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Final Performance

melal's picture

For our final performance, Sam and I organized two games that inspired by two articles that we felt impressed:  Pedagody of the Opressed by Paulo Freire and The Achivement of Desire by Richard Rodriquez. We hope it would make our performance more interactive and try to cover some of the main themes we talked about in class, including: social mobility and education, interactive education and generally, the affects on class on people's behaviors in and approaches to their education. Here I attached our script used for the performance:


Occupations will be posted on the backs of each participant. 

Have sections of the room help people guess who they are by answering their questions. 

Rule is that you can only ask yes or no questions.

    1.  First Round: Basic (doctor, lawyer, Michael Jordan)
    2. Second (more difficult) Round Use money to signify the amount of questions that can be allotted to each participant (a quarter for 25 questions, dime for 10 questions, a nickel for 5 questions)


With this activity, the audience (you) had to ask questions in order to find out who the participants were. We designed this intentionally as a reminder of how we have learned in this class and how this type of learning is important to us. First of all, questions are an important part of education: in realizing what you don’t know, you needed to think like Friere - you need to actively seek the answer out, to find out who you were, you had to ask questions and interact with those around you. On the other side of things, those of you who were answering the participants were in a way guiding their development, you were helping them realize aspects of who they actually were in order to help them achieve their goals and find out who they were which should be the role of the teacher.

Furthermore, the activity also sheds light to the question: what is education an access to? According to who you were, education was different for you. Whether you were dead or alive, could fly or could crawl, different details were important to different people which signifies that, through their education, people are seeking and learning about different things. You cannot define education.


Now for the next round, we will be playing the same game with a different catch: the value of the coins that we have given you represent the amount of questions that you can be allowed to ask (quarter = 25 questions; dime = 10...penny?)


For the last round, we gave everyone an equal chance. For this round, we set different limits of questions according to the money that you had to signify the affects of privilege on education. In real life, not everyone has the same access to education. Being in a different class, you may not be able to have the same amount of resources (or in this case, questions) in order to learn the same amount of information. Thus, your access to your education and your self-development becomes limited. 

For those of you who were participating, did how did that make you feel? Did you start thinking about using your questions differently? The greater privilege provides more freedom for students to think more outside of the box. In contrast to those who may feel frustrated for not using their questions (or money) efficiently and each time, feeling more and more guilty for using another question. 

Even if you were to have guessed the answer correctly with that amount of questions and if you did, do you think you would have the same knowledge as someone who was able to ask more about the subject? (eg. you could’ve asked only about the gender, the color, if it flies, etc. whereas with 20 questions you could’ve asked those and more...having more knowledge about the subject). No, right?

This comes back to what learned in class before with the question: how are we to level the playing field if education is class-coded? How are we to provide everyone with equal education if we cannot Like EdmUndson said, we need to be aware of the class boundaries that prevent individuals from accessing the same opportunities in order to provide as equal a quality of education as we can. Only when we do this, can we really allow social mobility to happen. 


    • Write down the most 3 of the most important things in your life
    • Now cross out the least important word among these three and cross out one more  until you have the most important thing in your life in front of you.
    • Volunteer: What did people write?
    • Now look at the word you have right now. If you had the choice to give this up for more questions would you? 

This dilemma is what many people face when it comes to approaching their education. In order to get more money(privileges), people need to give something up (sometimes the most important thing in their life!) for example, Rordriguez, my father). Rordriguez, went through class mobility, working really hard in school in order to get out of poverty and achieve his ambition, but on the other hand, he lost the connection with his family, what he prized most. Whenever he went back home, the conversations happened between him and his family were like “interviews”. Thus, sometimes, there is a tradeoff between class mobility and sacrificing the culture/the environment where you grow up in. It is important to recognize what we give up in order to reflect on it and grant meaning/value to the education that we have now. With this, we can see the power in our education and feel compelled to do something with it.