Talk and Act: Fall 2014 Education Program

speech-bubbles… from books and guest speakers, to films and Socratic conversations, we engage in spirited discussion of topics and trends, tactics and targets. We open Fall Book Talks with Summer Melt (the transition of low-income minority students to college) — and close with The Kidnapping of Sr. Angeles (for some lighter holiday reading). We explore wordless narratives and bi-literate learning; early childhood education and practices in Asia, the roadmap to personal success; a child’s inner world of autism and adults’ multicultural gender roles; school re-design and tablets in the classroom; above all, John Dewey, enlightened by the Buddhist perspective, in our daily lives. Talk is timely, as we listen to survivors on 9/11 and atheists on Constitution Day. It’s not just face-to face, but also online, with Skype to Mexico, video from Spain, and Vialogues for “meaningful and dynamic time-stamped discussion”.

We discuss Media, for diverse forms of learning; Death, tied to Halloween; and Wisdom, on World Philosophy Day, using Socratic method that is enlivened by commercials, costumes, and, yes, dueling chopsticks! Musing on the new learning theatre, we enact the value of ethics, impact of ritual on education, and foibles of proverbial knowledge, while we sample new equipment so that our conversations self-record and continue virtually.

Our book club selections, Butcher Boy, by Patrick McCabe, and Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg, share portent themes (coming of age, dysfunctional relationships, troubled homes, unhealthy obsessions, crumbling families, psychological instability), while guest talks address sunnier, though equally significant topics — early social judgments; bullying prevention through puppetry/theatre; developing a culture of human rights; philosophy and public education; stable health, bi-ethnic families and multiculturalism. We travel the globe, discussing research/writing set among four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America) and circle back to TC. We welcome the return of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education and ongoing participation in the Gottesman Libraries’ Education Program by current faculty and students, as well as alumni.

With the second annual TC graduate student conference on interdisciplinary and cultural studies, we discover an unusual connection to science fiction. The Nexialist is described as “One skilled in the science of joining together in an orderly fashion the knowledge of one field of learning with that of other fields” – a term inspired by The Voyage of the Space Beagle, by A. E. Van Voigt. Snaps for the clapperboard our shared joining of disciplines in conference and library content, as we ponder our spaces and voyages into the 21st century.

pink-clapperboard-512Films reveal how we prepare our children for success; why we see too much bullying in our schools; and when the struggle for justice is recognized belatedly — aka, The Red Orchestra, a resistance group that fought against the Nazi regime. We hear and discuss the unique and telling voices of victims and perpetrators from different levels and multiple contexts: individual, family, societal, school, community, state, multi-state.

Action involves advocacy for health and well-being. For a second year, we plan, with TC’s Future Child Advocates, a program for Bullying Prevention, as we coordinate, with the Dimon and Mind-Body/Spirituality institutes, the Neurodynamic Lunch Hour, Tuesdays throughout the term. Expert sessions include exercises for the back, shoulder, eyes, throat, feet, and more — holistically explained to alleviate the everyday aches and pains we all feel. Instruction brings new student orientations, library tours, and specialized workshops on the literature review, grants, career planning, archives, and cited reference searching. An amazing Toy Fair ushers in the winter holidays, with children and adults playing with cool concepts in science and math, music and art; they build banana pianos, pet robots, dunk tanks, dollhouses, mini video games, magnetic circuits, and much more — demonstrating possibilities to excite teachers, parents, and anyone who simply likes to Make.

In addition to daily postings of news from around the world, we display stories with educational themes: Patriot Day, Constitution Day, Leif Erikson; PG Wodehouse; Leonardo DaVinci; School Bus Safety; Wright Brothers, and Mount Rushmore, to name a few. While demography carries us from a theatre in London to a school in Chicago, featured articles reflect broad subject areas relevant to history and literature, science and health, technology and innovation.

Beyond the talk, we celebrate the unique talents of our student musicians and host new performers — among them, Jane Yo. Geremy Grant, Lindsay Burstedt, Enrico Zanardo — for an expanding repertoire of jazz, classical, and folk in the Everett Café.

So, let’s keep talking and acting! Informed by the literature of the field, we can Take 1! to light the color of learning;  apply theatre to new modes of teaching and scholarship; and live and play for education.




Education Program Fall 2014 Offerings Attendees
Book Talks 15 327
Guest Talks 7 182
Film Talks 3 40
Instructional Offerings 37 455
Socratic Conversations 3 66
Musical Performances 12 n/a
News Displays 17 n/a
Total 94 1070



Speech Bubbles, by Karen Arnold

Pink Clapperboard, Creative Commons

Word Balloon, by Dawn Hudson