I’ve been working on a new portfolio of materials for my classes this year. I have a lot of good stuff, but I have to keep it fresh, for me, too. Having all the Macs in my classroom makes it easy, and in my mind necessary, for me to continually find better and better material to convey the standards I am to teach. I have about 100 new bookmarks that I have found this summer – good stuff. There are articles which are insightful and provocative (new and archaic) enough to garner an 18 year old’s attention, there are fabulous documentaries which will hopefully expose us and others worthy of such, there are activities and games and really good questions we all should examine from time to time in our lives.
Problem: I don’t know how to get it all in. I’ve discovered that my students can read, but they struggle to read material in a timely manner, they don’t know how to effectively skim. Lord knows that’s what college is all about: our knowing what to give what amount of energy and gray matter space. One of my jobs this year is to help my students with that skill – reading, effectively and efficiently. I will do my best, but the only real way to increase their proficiency is for them to read and to engage challenging media. You learn this skill by doing it, a lot, for a long time. So, in economics and political science and computer class, any way that I can get to them, we will read and process intelligent media presentations, all the time.
I am so thankful that my family encouraged my natural love for books and documentary. Maybe you or your child does better with periodicals or movies, maybe word games or computer games inspire more thoroughly, maybe even field research – seeing, examining for themselves. Whatever the media, envoke it to gain knowledge, some understanding.
To live free we must have the skills and knowledge necessary to rule ourselves. That means that we can process proposal along the axis of truth and fairness. Mimicry of taking heads, those wearing blue ties or red, or projecting propaganda lines: sound bites and campaign rhetoric, will never produce such. Thinking, honest, justice minded folks don’t just pop from the womb. They are fashioned, they are lovingly developed. Curiosity and candor and conscience must be rewarded by those seeking to assist in this processing.
I covet your prayers and your input. Got something great that you have come by that really turned your apple cart over, made you think and draw deep on the well of God’s heart. I’m interested, very interested.