Thursday, September 9, 2010

Journal entry #6 - Legacy wrap-up.

So, I met with the teachers from Nellie McClung last week, feeling a little trepidatious.  With all the reading and selecting of books I’d done over the past two months, was I going to be able to offer anything concrete?  My own ideas about legacy made me see how personal an idea like legacy can be.  Also, that in using the word legacy, humans construct what it is that is being left for future generations.  For example take the legacy of 9/11 – What is the legacy of 9/11? When do we decide what it is – 1 year after the event, 5, 10 or more?  Does it change over time?  Legacy is something we make up to denote that something is being left behind, something important.

I presented the teachers with a rough draft of an Inspiration mind map as well as an outline organized into broad concepts, not organized by grade.  I did this to accommodate the overlap between the grades on particular points that the teachers had given me in June from their brainstorming sessions.  Some examples are interconnectedness, nature/natural world, inspiration, intention, and mindfulness.  I made a distinction between the natural world and humans.  Under the heading Human World, I further distinguished between the individual, the family and then the community.  Community started with Calgary went to Alberta, then to Canada and finally to the world.  There were many subtopics under these headings as well.  This allowed me to organize the resources into some kind of logical frame.  Well, it was logical to me, at any rate.

In terms of resources – let’s just say I had heaps and heaps of books (probably close to 300) from every section of the library.  I had both new and older materials but tried to focus mostly on the newer ones.  There were so many great resources to share.  I don’t know how many times I told them “You have to read this” or “You really must take a look at this one.”  I know, I know. Pushy, pushy…but at least I’m enthusiastic.

I do intend to publish the mind map after somehow meshing the questions and outline I generated plus attaching a bibliography of some the books I selected.  I’ll add it to the Doucette Library homepage under our Books for Big Ideas .  It’s the ‘when’ I’m less certain about.  Sooner rather than later would be good, I know.  This all depends on what else comes up this fall once the academic school year starts.  I’ll post something here when I get it up, to let those of you who are interested know.

I had a few comments as the session went on.  The one that sticks with me and I think is really pertinent, is that most of the topics I focused on were fairly dark (ie., Holocaust, poverty, residential schools, child labour, nuclear bomb, BP oil spill, Cold War, 9/11, etc.).  Not sure what to say to that except these are events that are current or big and powerful in nature, so they stick in my mind and offer lots of potential for discussion and investigation.  Not to say that there are no ‘big’ positive events.  I just didn’t think of them or didn’t have books to support them.

Overall, the teachers seemed to have enjoyed the presentation and it got them thinking about what they might want to focus on or bring into their classes around this incredible idea of legacy.  It’s a start.

Thanks to the teachers at Nellie McClung Elementary School for including me in this year’s big idea.  I hope I get a little feedback to hear how it turned out (hint, hint…).


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