ED 200 Week Eight Part 1 (Spring 2022)

Hi everyone,

Last day you had a look at the “Boring” documentary. It is interesting how the producers and writers pointed out how the industrialized model of schooling can lead to practices that are boring. We know where those industrialized practices came from — right from the factory (recall Frederick Winslow Taylor), efficiency (recall the Gilbreths), and business influences (recall Callahan’s research).

But, the exciting thing for us is that we know full well that schools do not need to be boring. We know that because we have seen other schools and classrooms create exciting, engaging, environments (recall High Tech High, Project-based schooling, and the Hobart Shakespeareans). We recognized that the teachers and administrators clearly recognized the flaws with “industrial” models and respected the importance of student experience as it relates to the body.

This is probably becoming very obvious to you now. You can probably recognize industrial practices when you see them. You are familiar with the vocabulary and metaphors that emphasize these industrial models — such as tasks, efficiency, work, standards, grades, compliance, time, compulsory, etc.

As you can probably tell, I am deliberately sharing different sorts of documentaries now that help you develop your sensitivity to all of the things we have been talking about. The exciting thing for me is that I know with your depth and breadth of understanding, as a teacher, you will lean toward more student-oriented (bodily/experientially oriented) practices that will make you a powerful and motivating educator.

You won’t find an emphasis on those ‘industrialization’ practices in this next piece. And although you probably won’t do the exact same things when you are a teacher, you will draw from these activities and incorporate the ideas and the message into your own future classrooms.

Communities and Curriculum

Think of this statement for a moment:

[This is] a new and exciting curriculum. A curriculum that you has you learn math, writing, reading, science by helping solve problems in your community.

Is it possible to learn subject area content by connecting it to real-life community problems? Is it possible to embed subject area content into community issues? Does student involvement in community-based issues lead to a greater depth and breadth of understanding? By connecting community to curriculum, do students learn more? Do students learn differently? Do students enjoy having community purpose and goals? These are some of the ideas that you will start to become familiar with as you review this documentary.

Here are a few of things to consider when you watch this documentary.

1) What sorts of community issues are begin tackled by the students?

2) Are the student’s engaged?

3) Are students developing an understanding of things by using their bodies?




Communities as Classrooms

This program follows producer Bob Gilner as he introduces an educational experiment in participatory democracy at four schools in El Salvador that can serve as a model here in the U.S. — where viewers see students become actively engaged in solving problems in their own communities, not as an extra-curricular activity, but as part of learning math, language, writing and other basic educational skills – skills they see as necessary to solving the issues their communities face.

Response Set Three (continued)

Question 15: In your opinion, should our classrooms be working on real-life community problems? Why or why not? Speak directly to examples in the video.

Question 16: Can you think of three community issues not included in the video documentary, or real-life community problems, that as a future teacher you could incorporate into your own classroom? 


That’s all for today. Have a great day!