The change we have effected in our school will be celebrated and documented in two ways: the plays produced by the students and their murals. Each of these art forms will facilitate the students as they share with us their saga with the New Haven Public School Political System at our monthly town meeting.
The students enhance their writing skills by conceiving ideas and selecting and using examples, illustrations, evidence and logic to develop topics throughout their play writing and organization of an action plan. The students enhance their interpersonal relations by participating actively in reaching group decisions during writing, political meetings, mural completion and performance. At the town meeting students, parents, community members and teachers celebrate the knowledge gained and skills achieved when the plays are performed and discussed in post production sessions.
To what extent my students achieve their goal will depend greatly on the topic they choose to tackle. The product is secondary to the process they have experienced.
They will address their success as well as their defeats at our Town Meeting, since both are important in the change process. Many adults find it difficult to work collaboratively, seek constructive criticism, and edit their goals when necessary. If we could hone such skills in our educational institutions, we may find a larger and more diverse pool of leaders emerge in the future.
1. The school planning and management team or SPMT is the governing body at our school. It is comprised of educators, administrators, parents, students, custodial and dietary staff. Decisions are based on the goals we write into our comprehensive school plan, which is align with the New Haven Frameworks. Each decision is made when consensus is met.
2. The "Banking Model of Education" is one traditional method of education that deposits information and expects an equal return. See Girouz, Henry A., Penna, Anthony N. Pinar, William F. Curriculum and Instruction. Berkeley: McCutchan Publishing, 1981.
3. Friere, Pablo. Macedo, Donaldo. Literacy: Reading the Word and the World. New York: Bergen and Garvey, 1987.
4. Friere, Pablo. The Politics of Education. New York: Bergin and Garvey Press, 1985. For a practical application see Hooks, Bell. Talking Back. Boston: South End Press, 1989.
5. Dewey, John
6. Whitehead, Alfred North. The Aims of Education. Macmillan Company, 1929. Outlined in his essay, The Rhythm of Education.
7. Painter, Nell Irvin. Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol. Norton and Company, 1996. The guidelines of the New York Emancipation Act of 1827, as well as the effects it had on Sojourner's Truth entire Family are discussed here.
8. Benton, Thomas Hart, painter, 1889-1975, American painter; b. Neosho, Mo.; grandnephew of Sen. Thomas Hart BENTON. The best-known American muralist of the 1930s and early 40s, he won fame for such murals as those at the New School for Social Research (N.Y.C.). Benton is noted for his dramatization of American themes, as in July Hay (1943; Metropolitan Mus.). Arts of the South is hung permanently in the New Britain Museum of American Art. A children's guide is available this as well as 17 other permanent pieces in the CT. museum.
9. For a free extended guide to writing and producing your play request Playwrights and Marionettes by Mary Stewart Bargar from the CT Celebration of Excellence at ACES (203) 404-4400.