SUPPORT: You Say You Want A Revolution

Global Lens: Not just another brick in the wall

So innovate.  Create.  Free your mind…

I’ve always been partial to revolutions. Radical change. Regular change. The occasional uprising, literal or metaphoric. I suppose it’s impossible to not have such an affinity, raised in the U.S., offspring of twentieth century India, fan of Mexican muralists, with friends in Tahrir Square…

Revolution… A few days ago, while plotting an educational trajectory for Global Lens and the Initiative, I had an opportunity to sit in on a group of high school teachers, as they were planning their fall curriculum. And I happened to overhear:

“…. Bunch of people, waiting for a revolution, with no idea how to get there.”

I didn’t want to eavesdrop, but also wanted to hear the context, so I turned around. And [a teacher] scribbling on a notepad continued with: “Know what I mean? Every year, teach the same material, expect a different result. And they’re still angry, bored. Just like the song.”

Ever-evolving, revolving revolution: Another Brick in the Wall/Pink Floyd

Yes, the “song,” a.k.a Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd’s anthem of educational anarchy, institutional dysfunction and youthful revolution. As a kid from the 70s, thoughtfully punk, with teachers who either fought in a war or ‘fought the man’ (or both), the song was a battle-cry (“Leave us kids alone!”) for a revolution that I still don’t fully understand…

“So what’s the solution, if the teacher feels the same as the student?” And he replied, “Yeah… So, who are you? And why are you here?”

On any other day, I might’ve retreated at the abrupt and slightly irritated question. But it was genuine. And so I explained that I was researching how to integrate world cinema (Global Lens) into humanities curriculum. He responded with a blank stare, and countered with ‘foreign film isn’t an easy sell in public schools’—to which I replied, ‘unless the goal is to make them less foreign.’

I was channeling my best car-salesman, and to his credit, [the teacher] rolled with the logic. And so over the next thirty minutes, I explained how our belief with education is that the only way for students to stay competitive in the world is to know it.  And that film is just one option for that, but it’s up to teachers to change the game…

Hey, teachers... Leave us kids alone? (a line from Pink Floyd, a scene from MOURNING/Global Lens 2012)

Or start the revolution (I did say that, and acknowledge that most revolutions don’t start by someone shouting “Start the revolution!”). And it wasn’t meant to be a challenge to teachers—just the first thing that came off my lips. But regardless, he smiled, picked up the Global Lens program guide and began leafing through it…

Revolutions, I’ve always been partial to them. But aside from reading books, or watching movies, I’ve never had a real sense of how they begin. And I’m not so full of ego to think this small interaction was the start of a “revolution.” But maybe it’s a minor revelation that could lead to something.

 

Take Initiative.  Change the way you see the world. 

 

 

 

 

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