GUERILLA EDUCATORS IS DEDICATED TO REALTIME EDUCATIONAL BEST PRACTICES IN ACTION. WE ARE A GLOBAL LEADER IN THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF EFFECTIVE PROJECT BASED LEARNING ON THE FRONTLINES IN AND OUT OF CLASSROOMS. WE ALSO CONNECT EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES PLANNERS WITH THE TEACHERS/LEARNERS WHO USE THOSE SPACES.
Today, Guerilla Educators conducts a "conversation" around Educational Commissioning at Educon 2.2. Our conversation description is as follows:
teaching and learning can, and perhaps should, take place under a tree.
With this in mind, our conversation will focus on the essential
non-difference between the physical facility (the school) and the
teaching and learning that takes place inside of those spaces (the
School). We will explore and build on the idea that the educational
facility can be used as a 5 dimensional (including time and
cyberspace), hands-on teaching and learning tool to achieve academic
and civic objectives.
Our Essential Question then, is:
In a wired world unfettered by the geography of place, how do we design teaching and learning spaces to accommodate the education that takes placeoutside of the physical walls of the "school"?
I recently had the privilege of re-connecting with Amy, who was a
student in my 4th grade class in 1994 at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary
School in Philadelphia. Amy has graduated from Penn State, is a
working professional, and is out on her own making her mark. Lo and
behold, in her bedroom at her parents house there hangs the map -THE
MAP- she created in Room 211 of the United States of America. In Amy's
The giant loopy little-kid handwriting that used to proclaim "The
Country Of The United States Of America" across the top, as well as
firmly marking both oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, has faded into
near-oblivion. Also, why did I only label one of the Great Lakes? ALSO,
I tried to number them in the order they appear in the Map Rap, but I'm
pretty sure I fudged that too.
But! I still have it on display- that's got to count for something, right?
This was part of what I termed the Geography Literacy Series and included (heaven help my self esteem) the Map Rap and the Eur-Rap.
If any other former students still have their maps from their time in Room 211 at Cook_Wiss, send them along.
One of the things Jeff and I always did wherever we were, in (or out of) the country was to take a walk and have a look around. I came to relish those walks because they were times of sharing and, of course, laughing. We were about as different as two people could be from each other- me, South Philly crude and Jeff the epitome of Midwest nice. For some reason though, the combination worked just fine. Some years ago, Lackney and I were giving a workshop for educational facilities designers in Yellowknife, Canada in the Northwest Territories, "north of 60". We heard that there was a beautiful waterfall about an hour north of Yellowknife, so we were determined that our walk that day would be a hike in the Great North Woods to the majestic Cameron Falls. We arrived at the trailhead to the waterfall- me in business casual and Jeff in wingtips, a suit, and a nice gabardine overcoat! As soon as we were on the trail, a robin-sized gray bird landed in a tree about 12 inches from us. We thought that was "interesting" and assumed that the bird would have a look at these 2 hiking knuckleheads looking like we were going to meet clients instead of taking a moderately difficult almost 2 mile trek in the snow. As we set out on the trail, we must have really amused this bird, dressed as we were because he followed along with us closely the whole way to the waterfall, about 90 minutes away. We eventually made it to that magnificent place, then sat and admired Cameron Falls for almost an hour. Of course that bird stayed with us at the Falls, occasionally joining in our conversation (just kidding!). We then made ready to head back to the car and got back on the trail with our guide, who accompanied us back to the trailhead, hopping from tree to tree, so close that we could touch him. As we were in the car on the road back to Yellowknife, our feathered friend flew directly and knowingly in front of our windshield. Just another mystical, typical time together with my good friend, Jeff Lackney. Damn!, I'm going to miss that guy.
The Map Rap is part of the Guerilla Educators Geography Literacy and Curriculum Initiative (GLCI). Thousands of students have been given the gift of understanding place in the world and the Map Rap is the hook. Perhaps the main reason that Teacher John subjected himself to such public display is because of the many requests for the words to the Map Rap and the Eur-Rap. This is really the primary motivation for a fat old white guy from South Philly to rap the states. For more info or instructional materials, contact us.
Click here to see the "Eur-Rap", and here to see a remembrance of Amy, who still has the map she created in 1994 when she was a 4th grader in Room 211.