In the catch up from being on annual leave, the hashtag #blimage was helpfully highlighted to me by twitter this morning. #blimage is simple idea from Steve Wheeler and friends is a fun, but quite thought provoking way to encourage teachers (or anyone really) to blog. With the summer holidays in full swing this blog has had a bit of a hiatus, so this seemed a good way to get back into the swing of things. @GCUBlend was thrown this challenge:
— Simon Ensor (@sensor63) July 22, 2015
First thoughts were eek! As an initial response my colleague Jim and I created a wordle of things that immediately sprang to mind.
To me this image immediately makes me think of issues of control, gender, theatre, performance. All of which are analogous with traditional education and the notion of teachers as performers. The notion of the star lecturer, particularly in online learning, is still prevalent and as the discussion generated by post shows, personalities can have a huge impact on educational experiences.
However as I thought more about the image it over lunch, I was reminded of the anarchic element of traditional puppet theater such as Punch and Judy. Although they can conjure rosy tinted images of happy days past at the sea side, the “plays” themselves were more often than not violent and provided satirical commentary on key issues of the day.
The facade of the theatre and the puppet allowed for a lot of subversion and creativity – both of which are key parts of learning. So whilst we may feel constrained by what’s behind the curtain, we can make many different types of performances, ones which are audience (student) centred, and adaptive. We don’t have to stick to the same tired, old script, with the same characters.
To carry on the challenge, I offer this picture. What does this bring to your mind?