#2 The project
What do I want to do?
My ambition is to design an educational program, a curriculum. I think it should the base of a non formal program (outside formal education, but structured) that could serve as an “extra subject”. At least at the beginning…
Also, this should be an adaptable program. The material, the exercises of thought and the structure of the syllabus should be able to be simplified or made more complex, depending on the participants.
I don’t believe in ‘products’ or ideas of the kind ‘one size fits all’. Depending on the institution in which the program takes place, different subjects and discussions can be possible. Depending on the participants, lots of things can change.
When I first started conceiving this, I was looking for a program to reinforce the cultural level of students in pedagogy (which are, in Venezuela, the ones training to become teachers). Afterwards, I thought it could be a program to help “floating” students (again, a Venezuelan term, this time for those out of high school but not yet in university). The level of reading comprehension, writing, new media literacy and general culture tends of this population tends to be low and it doesn’t improve very much after university. In fact, depending on the case, either the lack of this kind of skills either doesn’t improve much during university years or keeps them in the first years, or out of the system. I wrote the first draft of this project thinking of them. More on that in another post.
In any case, I would like to stress that I do think that whatever the group, it’s important to keep them small in number.
Online and offline media. I believe major authors should be inside the readings, and I also think blog posts, viral content, literature, photography, podcasts and a critical view on mainstream media are necessary. I opened the tag not only to advance in the development and the planning of the project, but also to create a space in which I can collect material… collectively.
This program should take digital and media literacy into account. Learning how to read content online is important. Reading examples critically is important. Also, there should be a space devoted to the observation and the discussion on how mainstream media has dealt with the subject and how different cultures, cultural exchanges and intolerance have been seen in history, and also how they are being studied in formal institutions (such as formal schools and other academic institutions)
In (small) groups. I was very inspired by an interview done to Gayatri Spivak, in which she explained that her lectures were called “Reading”. I think this is a great place to start. The program should be based on reading, discussing and writing… Somewhat old school, I suppose.
I’ve also thought that the participants should share their works online, and maybe exchange with other groups doing the same training. That is, of course, in the case that more than one group, with more or less the same characteristics is doing the training at the same time, or following the same lines. Ideally, the insights of the groups would be something to share and to take into account for other participants located in other institutions or in even in other countries.
Yes! We’re being ambitious here, why not?
Where to start?
At this point we should divide the brainstorming in two: the training of the participants and the training of the trainers. And everything should start, I think, with the training of the trainers. Not only giving them the tools and suggesting bibliographies and activities, but also making them able to make this program theirs, and adapt it to their methods and their students.
I’ll be back with more Q & A : With whom? In how much time? With what kind of material? And also, the typical and necessary ones: Cycles, activities, problems to solve, people affected by the problem and possible outcomes… A lot to discuss…
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