Heeding Heartivism at the Rock
Heartivism. Were you of a mind to break it down, the term is the combination of three words:
And within the Societies and Culture class here at Eagle Rock, our strategy for having students develop as individuals through learning skills for activism is to offer a course that uses historical context as a catalyst for exactly that. Each of these words — heart, art, and activism — is important in developing a new way of thinking about (and teaching) history as students grapple with creative processes and participate in the making of history itself.
The philosophical foundation of the class is rooted in the work of Paulo Reglus Neves Freire, Ph.D., and John Dewey, FAA. From Freire, we apply the notion that our students are not “empty vessels” waiting to be filled with knowledge. Instead, they come into the classroom with opinions, intuitions and values that drive their behavior, choices and thoughts.
Dewey talks about two concepts that are relevant: teaching the “life of downtown” — or in this case, moving from the textbook to what is happening in the news and the world — and the idea of co-constructing knowledge through experience, which is building on prior knowledge to create new forms of knowing.
We aim to apply these pedagogical stances to inform what we actually do in the course, which is to infuse historical examples as a means to talk about student agency (i.e., empowering students through curriculum approaches that engage them, are respectful of and seek their opinions, give them opportunities to feel connected to school life, promote positive and caring relationships between all members of the school community, promote wellbeing and focus on the whole student, relate to real-life experiences, are safe and supportive — Source: Value Centered School… a guide on Student Agency [PDF]).
It’s never about just teaching facts, but creating a Continue reading…