hmmm. one of the difficulties with using alternative methods of teaching, even if students may prefer them, is whether they are effective; otherwise students may just be having a good time. devising metrics which can accurately assess students' competency as well as the comprehensiveness of the curriculum are needed.
one approach to the second issue might use the theory of the 'geometry of music'; see for example
(occassionaly perhaps by mistake science prints something a little more relevant and interesting)
that way one can make sure the curriculum is in shape, as well as being grammatical.
a more heuristic approach might compare the materials used in Philly, famous for being crowned the city of brotherly love, by the great political philosopher and social scientst frank rizzo, with that used elsewhere; for example
for hip hop this would be the 'gifted and talented' criteria for between '85-'95 or so. (as an aside, its sortuh amusing that the new BIG flic so far has had one shooting and 3 stabbings associated with it. keep hope alive.)
but alot of current educational research suggests older fashioned 'phonics' type instruction is actually the most effective. the 'metroxual' innovator and educational thorist michael foucault deveped this approach in his book 'discipline and punish'. this can be updated, for example, so optimal transmission of knowledge would be by promoted by having students memorize texts starting on the last word of the last page, and working backwards.
--- On Sun, 1/18/09, SAM ANDERSON <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: SAM ANDERSON <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Young Black Philly Scientist's Mission to Popularize Science
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Sunday, January 18, 2009, 8:16 AM
> Grand Hank puts a spin on science class
> Written by Robert Hightower
> Friday, 16 January 2009 14:47
> Science is Tyraine Ragsdale’s life. Of course, he has
> other interests, but science is something that he not only
> loves, but also wants to share with the youth.
> From this desire he has created Grand Hank Productions to
> increase the interest of and enrollment of students into the
> educational process.
> As part of the production, Ragsdale, who goes by the
> moniker Grand Hank, teaches science in an unorthodox yet
> effective method.
> To Ragsdale, science is something that is lacking in the
> American educational system.
> “The United States used to be the world power in science
> and now we are mediocre at best,” he said.
> In fact, in last year’s Programme for International
> Student Assessment, a triennial worldwide test of
> 15-year-old schoolchildren's scholastic performance, the
> United States finished in an unflattering 29th place out 45.
> Ragsdale said that this trend must end.
> “We are in a position where there has to be some push to
> restoring the United States as the No. 1 leader of science
> in the world,” Ragsdale said.
> In his effort to aid in the turn around, Ragsdale is
> gearing up to begin the Second Annual Black History Month
> Field Trip.
> The event, which runs from Feb. 2 to 27, is scheduled to
> feature live demonstrations predicated on African-American
> scientists. The lessons are aligned with the School District
> of Philadelphia’s Science Core Curriculum for grades four
> through eight.
> The field trips take student to Ragsdale’s studio at 7153
> Sprague St.
> Ragsdale said a practical approach to science is what he
> found to garner the best results.
> “You have to hit all the senses. We have developed a
> multi-sensory approach,” he said. “We want to make it so
> that you can actually smell the aroma of what science is all
> Ragsdale went on to say that he’s seen the results of
> using this method of instruction.
> “Touching on those senses puts us in a position so that
> we can get kids who are not traditionally interested and say
> if I see him doing it I might take an interest in it,” he
> said. “One of the ways to engage kids is through show and
> The demonstrations use a mixture of pop culture to educate.
> “We incorporated rap music, PowerPoint and story telling.
> We want every student to leave here 10 times more
> enlightened then when they got here,” he said.
> After the field trip, Ragsdale said he wanted the lessons
> to stay with the students.
> “We have decided that one of the key things that I
> don’t see is that when we do events, there must be a
> follow-up,” Ragsdale said.
> The students can continue to learn science thanks to home
> products available from Grand Hank Productions. The students
> can conduct their own experiments, such as how to make soft
> and hard water using the products.
> “The science that we do is not in position so that kids
> can blow things up or destroy anything but so that they can
> get the basic concept of various topics that are around the
> environment, chemistry, biology and physical science,” he
> said. “We want to move your son or daughter to a new way
> of looking at science.”
> For information visit online www.grandhank.com.
> s. e. anderson is author of "The Black Holocaust for
> Social Activism is not a hobby: it's a Lifestyle
> lasting a Lifetime