Sunday, October 5, 2014

Continuing To Focus On My Ongoing Creative Project For My Cousin Mark - This Time FOCUS

Another Skill4Life Project
Since the early years of my teaching career, I've induced visual literacy projects with my students to offer alternative assessments for what they know. In Louisville, the students and I often created huge maps of Africa as they reported on research they conducted and interpretations they had to challenge and refute their initial stereotypes. Upon moving to Fairfield University, however, I've had a different mission - one that is only half way complete after four years.

In my courses - when it is relevant - my students participate in a literacy project where they take a shape I give them and they represent their thinking about reading and writing (as it relates to their discipline) in artistic forms. They usually hate this at first, but when they bring their finished work to class and we assemble the project they usually react with, "Wow. This is cool how it all comes together."

That's my point. It requires the world of everyone together to provide larger meaning for the world. There is no literacy without community.

This semester, the 14 students and I worked on FOCUS, another skill4life promoted by my cousin Mark and his Hoops4Hope program. This is an addition to Integrity, Ubuntu, Literacy4Life, and the other items still to come. The goal is to have all the projects finished by 2018. Every time I have a class work on one of the skills I think to myself, "Crandall, You're Nuts! This is a very long project that practically spans over a decade."

Still, when I see the work turned in, and the way it all articulates something larger, I grow more and more anxious about the finished collection of all the skills together.

I'm halfway there. Yep, I believe this is my creative curse at its worst!

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