Monday, April 4, 2016

We Must Unlearn To Learn - Vivan Ng

Vanessa Salamy       Alie Matthews       Ray Chau       Krista Schlaeger       Eric Ehrenreich

Step into a classroom in the early 2000's.  Imagination bubbles are frantically bouncing around the room as the little humans are giddy in their chairs flipping page after page in their dragon, princess, magic lamps and school buss and tree-house books.  Today you walk into that same classroom.  There is no crinkling of pages, sudden bursts of giggles, or imagination surfacing among the children.  The classroom is rigid and concrete; systematic.  There is no sprawling landscape before the eyes of the curious.  There is no victorious, fearless leader preparing their soldiers for battle.  Instead, standing before these blossoming minds is a dictation of knowledge that they must regurgitate on command.  They will repeat and drill that knowledge into their brains until judgement day. There has been a switch, a change in how things are practiced in education.  Children are being robbed of their own natural beauty to process information and create alternate worlds that aid their learning.  What are you going to do about it?

At UAlbany, the Communications 304 Conference and Group Leadership class decided to intervene.  We were the ones who were giggling with our noses glued to books, our little minds wandering to alternate universes, we begged to have independent reading throughout the school day.  Today we know just how valuable our imagination was aiding our learning.  We want to help recreate that for other young learners.  

To tackle this mission we knew that the one thing that brought us the joy of learning and exploring is the same thing we need to bring to others.  Not imaginative educators, not pretty classrooms.  It's Books.  Books have the ultimate power to release a mind into another realm.  Creativity stems from one's imagination and ability to unleash that natural talent.  Too many minds are molded to a concrete timeline of standards and core educational goals.  This book project will be able to help us step over this steel threshold and break into the future of education.