I love Hugh MacLeod’s timeliness. This is a perfect picture for me. What are you doing to disrupt the status quo and bring about creative change? What are you waiting for?
Some take delight in disrupting … and you know who you are. This one’s for you.
If you are looking for inspiration for your ruckus-making, creative trouble, look no further than Phil Beadle’s Dancing About Architecture. You can take my word for it or read from others much more widely known about the importance and brilliance of this work.
In the words of the author, the book is introduced via the following small paragraph:
Over the body of the this book I propose to look at ways that we might use the arts as forms of pedagogy and, more specifically, how one might use process-led collisions of art forms to produce new learning experiences for students. – Phil Beadle
I really like that phrase ‘process-led collisions’. I am so much more about the process and think this shift of focus is much-needed and will do wonders for leading us towards more creativity and less ‘factory-raised’, standardized teaching.
Dancing About Architecture is witty, irreverent, timely and absolutely ‘spot-on’ when it talks of the need for rising above ‘average’. In addition to telling educators WHY they need to change, it details some examples of HOW this could look. I am not sure it should be viewed as a ‘how to’ book though. Once it becomes that and we have every teacher regurgitating the same lessons, we are back to ‘average’.
- using this book as a spring board for your own ideas or as a way to spark creative thinking amongst your own faculty.
- trying one idea and seeing how you could adapt it to suit your own kids
- reading this book and then closing it and writing down what you want to do in your classroom – it might be similar to what you just read but it will have your own twist on it
If you are still not convinced that this book is for you, read the following excerpt from the introduction to the book. If you are not moved to rip it up, be brilliant, and rise above average after reading it, then there is probably little hope for you…
It suggests you must break the rules. And you must. Not just because you are too lazy to follow them (though this sometimes creates an imperative). You must break the rules as a matter of policy – all day, every day, with a degree of rigor and dedication to the cause. The reason you must break the rules is that not breaking them is professionally negligent. Following the rules leads to being probably just about as good as everyone else and therefore perpetuates the cause of the average. Copying a bunch of idiots eventually makes you an idiot: a moronic cut-out from a mediocre comic. Confounding the expectations that are set for you is entirely the best means possible of maintaining your professional and personal integrity.
The people you work for (and I mean the children you teach, not the bloke in the flash suit telling you that you’re not good enough at your job) deserve better than working alongside a sheep-like copy of every unqeustioned bad idea they’ve ever encountered. They desire and deserve you to be brilliant. You do not get to be brilliant by doing it the same way as everyone else does.
Rip it up.
And start again.