Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Notorious Phd "Activists Curriculum!" Take That Common CORE!!!

One of these days, I am going to write an "Activists Curriculum" which will show how students can learn more organizing protests than they can sitting at a desk in school trying to memorize material.

Writing Skills Component

A. Drafting Leaflets
B. Writing Petitions
C. Developing Press Releases
D. Producing Position Papers for Legislative Hearings

Public Speaking Component

A. Speaking at Rallies
B. Testifying at Hearings
C. Answering Questions At Press Conferences
D. Giving Lectures to School And Community Groups
E. Holding Small Group Seminars That Develop Positions on Issues

Research Component

A. Reviewing Legislation that Reflects on the Issues you are Organizing Around
B. Looking up Arguments on Various Sides of the Issues You Address
C. Reading books and Articles Which Help You Understand the Issues in More Depth

Social Media Component

A. Create A Facebook Page for your Movement
B. Develop Your Own Blog
C. Use Twitter to Communicate With People in Your Movement

Physical Education Component

A. Marching Through the Streets In Support of the Issues You Are Fighting For
B. Climbing Up the Steps of State Houses and City Halls to Speak to Officials
C. (Optional) Running Away from Police When they Try to Break Up Your Protest!

I guarantee you learn more from this Curriculum than studying for any test!!!

1 comment:

Working Mom said...

Excellent Post!

I know about this, first hand, from my junior year in high school, when I organized the one and only anti-Vietnam protest in that school's history.

But you should have also included the mathematics component and the entrepreneurial/fundraising component!

I raised money by going around to all of the stores that sold things to teens---records, clothes, and the then-emerging "head shops". The money went to buy a quarter page ad in the local paper, print flyers, circulate petitions, and much more; all costing money and all needing to be tracked and accounted for.

In fact, it was a young "hip" teacher who inspired me to do this. He suggested I read a few books on subjects ranging from Vietnam history, the McCarthy period, and the Poetry of Rock Music, to one he let me borrow from his own bookshelves, consisting of inspirational quotes from famous political and literary figures through the ages.

When I asked why he wanted me to read all of this, he replied, "Look, I can't do any of this for you. YOU and whatever fellow students you can bring along with you will have to do this if it's going to happen. I'll act as an advisor and if you need an "adult" to talk to certain people---like the mayor---I can do that too. But you're going to have to first, learn what this issue is about. You can't just say, 'Well, I hate war and I want it to end.' These books will give you the history, the context, the perspective you don't yet have. So, go get to work."

Before I left, I asked him what this book of quotes---mainly from people I had never heard from---was all about. I didn't understand why IT was included on this list of historical and political texts.

He said, "Oh that. That's for inspiration. To keep your spirits up. Believe me when I say you're going to need it to keep going and not give up."

He died about a year ago from prostate cancer, in his late sixties. He will go down in my memory as one of the most inspiring, caring and life-changing educators I was fortunate enough to know.

And yes, that was the toughest "course" I ever took. But I learned a lot that spring and went on to a career in event management and technology marketing. Now, I feel as though I've gone full circle, using those skills I developed while part of Corporate America, to promote the news about the attack upon our public education system, and how we parents and students are the only ones who can prevent it.

RIP, Mr. R. I'll always remember you, thank you and love you.