My favorite book about education and learning, perhaps I should say learning and education to keep them in the proper order of importance, is titled Teaching as a Subversive Activity. With chapters titled Meaning making, Crap Detecting, What’s Worth Knowing, and other catchy things, who would not be interested! The book challenges, and challenged when it was written in 1969, many of the norms in educationland. Looking not only at the individual skirmishes in the classrooms and board rooms across the country, but at the larger battles being fought in the media and social expectations and histories that are intertwined with our current model of schooling.
Will Richardson, The author of our text wrote a great blog post last week about all the things we (or students too) are not supposed to do when using computers. Like Will, I recently gave a talk to some high school educators and had some similar challenges. Often these rules are not of the teachers making, but rather of school boards or magazine articles that either do not really know what the products or services can do, or are just using fear tactics to keep everyone in a straight line.
Postman and Weingartner suggested more than a few things to ponder as “new educators.” From asking yourself how your own background might prevent you from understanding you students, to teaching subjects outside our “content” area. Like much in 1969, it was all so possible. I think Will Richardson asks us to wonder what can be done, rather than what not to do. What can we do, anyway?
PS. There is an amazing resource on Will Richardson's blog that could prove invaluable for this weeks EDU 255 assignments.