Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Learning in the Theatre

Mark Guzdial:

I mentioned a while ago that I decided to be part of a play, inspired in part by Seymour Papert’s recommendation to always go learn something new. I have been meaning to report back on some of what I learned...

Meanwhile, this is exactly the kind of thing we've stopped doing in urban public schools. A couple weeks ago my wife and another teacher organized their new high school's first talent show. The following Monday Jennifer had an interesting conversation with some of her students which went roughly like this:

What was that timeout in the middle of the show, Miss?

What, the intermission?

Yeah, it was nice to have a break. Where'd you get that idea?

So basically, these high school students had never been to a performance of any kind with an intermission. Which means they've probably never seen a play, or a classical music concert, a ballet, etc., period. And in 2011, there's a pretty good chance they'll graduate without that happening, because it isn't in the budget (probably of the schools or the arts organizations), and it isn't in the curriculum.

It wasn't always this way.

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