Re: ME:Becoming improvisational?

From: Eugene Matusov
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Date: 19 Oct 1996
Time: 18:35:15


Hi Annie--

You wrote, "I also agree that it's not necessarily a good thing for a learning environment to be predictable. Maybe that's one reason school is so boring for a lot of kids. When I taught kids in East Palo Alto one thing we would do was we'd write on the board all the tasks we had for the day. Then when the kids arrived, we allowed them to choose which activity they wanted to do first, second and so on. There were always some activities that were left over for the next day.Anyway, my point is that it's great for kids and us to have the experience of making choices about what to do with our time at Barrios Unidos. Teaching kids to conform to a strict, predictable schedule stifles creativity. Things may feel safe and familiar, but the excitement of spontaneity is not there. "

I think that your observation is very important. My point is not be caught in the dichotomy of learning environment being predictable or unpredictable. My point is to become improvisational like in jazz. Jazz improvisations are not full predicatble or full unpredictable (people continue and transform jazz traditions). We need to seize learning opportunities emerging in the activities and transform them in teaching -learning moments for kids. Your fieldnotes for this week become fulled with description of such moments.