    From there, how does society progress and rise above the current paradigm? My thoughts go back to history and how we can remember what has been lost in order to move forward. Although there are many other changes needed, one stands out to me as an artist - that many throughout history understood the teaching power of dance, art, and music. Why can't we?

    ReplyDelete

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