I don’t agree that todays teenagers are too plugged in. They don’t only text each other so they don’t know how to have real conversations or to speak to adults or even look them in the eye. Yesterday a colleague talked about:
…kids these days…
I’ve been at Casco Bay High School two afternoons a week for the last month with another MECA colleague, a handful of MECA design students and another small group of CBHS students. We all worked side by side to design a logo for this Expeditionary School. In the middle of the researching, sketching, critiquing, and real discussions about their school and education, those teenagers shined a light into the nooks and crannies of their life which designing an identity insists upon. My students were experienced in the process, the high school students were… high school students. Together we were usually hungry, a bit tired and very hurried, but inspired and enthusiastic to dig into the task.
These two groups, with up to 10 years and worlds apart in experience delivered. My students were way outside of their own classrooms and into another. I watched them take the lead in a process that only a year or so ago they had learned for themselves. Their comfort with the process and tools, the language and actions of their own knowledge and confidence was for me, the undercurrent of what I do daily which is bigger than teaching design.
Being in college–staying engaged, challenged, learning and testing, failing and succeeding– the millions of new choices that begin with getting out of bed on the first alarm and rolling into the studio each day supports curiosity and awakens talent. School has concrete expectations, real beginnings and endings of semesters and projects, classes and hurdles of proving learning. Not unlike the high school kids who signed up for this without knowing exactly what we were doing nor where, even when! we’d finish, they are continually, maybe not consistently, but still–enthusiastic enough to find out and stick with it.
…kids these days…
Even the opinionated, stubborn, cranky and intense complainers show up and put themselves smack dab in the path of places that are not easy. Easy is not school and easy is not teaching, which everyone did in that high school art room two days a week this fall.
(The logo will be announced early November.)