[xmca] Re: Some thoughts on some issues in Hasan's papers

From: Ed Wall (ewall@umich.edu)
Date: Wed Jul 06 2005 - 09:06:05 PDT

As I look throughout the K-12 spectrum and beyond (although I think
mostly in the elementary grades), I find I have mixed emotions about
the term real-life. That is, there seems to be a lot that isn't (
Eric Gutstein, Michael, and some others are exceptions), but is put
forth otherwise. I am always reminded by the comments of Goffman (in
Frame Analysis) as regards practice in that in school one never gets
much past that and, so to speak, on to rehearsal and the play. I
wonder if 'rehearsal' and the 'play' can be engaging whether they are
'real-life' or not.

Ed Wall

>But, I wonder, there is not also a complementary step here, which
>goes beyond science education, and that has to do with raising
>students' political awareness? I guess a topic can have to do with
>real life and the students might not feel its relevance. Just to
>illustrate, a university example comes handy: that of the students
>(undergrads or grads) that perform methodologically sound studies of
>whatever social issue without adopting any practical action based on
>their research. One thing is to understand polution, poverty or
>other, a quite different is to be disgusted by it. And, quite beyond
>the initial reaction, to learn what to do with these feelings.
>Wolff-Michael Roth writes:
>>>It seems to me that, in order to engage students with different
>>>notions of relevance, we need to relate the teaching of the topics
>>>prescribed in the school curriculum to real life situations and
>>>issues that students immediately recognize - or fairly readily
>>>come to recognize - as significant in their current or envisaged
>>>future lives. Much of the skill of the teacher lies in identifying
>>>such situations and issues in advance or from listening to what
>>>students have to say when their views are genuinely requested.
>>>This is what I have tried to capture in advocating the approach to
>>>curriculum through 'dialogic inquiry' that involves practical as
>>>well as intellectual actions.
>>This is what we attempted to do in a project described in part in
>>RETHINKING SCIENTIFIC LITERACY (with A. C. Barton), where we
>>describe children who learn science as they followed the call of
>>environmental activists to do something about a local creek. The
>>children (7th grade) subsequently reported what they found at an
>>open house organized by the environmentalists. The unit is
>>interesting in the sense that parents came out with us, some
>>taught, environmentalists helped out, First Nations people, it was
>>a real mixing of a great variety of people.
>>PS We received the AERA Div K award this year--the book also
>>contains stories of people fighting for access to water, inner-city
>>kids converting an abandoned lot into a garden, women teachers in
>>Pakistan taking risks by teaching in different ways, for overcoming
>>xmca mailing list
>David D. Preiss
>home page: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
>xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Aug 01 2005 - 01:00:57 PDT