And God said, “Let there be light.”
This bible passage must mean more than just visually seeing things. I think the implication is that we are being encouraged to perceive or become aware.
Almost – as if in tandem with the Covid pandemic – the whole world seems to have become aware that our schools are in a struggle. Standardized testing — which by virtue of the visual format employed — can only follow and examine the outdated concepts that test analytic and linear cognitive skills. At the very least, such assessment procedures are measuring just a small portion of the desired skill development in the student population.
The one thing that has not changed is the way that children learn! Learning has always been through whole body, multi-sensory, and interactive experience! Children have always needed motivation in order to gain a readiness for learning!
The way that our schools will need to adapt to the increased amount of information and the systems for communication that provide the information must be … reinvented to present multiple stimuli and purposes at the same time.
The challenge is “how” to meet the needs of the student through an Integrated learning style – connecting multiple subjects in such a way that they promote understanding and awareness for the whole child – while assessing academic content.
There is a way to create this kind of healthy involvement! The videos published under the name “The Blue Alligator Blues and Other Video Songs” and the book “Adventures in Integrative Education” published in 2011 under “Arts of the Spirit” (now doing business as Class Action Learning) explain and demonstrate exactly how to achieve this kind of input. These educational products introduce and explain the future mode of content presentation in a manner that supports the teacher, entices the student, provides documentation for assessment, and serves as a guide for those who determine the goals and outcomes for healthy ‘child centered’ educational curricula.
This mode of content presentation is called a “multimedia tool for success” in the primary grades. That is just a fancy name for short videos of real children acting, singing, and playing that serve as a way to engage, motivate, and educate while simultaneously allowing for self-expression, intellectual development, and interactive participation.
Teachers can return to the role of creative responder to individual and group needs by challenging their students to write scripts, practice spelling lists of new words, develop math questions and solutions based on real experiences (like measuring for costumes, creating back drops, and timing speeches), and all aspects of recreating a story to share with others while enjoying the interactive and expressive process. All of this academic practice of listening, speaking, taking turns, singing, and moving in appropriate manner occurs while having fun! And, at the same time this method of presentation of content allows the teacher to stand back and observe the students as they perceive and respond to the whole presentation.
So, call on the wind to sweep over the waters… and now that the storm has settled down come into the “light!” Become conscious of and informed about a new mode of content presentation!
And, as God saw…see “how good the light is!”