I really enjoyed Dr. Kist’s lecture for he knew how to engage us in our learning through active participation. Instead of just talking to us through PowerPoint slides he got us to take part in our own learning. He didn’t just teach us about new literacy practices in the classroom but showed us. He kept us on our toes through the whole presentation because we didn’t know what to expect next. We were all confused in where these activities were going to lead as we threw paper balls at each other or lined up in the hallway. The activity was we all had to write down our favorite literary media on a piece of paper then crumple it up and throw it to someone around the room. Then the paper that we caught we had to respond to what was written. Then after two rounds we were asked to go to the hallway, and find the person whose paper you had. It was in a state of anticipation in what was going to happen next that kept us engaged through the whole presentation. Also learning was no longer just about listening to the teacher talk but it was about collaboration where we worked with other classmates. Kist made an excellent point about the importance of getting students to work with their peers. When their peers are the greatest influences and concerns in students’ lives what better way to get students engaged than to have them talk and work with one another. Kist also made you reconsider the possibilities of what the classroom could be like. At one point when everyone was talking to each other after lining up according to birthdays (another activity done in the hallway where we had to line up according to birthdays without talking) Kist stopped and said “this is what you want to hear in your classroom: talking and laughing among students.” It made you think about what the classroom could be like where learning becomes fun. In these activities we saw how using new literacies in the classroom could change the ways of teaching in which learning becomes exciting, engaging, and active. Furthermore I thought Kist made a good point when thinking about bringing “new literacies” in the classroom. In the previous lectures it was all about the moving image and incorporating film in to the classroom but Kist defined new literacies as any tool that promoted connectedness, community and collaboration. What made Kist a great teacher was that he shaped his lecture and teachings based on the interests and needs of his audience. When you center your teaching to connect to the experiences of the student you’ll get them engaged in their learning and empower them to do more.
Kist’s presentation made me think about my own teaching practices. As an art teacher I am always trying to re-engage students with new materials as they bring forth their lived experiences in to their art making. It is all about making connections and students make meaning by being able to connect their experiences with what they are learning in the classroom. When this connection is not made students are detached and disengaged in their learning. So in what different ways can we bring students’ experiences and their voice in to the classroom? As we learned from Kist that bringing new literacies in to the classroom is about “connectedness, community and collaboration,” thus I believe that the Arts is one of the most effective ways to achieve this. As we talked about using film and moving images in the classroom during this conference you can also expand to other art forms such as looking at paintings or sculptures as well as engaging in art-making. Within thinking about the theme of teach, think and play I provided some resources that might help you think about how the Arts bring these three components in to the classroom. I attached some readings that make ties between art, learning and the imagination. Also I provided some links where you can learn to incorporate art in to your teaching practices.
Ways to incorporate art in to your lesson plans:
MOMA Modern Teachers
Great site to learn about artists from all over the world:
Some great books on the importance of arts in education as well as in the development of children:
Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and Social Change by Maxine Greene
The Dialectic of Freedom by Maxine Greene
Burton, J. (1981). Developing Minds: Representing Experiences: Ideas in Search of Forms. School Arts, January, 58-64.
Hurwitz, A. & Day, M. (1995). Children and their art. New York: Harcourt Brace
Ok I hope that was helpful. If you are unable to check out the books I would recommend reading the articles that I've attached. They are really interesting.