THIS BLOG WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN AUGUST 2011, POSTS FROM THE FIRST 3 WEEKS WERE LOST AFTER THE BLOG WAS HACKED. POSTS FROM WEEK 4 ONWARD WERE RECOVERED AND ARE REPOSTED HERE IN THEIR ORIGINAL FORM....
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Week 5 - The key tension
This week’s Tuesday session led to a great deal of reflective conversation and thinking between Gay and I about the overall tone and direction of the mantle.
Today (Weds) I made a second, unscheduled, visit to the classroom without the student teachers. The reason for this was that I wanted to revisit the key tension we brought in yesterday.
So what happened yesterday?
The planned drama for learning strategies worked fine – the children seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to play the roles. And there were many positive things about the scenes they created. It was pleasing to see the level of engagement and the fact that several previously unwilling children were comfortable to participate and share. It was a romp!
However, in discussion after the session with Gay, we pondered how much the drama had moved the mantle along.... We acknowledged that the tone of the children’s work had remained somewhat light hearted and comedic. We also asked ourselves some tough questions about the quality and authenticity of their role work....
On reflection I can see that my choice of conventions led the students in a particular direction. By inviting the children to take on roles as park users and gossip together in a sort of ‘rumour mill’ the excitement levels got cranked up – and by emphasising the way rumours grow and change out of all proportion, the children went rather ‘extreme’ in their ideas.
“OMG - They are going to cut down every single tree” “I’ve heard they are banning all dogs forever” even “The world is going to end”.
The other thing I did was limit the use of dialogue which I can now see encouraged them to go ‘visual’ and ‘over the top’ with the result that the tone of the sharing was rather ‘cartoonesque’ with gasps, and extreme facial expressions and even (gulp) phoney American accents.
The really GOOD learning for me in this is to be aware of the convention that is right for the job (how many times have I said that to student teachers ?!)
So, the repeat visit today was born out of a wish to challenge the children to go deeper – undertake a different kind of risk taking. I had met briefly with Lynette at the end of school yesterday and she was happy with the idea of me returning next day...
Next post will tell the story of today’s class.