Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior.
Fun + Learning = A Summer to Treasure
It's hard to believe that, at the end of this week, the Powerful Voices for Kids program will be completed--- at least for the summer. Every day of the program --- which has run for the entire month of July-- has been a treasure, full of discoveries, challenges and pleasures!
Watching my young graduate students acquire classroom management skills, seeing the interplay of fun and leaning, watching kids learn to use words like "target audience," "purpose" and "point of view" in creating their own websites and videos.... it's been a lot of work and a lot of fun!
And these kids have learned more than just media literacy vocabulary words. A huge part of the experience has been in managing relationships--- with teachers, with other kids, and with our families. Working collaboratively is not easy-- when you're 6 or 16 or 60. Listening to each other and respecting our differences takes practice. Not everyone likes the same kinds of TV shows, movies, videogames, and websites. In Powerful Voices for Kids, we learned about how to talk about our feelings about popular culture, news, advertising and more--- and to reflect on our own attachments to media genres, celebrities and programs. We grownups may not know every little detail of kids' media culture--- but we work hard to be curious and respectful and seek out information from our students to better understand their experiences with mass media, digital media and popular culture.
In a couple of months, we'll produce a report, explaining the research we conducted and the work we've completed on curriculum development. We're hoping to enroll 5 - 10 elementary school partners in the "Powerful Voices for Kids" program over the next 3 years. Please help us spread the word!