Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TED Talks_Education

These are the final two TED Talks that I would have shown in class for our last two weeks together. Due to time constraints I'm going to embed them here for you to browse on your own.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coraline: The Graphic Novel

Joseph Campbell wrote the bookThe Hero With a Thousand Faces which was a study of world hero myths. Campbell found that all story-telling, consciously or not, follows the ancient patterns of myth, and that all stories, from the crudest jokes to the highest flights of literature, can be understood in terms of the hero myth; the “monomyth” whose principles he lays out in the book.

The theme of the hero myth is universal, occurring in every culture, in every time; it is as infinitely varied as the human race itself; and yet its basic form remains the same, an incredibly tenacious set of elements that spring in endless repetition from the deepest reaches of the mind of man.

The repeating characters of the hero myth such as the young hero, the wise old man or woman, the shape-shifting woman or man, and the shadowy antagonist are identical with the archetypes of the human mind, as revealed in dreams. That’s why myths, and stories constructed on the mythological model, strike us as psychologically true.

This accounts for the universal power of such stories. Stories built on the model of the hero myth have an appeal that can be felt by everyone, because they spring from a universal source in the collective unconscious, and because they reflect universal concerns. They deal with the child-like but universal questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where will I go when I die? What is good and what is evil? What must I do about it? What will tomorrow be like? Where did yesterday go? Is there anybody else out there?

The idea imbedded in mythology and identified by Campbell in The Hero With a Thousand Faces can be applied to understanding any human problem. The are a great key to life as well as being a major tool for dealing more effectively with a mass audience.


Please choose only ONE of the following blog's to read on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey 12 step cycle. These blogs were the most concise versions of the "Hero's Journey" that I could find on the internet. I do not subscribe to these blogs or know anything about these blog authors beyond these two posts.

http://vajrakrishna.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/follow-your-bliss-idiots-guide-to-heros-journey/ (This one is the simple version- I liked it the best)

https://revolutionmagik.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/the-heros-journey/ (The longer & more in-depth version of the 1st blog post)

1. Consider your reading of Coraline in relation to Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. In what ways do you see intersections and/or connections to some of the stages of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey?

2. Consider our viewing of Chihiro's journey in the animated movie Spirited Away. What intersections and/or connections, if any, can you make to the graphic novel Coraline?

3. Name one other character from a book, graphic novel, play or movie that comes to your mind when you consider Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and briefly describe why this character comes to mind for you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

7 Things You Should Know About.....Prezi Links

Please add your Prezi link, educational examples and/or links by posting a comment under this section for your group.

We will utilize this blog site during your partner presentation for efficiency purposes.

Will Eisner Post

Selected quotes from the Forward of Eisner's book:

This work (Eisner's book) is intended to consider and examine the unique aesthetics of sequential art as a means of creative expression, a distinct discipline, an art and literary form that deals with the arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea. It is interesting to note that sequential art has only fairly recently emerged as a discernible discipline alongside filmmaking, to which it is truly a frontrunner. 

Comics have undoubtedly enjoyed wide popularity worldwide. However, for reasons having much to do with usage, subject matter and perceived audience, sequential art was for many decades generally ignored as a form worthy of scholarly discussion.  While each of the major integral elements, such as design, drawing and caricature and writing, have separately found academic consideration, this unique combination to a long time to find a place in the literary, art and comparative literature curriculums.  I believe that the reason for slow critical acceptance sat as much on the shoulders of the practitioners as the critics.  

Questions for Blog Response:
As a reader, engaging with Eisner's chapters:

(1) What surprises you?  

(2) What challenges you?

(3) What frustrates you?

(4) What do you appreciate?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Please read all the Ecoliteracy links and essays prior to responding this week and respond to BOTH questions:

1. In addition to environmental knowledge, education for sustainability includes the acquisition of particular skills, values, and vision needed to put that knowledge into practice.  Education for sustainable living cultivates competencies of head, heart, hands, and spirit to enable children to develop toward becoming citizens capable of designing and maintaining sustainable societies.  Which of the competencies listed at http://www.ecoliteracy.org/education/competencies.html would you list as a strength in your current or ideal pedagogy? Why?

2. After reading David W. Orr's essay please respond to ONE of the quotes listed below.  What resonates with you as an educator?

A. Genuine leaders, including those in the media, must summon the people with all of their flaws to a level of extraordinary achievement appropriate to an extraordinarily dangerous time. They must ask people, otherwise highly knowledgeable about the latest foibles of celebrities, to be active citizens again, to know more, think more deeply, take responsibility, participate publicly, and, from time to time sacrifice.


B. Telling the truth requires leaders at all levels to speak clearly about the causes of our failures that have led us to the brink of disaster. If we fail to treat the underlying causes, no small remedies will save us for long. The problems can in one way or another be traced to the irresponsible exercise of power that has excluded the rights of the poor, the disenfranchised, and every generation after our own. 


C. Transformational leadership in the largest crisis humankind has ever faced means summoning people to a higher vision than that of the affluent consumer society. Consider the well-studied but little-noted gap between the stagnant or falling trend line of American happiness in the last half century and that of rising GNP. That gap ought to have reinforced the ancient message that, beyond some point, more is not better.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Visual Literacy

According to Martin Scorcese, "we should make room for film in curriculum. What you are doing is training the eye and the heart of the student to look at film in a different way by asking questions and pointing to different ideas, different concepts. You're training them to think about a story that is told in visual terms in a different way, and to take it seriously.  It is so important, I think, because so much in today's society is communicated visually and even subliminally. Young people have to know that this way of communicating is a very, very powerful tool."

In an ideal educational setting where (a) there were no restrictions on what type of movie you could show students and (b) you are able to facilitate the discussions regarding the movie without constraints, which movie would you recommend that students must view BEFORE they graduate high school?  

Please consider any movie regardless of genre, violence or sexual content.  Why would you recommend that movie?