Now this really has been a project project to be a part of! Things really are stirring again in recession-ravaged Detroit (the original Motor Town – Motown) and I was delighted to be invited to take a very small part in the planning.
I’ve done some mentor work in the past with an outfit in the US called Educurious. They area not for profit organization on a mission to draw on technology and mentors to create
an effective education system in which young people learn in meaningful and inspiring ways and classrooms are a place they want to be.
The broker in all this is Katy Reedy and she linked me up with teachers Michael Reed and Andy Marzano. Andy has great plans to work with his students to help them collect memories and views from local residents of the proud achievements of the city. Undeniably now on hard times with fall back in motor car production the guys at Pershing School seem determined to bounce back. Here is Andy and some of his colleagues in a Saturday planning meeting (yep! they come in to work Saturdays to get this going!)
We had a really good Skype session where Andy talked through his plans for video and I shared some of my experience of using the medium in educational settings.
Of course we talked a lot about place – sense of place and individual perceptions of places and drew on some of the material in the publication from Stir13 – Learning from Sense of Place.
I am really keen to see what they produce.
It gets me thinking
Loads of interesting and topic stuff comes out from all this:
Pershing School is named after the leader of the US expeditionary force which led the US soldiers (nick-named Doughboys) to the trenches of the First World War in 1917.
A ‘detroit’ is a strait and with my French evening class we recently came across a reference to ‘le detroit entre l’angleterre et la France’ – we call it the English Channel.
But for those children of the 60’s like me – Detroit will always be home of that Tamla Motown music label founded by Jerry Gordy back in 1959. Katy visited the studios and submitted this picture.
I look forward to seeing those movies Andy! Lights, camera, action!