This past April our school hosted a Spotlight School Symposium where teachers and administrators from across the nation came together to see first-hand our school’s efforts to integrate technology and 21st century skills in to the curriculum. All doors were open as student tour guides whisked these educators through the halls, into and out of classrooms, answering their questions about the different kinds of electronics students were using and how they were collaborating with one another through them. With so much rushing about, its tough to determine how much the educators and come to understand about our school and its culture.
That all changed when they were brought to the auditorium. There a student-directed presentation was waiting for them: a collection of student, teacher, and administrator voices sharing their experiences at Parker and their own feelings on the culture of the school and its classrooms. The authentic stories of Parker Middle School were being shared, not the whiz-bang lessons on display or any rehearsed statements, but the true voices and experiences of the school – and the audience loved it.
“The ability to encapsulate, contextualize, and emotionalize has become vastly more important in the Conceptual Age. When so much routine knowledge work can be reduced to rules and farmed out to fast computers and smart L-Directed thinkers abroad, the more elusive abilities embodied by Story become more valuable.” (pg. 104)
Pink emphasizes this point by testing the reader’s mind at the very beginning of the chapter. The questions posed, one about a fact shared and the other a story shared previously in the book, emphasized the ability of one’s mind to retain information when it is in a story.
Makes me rethink skipping over those cultural stories surrounding ancient civilizations and their fascination with the moon during my space unit. Knowledge within context, not to mention a world culture interdisciplinary connection. What was I thinking?
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