Saturday, January 3, 2009

Books in Brief: "Teaching as a Subversive Activity" by Postman & Weingartner

Take-Aways: While decades old, this text still offers relevant suggestions that are applicable to both the K-12 and the college/university classroom.

One particularly applicable concept is that of a "questions-driven curriculum," building off of the concerns and questions that students have as a result of their lives in order to create meaningful learning experiences.

Also discussed is an application of Marshall McLuhan's famous phrase, "the medium is the message". The text explores how the traditional classroom setting functions as the "medium" of the educational experience that has a strong influence on the types of "messages" (e.g. content) that can be taught and how those "messages" will be received/understood/interpreted/made meaningful by the learners. In other words, the relationship between the learning context (i.e. "medium") and the learning content (i.e. "message") is an area that is ripe for examination in order to try and achieve an harmonious balance between content and context.

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