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Trail blazing

August 14, 2012

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whether you read this video as a statement on our post-industrial society, tenacity of learning, or an inspired stunt sequence, I think the risk-taking demonstrated is clearly well-practiced and artful.

I particularly like the way that one of the jumps around the 3 minute mark is shown as a fail mission. Then there’s a repeat, which succeeds. Yes – I know I was even more on side from that point onward!

Obsolete equipment is also shown being re-purposed in ways which remind me of school.

Then there’s another aspect of the video worthy of exploration: How often are we as teachers confidently sharing polished skill-sets which disguise hours spent refining with effort?

For example, if in class I find myself headed without mindfulness into lead-learner-explain mode, I try to shift gears quickly to let’s-think-through-this-together. I remind myself that I’m there to facilitate the learning, not to be an expert. Often, the student’s line of questioning is better re-phrased as “How do you interpret this?” or “I’m not sure – what do you think?”.

Like the oral presentations on Man On Wire which I posted about recently, my expectations failed to match student outcomes, so I’m back to the drawing board. Tonight, I  drafted sentence beginnings which I plan on using in class tomorrow (silent slip shuffle to review essay structure at the same time). Like the stunt rider in this video, I’m giving the jump a second try.

May the force be with us – I want to see them make the leap this time!

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