So I am sitting here reading this article for a class I am taking, and though the article is pretty lame, I just had to laugh. I totally thought of you. This silly vapid wannabe scholarly article made me think about how much fun you and I would have mocking the concepts this author is putting forth as some sort of revolutionary conceptual view of education. Ah – inservice credit! I know that is something you won’t have to worry with again, and who knows how long I will chase the illusory “next-step” (although my current school district is nothing short of amazing regarding how they calculate those units…) but re-engaging in these classes reminds me of how much fun we had being the bad kids back in the day.
While we were being bad we should have been publishing all of our stuff though, because people are finally getting on board with the kinds of ideas that we always knew worked. They are talking about how integrating art in curriculum is beneficial. And because there is little actual data to support the ideas that art improves student performance in other areas there is now this new movement to try to sort of acknowledge art as valuable on its own. Duh. If we had published what we came up with for teaching US History maybe you would not be such a starving student and I would not be wondering if #5 was ever going to hit me up with the 50 large he owes me… We could have been the next Howard Gardeners or some shit.
I went through all of our curricular stuff not that long ago because I am helping a friend with her USH curriculum. It always seemed so obvious that incorporating music and film and photos and stories would make history more fun and relevant to our kids, and that thematic plan we came up with was clearly overly ambitious, but damn, it was cool.
I tried to explain to all these art people the other day that it really doesn’t make any difference at all if art improves student performance in other areas, the point is that art gets kids to come to school and do what they need to do in their other classes the same way sports does. That in itself seems good enough to me. I mean, if art is making kids keep up in school it is implicitly helping, right? People still want to talk about how music makes you better at math. Whatever.
I miss teaching with you. I know you are done teaching down here with us secondary folks, but I wanted you to know that I still recall those years with you a lot. You would love working where I work now… I mean, if you weren’t totally over high school and everything. Sitting in these classes I also remember how much I liked being a student and I get a little jealous of you and your higher education. I suppose you were all right when you thought that I was not cut out for the world of Piled Higher and Deeper, but it still makes me envious… especially when I muddle through the drivel they call pedagogical literature.
Anyhow, I guess I miss you too. I hope you are well.