I found Sousanis’ Unflattening to address many topics such as creativity, standardization, and imagination. It was quite interesting to read the excerpt. The sequence of drawings showed us how we are sent to follow instructions and put on a certain path since the day we start walking. I found the pages 9-15 to be significant because it gives us a visualization of how we are sent to school to learn and how everything is limited. The typical teaching/learning setting is in a classroom where all the students are sitting looking up at the teacher and listening to her. But should we only believe what comes out of the teacher’s mouth and that that is what’s supposed to be memorized and noted detail by detail? Is that how it should really work?
Correspondingly that type of setting puts us in a limited space as well because we are learning everyday. Molly Worthen still believes in a typical classroom setting. She strongly believes that students should be lectured. She states her point in her article, ??????? ??. ??????.” Worthen is pro lecture. She is all about giving lectures to students. She believes that the teaching students the old fashioned way will only help them to learn more efficiently. “…lecture courses as an exercise in mindfulness and attention building, a mental workout that counteracts the junk food of nonstop social media.” Do you agree with her statement? I completely disagree with that because honestly speaking looking at the drawings from Sousanis’ Unflattening I can see myself in a flat environment.
Likewise in a few pages of the excerpt there are drawings showing how students are “molded” and go through “every procedure is designed to ensure that proper results are achieved.” This means that students go through the learning process and are taught to excel in that repeatedly. They are taught to reach the goal of the class, which is to have the students learn everything taught in a a period of time. Because of that goal students are sitting in a boring environment and they have no creative vision of their own. They are in a flat environment. A change in teaching environment is to be called for. Students “all are subjected to periodic examinations.” They are tested on what we are taught in order to determine where they stand. They are tested to see if we are standardized. Meaning that students need to reach the standard for the curriculum. They are confined into a small learning space and taught in the same way everyday in order to be tested. But we definitely need to bring change.
However the first changes to be brought are in teachers. They need to have a new perspective in how to teach students because the old method is not working anymore. Molly Worthen also had the old attitude of having a lectern instead of computer gadgets. “The piece of technology that I really needed is centuries old: a simple wooden lectern.” Professor Savonick uses active learning. I am always engaged in class. I am always attentively listening to her and to others in class because she has a different way of teaching. Her classes are different from my other classes(in a good way). Majority of my classes are lectures, and half the time I’m convincing myself to pay attention, listen, and to focus. Although I’m not saying that lectures should be completely thrown out of the curriculum but there should be some new ideas brought in.
Overall limiting a student’s knowledge in a small classroom may be harmful. Students visions are being narrowed. They’re not as creative as they were. In an article called the ” The Creativity Crisis” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered that since the 1990s creativity scores have been decreasing significantly. They are left in “flatness”. We should let students explore some way on their own on how they want to learn. We should ask them what’s a helpful way to them for learning. Teachers should also use their methods but they should adjust their teaching methods accordingly for the students. After all they’re the ones being taught.
Finally Nick Sousanis re frames some topics we have been discussing in class. He shows visuals of students being sent on a specific path since they start taking their first steps. They are sent to school to learn specific things in a typical classroom. The students in the comic excerpt look so uninterested which shows that their should be change in the teaching methods. As a student I can say that this comic has shown a lot through drawings. It has shown exactly how students feel and what they go through. I hope that this can help people better understand to bring a change in teaching methods.
What does the word “flatness” mean to you in context of the Sousanis’ 1st chapter of Unflattening?
What relation can you make in between the visuals and students today?