Growth through Blogging!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More than a generation ago, British educator John Dixon offered a critique of skills-based language arts curricula devoid of meaningful context for student learners, one that paid “fatal inattention to the processes involved in such everyday activities as talking and thinking things over, writing a diary or a letter home, even enjoying a TV play. Discussion was virtually ignored, as we know to our cost today on both sides of the Atlantic. In other words, the part of the map that relates a man’s language to his experience was largely unexplored.” I can’t help but think that John Dixon would be ecstatic with the educational possibilities afforded by blogging as students share what matters to them with an authentic audience of interested readers and fellow writers. How different Dixon and his colleagues’ vision was following the Dartmouth Conference in 1967 compared to the reality of so many empty classroom writing experiences today—what fellow English educator Jimmy Britton would doubtless call “dummy runs.” I’ll be eager to learn over the days ahead, how your own experiential learning and your opportunity to discuss that learning informally in a study abroad setting will impact your future classroom teaching. Happy blogging, my friends, and see you at the airport on Friday! Don't forget your passports!!