L is for non/linear connections

| February 10, 2014

L is for Linear connections…

In the age of “Accountability” in education, “reformers” are actively

seeking to improve teacher e ff ectiveness by connecting teachers to

student test scores. These lines are not free flowing traces or gestures–

they are predetermined connections. The problem is that a teacher’s

interactions with students aren’t linear– they swirl and careen and

ricochet. I was contemplating paths of connections before my 6th period

class on Friday. As we brainstormed about the meaning of and

motivations for colonization, Liam was tap tap tapping his pencil. I

reminded him to jot down notes, he poked holes in his paper and

shimmied in his seat. I moved across the room and caught his eye.. he

nodded and tapped and wrote a few words. Other students contributed

ideas and I circled back around to Liam. He wrote another few words. We

watched a video on colonization. Liam watched, sharpened his pencil,

ripped a few pages out of his notebook. After class ended I called him

over. Back and forth we discussed the di ffi culty he has with taking notes.

We’ll venture out in a new direction the next time we take notes: he’s

going to stand in the back so he can move and capture what he can, I’ll

print o ff the notes we generate in class so he has the information he


It’s much more tensegrity than linear connections!