Reanimating education: ideas, questions, inspirations

Regenerating education: ideas, questions, inspirations Blog Image

Editor’s note: We asked student blogger Chris Sinclair to examine all the discourse, content, and conversation in and around the recent TEDxNYED event on education reform, curate it, and comment on it from a student’s perspective.

If I had to identify the most consistent narrative around this event, it would be the constraints of the contemporary, lecture-centered classroom environment and how it rewards those who excel at standardized testing, not those interested in actual learning. The speakers questioned the long-standing dynamic between lecturer and student, and suggested that the era of blind memorization of facts is DOA. Jeff Jarvis even went so far as to say, “This (the lecture) is bull****”  (fittingly, of course, in lecture format).

Emergent Networks: Fotologs as Performances of the Self

Emergent Social Networks: Fotologs as Performances of the Self Blog Image

Raquel Recuero, a Brazilian professor, is an Internet culture researcher in South America.

Fotolog, a photo-sharing site, grew quickly in South America, becoming one of the most popular social networking services in Chile, Brazil and other countries. Fotologs became interesting narratives of everyday life, carefully constructed by users to share the impressions they wanted to display for their audience. They became identity performances. A Gothic user I interviewed, for example, would only publish pictures in black and white, always accompanied by Gothic band lyrics. He said it was a way to “make a statement about himself.”

Recommended reads, links from Global Kids

Recommended reads and links from Global Kids Blog Image

Editor's note: Global Kids regularly points us to their current favorite resources. Please tell us what you're reading or watching and why others should as well!

At the top of our list is the best-selling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It's described as: "Race, poverty and science intertwine in the story of the woman whose cancer cells were cultured without her permission in 1951 and have supported a mountain of research undertaken since then." It's a great example of how to use a personal narrative to introduce an audience to broader issues about racism, classism, and medical ethics. The topic is close to our hearts, as our youth created a game, CONSENT!, about a similar topic (medical racism against African American prisoners). Our game is based on a chapter from the book: Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present.