How Can We Hit it Out of The Park?

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I stared at this for quite a while… A few things occurred to me.  I wasn’t represented in this depiction, though nor was I interested in being depicted watching a baseball game (I’m more of a soccer kind of gal).  My point though, was that there are no females depicted, the entire sequence is one of observation but not participation, and the people are on the outside looking in indicating a lack of access.

Clearly, I was not the only one who looked at this and though, “hmm, lack of access.”  The below project, introduces the issue of accessibility by depicting the three people in the stands with tickets.

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In my depiction of this story, I would see some people in the stands, I see a female sports reporter, a few people playing in the field, others coaching, others still selling popcorn and others still watching from home, all partaking in a pick-up soccer match.  In my version, people are partaking, or not, in ways that stimulate them and in ways that play to their strengths.  My version makes the match accessible at a variety of different levels in an effort to engage students where they are instead of assuming everyone is ready to engage at the same level.

In my #The4thBox, the wall is none existent because it is a pick-up game.  The wall, in my view, is designed to keep certain people out, whether it be because there is a language difference, a learning difference, or a lack of passion for the topic.  With a pick-up game, the wall is non-existent because it is something that develops naturally and out of the needs of the community.  Because the game comes from the needs of the community it only makes sense that they staff it, watch it, and play in it, to lead it in the direction in which it needs to go in order to be a positive thing for the community.

In less metaphorical terms, I see the soccer match as a classroom that not only meets students where they are at, but engages students in their own passions as a way of learning.  This might look like problem/project-based learning, where students discover the millions of different ways to solve problems that are relevant not only to the world, but to their worlds.

This is and ideal world but the harsh reality is well depicted in the below image.

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So, how do we bridge the gap between what we see above to the our ideal classroom?  I think engaging educators and students alike in activities like this is a great place to start.

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