Friday, November 7, 2014

Unique Contribution--November blogging challenge

“Every individual has a unique contribution,” Vipassana meditation teacher Jack Kornfield says.
This applies so beautiful to teaching, I think. I can get so caught up in the outcome I want the students to reach that I can ignore the students' varying experiences and the wealth of information they bring to the table.

Remedy: "instruct" a concept by starting with what the students already know. In trying to get the students to to a text with a character interested in Marxist ideals, I provide short definitions of bourgeois/bourgeoisie, petit bourgeois, and proletariat. I then ask students to read the definitions, talk with a partner about the definitions, and provide fun examples of where we see bourgeois thought or representations in our society today.

Students came up with some fun stuff!

  • Menus that don't have the price next to the food item
  • Lamborghini Veneno
  • Food made with liquid nitrogen
  • If you're rich you deserve the money you made ("Divine right of kings")
These are just fun examples (class warfare, anyone?) but then when we moved to looking at texts to see if the author challenges or upholds a classic capitalist outlook, the students seemed ready for the transition. 

I gotta meditate on this quote...

1 comment:

Henry Aronson said...

Yes! Building on prior knowledge . . . respecting learners' schema. Thanks for the reminder.