PAGES Teacher Meeting Recap and Resources
Our recent PAGES Teacher Meeting cultivated a rich landscape for the flourishing of investigation, creativity, and collaboration. Teacher-partners expressed their affirmation for the growth in student maturity with respect to metaphorical observation and evidentiary analysis in the face of contradiction. Students will next be exposed to the Blues for Smoke exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts and thus, the meeting served as a platform for the sharing of ideas regarding the integration of these artworks into the classroom and potential methodology for excavating critical and challenging contemplation.
The teachers each revealed a unique and thoughtful lesson possibility surrounding their personal ideas for enriching the learning experience through blues culture and art.
One prominent idea was the strong connection to narrative that emerges quite fluidly through the blues genre as an exploration of journey and identity.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story,” in which novelist Chimamanda Adichie explains the way each of our individual lives are composed of a variety of disparate and overlapping stories.
Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” furthers this manifestation of identity to comprehend the impact of differing languages and even more detailed, the diversity of dialects immersed in one language.
Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng is a novel of a young man who chooses to leave his past in search of an unknown future after losing nearly all of his possessions in The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.Т The novel makes central the issues of race, poverty, blues, and voodoo while shaping a man’s journey in lure of what lies ahead.
The social construct of race was also a moment of connection for many in the process of placing art as impetus for learning and writing. Some resources included:
The PBS film “Race: The Power of an Illusion” as an exploration of the definition and development of race within our culture. The series aims to revoke the façade of biological condition to reveal race as a political, social, and economic establishment as a means to shape disproportionate opportunities.
“Slavery by Another Name” is a PBS documentary which challenges our obscured understanding of slavery, rewriting history to include the overlooked victims of forced labor continuing well beyond the declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Lastly, many of the presented ideas seemed to gravitate toward the identifiable sound of the blues.
Blues People: Negro Music in White America by Leroi Jones explores the place of jazz and blues in American social, musical, economic, and cultural history. Through his book he argues the influence of pop cultural values and perspectives threaded throughout the blanket context of music.
The PBS film “Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’” not only provides a biographical and historical insight into the life of one of the most renowned presences in music itself, but allows for the connection of present day to the past, revealing current and overwhelming musical aesthetic fundamentally tethered to the blues genre.
Quinn Sullivan, a 14 year old boy, lives as an innate talent impassioned by the blues sound. Impressing even the masters with his immense ability, Sullivan proves a true testimony to the prevalence and agelessness of blues within our culture.