Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

D2B's picture

This post does not talk about structure within education...

As part of my Praxis III Independent Study course, I have been working with high school seniors mainly trying to draw a feeding link between creative thinking/writing and academic spaces utilizing academic prompts and writing assignments (if that makes any sense, sorry about the wording). For example, these high school seniors are mandated to do a senior project on their topic of choice. They are given free reign over what they want to write about and research but there are still requirements to be met, field work to be done and presentations to be held that tend to, the students believe, become less fun and more mandatory useless work necessary to graduate. Currently they are working on their theses for their senior projects and creating arguments for them. It became very clear that, for many, the development of a thesis and/or arguments was easier said than done.

Many students chose to write about very obvious topics and didn't see why anyone should question the topic or ask them to back it up with facts or evidence. This brought me to think about the exercise we did in class when Prof. Grobstein showed us images within images. Almost everyone at first glance, individually saw one thing and with further concentration and scrutiny brought themselves to see a different image. I wanted to draw upon this and create a similar dynamic with my group of students to help them see not only what an argument was but also the value of arguing for your perception of something.

Using pictures of murals, I got the students  to engage in the material and think outside of the box. They all received a mural and interpreted it the way they saw it and then the mural was handed off to another student whom, whether they initially agreed with the original argument or not, had to really scrutinize the mural and use their brains to really see something else in the image and present a counter-argument. Anyway, I was really happy to actually see the students tapping into this idea we discussed in class, the diversity of understandings of concepts, images and texts. What is obvious to some is a lot less obvious to another and it requires, in some cases, assistance and mental manipulation for an individual to see something the way another can instantly see it. I think this can mean a lot if we go further into the talk about teaching, whether teaching generally for material retention or teaching to different learning styles.


The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.