A Challenge to K-12 & Higher Ed: Let’s ease up on the infinite and never-ending Zoom, worksheets, and busywork. A real-time, living history curriculum.
#Covidrelief as a humanitarian educational effort: a real time applied practice curriculum.
In the spirit of a class I am currently teaching online where the students were charged with making several cultural artifacts using classic essays and art, pop culture, and reflecting on their own identities, I figured if there were ever a time to stretch the professional mask, the persona, to don the old and put on the new, it is now. So, made a meme, y’all when my op-ed essay, Et-Tu Brute[below], did not feel complete. As a professor who carefully, diplomatically tries to modulate my opinion publicly by comparing and integrating history, art, and literature with current events as a way to soften my opinion on the Popular American Culture-version of the class I may be teaching now and/or its many iterations (women’s studies, culture, gender, inclusivity, men’s studies, literature, humanities, and so on), I also realized, there is more we can do as educators. Grading weekly, correcting citations, while still important, sure, feels empty, even rude. Like, don’t I know and recognize what is going on; why do you care where my period goes? It feels wrong.
An idea, if we were to let the personas slide from teacher to student, student to teacher, for a moment, for a movement, could we help any area of #covidrelief? We have the brightest and most creative technological, scientific, mathematic, medical, and artistic minds at helm. Anyone teaching 6 through you-name-it knows this.
What if we were to take a risk and put it to them as an alternate assignment or for really bold, innovative schools, it can be the curriculum. What can these minds make, envision, innovate, create, aid, engineer, project, document in the current moment. The precipice we, as a country, as global citizens, as human beings stand on right now in this unique time in history is an opportunity to help or create testimony (all history, literature, psych majors, musicians, anthropologists, playwrights, and historians, take note!). Artists, you have a special charge. Help us not forget this moment or we are destined to repeat it.
Stats are having their day to be sure. Masks, the sleepy ‘shadow’ of traditional psychology, is having a moment in the cultural dialogue, masks are a – thing—now, too. Jung is having his day. Kahlil Gibran (1918) can rest, “YOU [sic] ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen,—the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives,—I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, ‘Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves’ … For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, ‘Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks’ (The Madman, 1918, ls. 1-4 & 8-9). @jung @masks @shadow
Educators, let the persona, the mask, drop while donning your homemade one. What if we put the relief effort toward our 6-12 and higher ed students? What could they create? What problems could they solve? What art can they make?
I’m willing to see. Are you willing to let your mask fall so more, practically, and figuratively, can be made? #covidrelief #humankindness #teachingmoment
Let’s put the charge to them: We may find our future leaders. All students are on the cutting-edge, by their general zeitgeist, of technology, journalism, science, medicine, art, literature, media, engineering, psychology, anthropology, and the list goes on. How about some real time practical application in these student’s lives mirroring what they must be thinking about, what they would do when they can finally make a difference. How about now?