Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner: How Dirty Dancing Can Inspire Educational Change

So...I was thinking a lot about context. The fact that we behave differently in different contexts.

You might be more chatty at home, less so at work.
You might think more creatively outside, less inside.
You might be a morning person, not a night owl.
You might prefer to walk and think, rather than sit and think.

Baby Houseman was the perfect daughter...until she helped carry watermelon (fast forward to 6:30 mins in)...more about that later.

I guess we all have our ideal conditions, where we do our great work. The thing is students are learning and being assessed in one context with usually one set of conditions.
Is it possible that grades reflect the context not the person?
If so...what are we doing?
How is this even useful?

This insight first came to me a couple of years ago when my daughter brought her art home from school. School art time was usually about 20 minutes max and her art reflected that. At home, she would take 2 hours at a time to complete amazing works of art.

All of a sudden, I thought back to my past students.
What I saw in my classroom was only a glimpse of what those students could do!? It could have been a good reflection or a bad reflection but no where near a complete reflection.

Baby Houseman learned to dance in another context. (Fast Forward to 4:10 mins)

Think about it this way...What if Baby had never been exposed to other contexts?

Well, personally, I think she would have stayed in the corner...a very long time...

Until Next Time!
Lit Maven Out!

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