Monday, May 21, 2012

Environmental learning through touchpoints & themes

Physical activity in the Demonstration Gardens supports language acquisition that situates Environmental Learning as a fundamental cognitive discipline. I see it at all ages and stages of life, among people who are neuro-typical or autistic and among those acquiring fluency in a second language. Similarly shadow puppets in representing interior realities gives a glimmer of where grammar, that is structure, comes from. I'd like to be able to demonstrate this. Its not enough to share what I see but must be connected with others' experiences as evidence. What frameworks can I use? Linguistics, environmental studies, neurology, architecture? My friend Carmela reminds me that people deserve concrete experience, require it for that Aha moment. Maybe this is more important than analysis. D'uh, certainly until its built, functional and can be tested and iterated. So for now I focus upon structuring and situating experience. Who are the learners, the facilitators, the community for the Demonstration Gardens? To integrate virtual experiences and physical channels there need to be 'touchpoints' that are structured and managed so information flows easily. Focus upon the interaction sequence of: - entranement - contribution - exchange governs how to organize touchpoints. Spreadsheet of Touchpoints: Themes are vehicles for ideas that can be threaded through the whole system so that participants can grok it from their own viewpoint. 2009-10 Meditteranean Biome 2010- 11 Permaculture 2011-12 Abundance

Friday, May 4, 2012

Shadow puppets help with second language acquisition

Language acquisition: intermediate Arabic students tell stories with shadow puppets. Steps 1: brainstorm characters and plots with available vocabulary 2: write individual treatments 3: meld into common story, refine expressions 4: construct specific puppets 5: run draft story, select music, sounds, settings 6: refine story, finalize & memorize script, choreograph puppet play 7: perform These steps were executed over 6 days of a workshop at San Francisco State University May 2012. Small group work helped to consolidate language learning around Thousand & One Nights text. Participants seemed delighted to construct their own meaning and see evidence of hard-won communication proficiency. Play was called "Booba Gets a Bride".

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Learning at the vertices/around the edges

For the past month I've been struggling to pare down my instructional menu.
Its time to write my thesis and I shouldn't overcommit is the thinking.

What to leave out?
chorus - singing is elevating and brings joyful connectivity, provided practice is kept up
arabic - i've invested 3 years to learning it, its one of the main reasons I came back to school & have access to a superb teacher; once I leave school can I become fluent?
land use - this is a basic techniques course for community planning
work - well thats silly everyone has to work: ASC is shadowpuppets & autism @the Y
Demo Gardens - this is my lab project

As ever - it is the interconnections between disciplines that make learning meaningful.
So if everything that has come to my hand to do is essential how to get it all done?
Simplify and only the neccessary and right on time.