This week's pick is the video for Kurt Vile's "Pretty Pimpin," which technically came out last week, but because I spent this entire week watching the video over and over, it gets a spot as the pick of the week. There are so many things to love about this video: the song; the camera moves; the gradual ramping-up of complexity. Plus, what's not to love about a video that has shots like this one:
I watch a lot of videos. A lot. So how about this? Every week I'll post the best thing I've watched that week. My criteria will be completely made up and subjective, and there will likely be a disproportionate number of music videos with dancing, but that's how it goes.
Not a brand-new video this week, but this one has been on my Watch Later list for a while. It's all about how to structure a video essay, but it's also good advice for how to structure all sorts of communication that needs to pull someone in--stories, obviously, but also other structures and rhetorical modes. After seeing this one, I watched (or re-watched) all the episodes of the excellentvideo essay series Every Frame a Painting , but this was probably my favorite of the bunch. As an instructional companion, it's perhaps the most useful because it demonstrates exactly what it describes. I'm pretty sure "analytical exemplar" isn't really a thing, but if it were, this video would be one.
What does it mean to see? To think? To what extent can we talk about seeing as a variety of thinking?* And, from that, if our schools aim to help students develop and improve their thinking about the world, shouldn’t our schools aim to help students improve all kinds of thinking (i.e. not just symbolic-linguistic thinking)?
Take the growing chatter about creative thinking, design thinking, divergent thinking, innovation, problem-based learning or whatever you want to call it—those varieties of thinking aimed at synthesizing knowledge in problem situations. I’m talking big, ill-structured, open-ended, inquiry-based sorts of situations.
When I hear people talk about these, there follows a tacit assumption that if you give students an opportunity to examine a problem and to work on it--especially if you free them from the arbitrary constraints of the classroom--they can use their minds in ways we never imagined.
Originally posted, in slightly different form, on my previous (and now closed-down) blog, this is a post that lists some common assumptions identified by Earl C. Kelley in his wonderful (and sadly out-of-print) book Education for What is Real.
I’ve returned to this list of Kelley’s assumptions several times every year of my teaching career, just to check in, to see if I’ve changed my mind about these ideas, and to continually challenge myself to remain thoughtful. (I have lots of books that fulfill that function, but this might be my favorite.) Every time I return to this list I find that a different item resonates with me in a slightly different way. (This time it’s #9, as I sort out some ways to elevate process over final product in my classes.)
One note: Kelley clarifies that not all teachers and school administrators proceed on these assumptions; they are, in his words, the “usual,” not the “universal.”
I’ll just leave them here for you. Anything I add would be mere noise. Here they are, “Some Common Assumptions of Education”:
Originally posted as the third in a series of posts about Earl C. Kelley’s Education for What is Real. If you’re interested, you can find my first post about the book HERE, in which I attempt to trace the origins of my particular copy of the book, and the second post HERE, in which I discuss the drift of the book’s argument.
photo credit: Night Owl City via photopin cc
Reading Victor Papanek’s “Design for the Real World,” a book I wish I had read years ago (but also— right book at the right time, you know?) It’s apparently well known, but I hadn’t heard of it until a month ago. It’s a smart and surprisingly hilarious argument for better and more thoughtful design. These are some notes I took on what Papanek calls “the function complex,” which is the dynamic system of “aspects” that can be used to describe a design’s function.
Charlie Huette is a public school teacher who also keeps a notebook. He dreams about making school just a little less terrible. Many of the posts you find here are based on notebook entries. You can learn more about Charlie by visiting the about page.