Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Topic: Process and Projects in the Inner City

10-second review: The importance of process—inner city girls writing plays and acting in them. The process of writing, imagining and performing increases participation in the process. If the product is measured by standardized tests of reading and writing, the result will be a mismatch between process and product.

Title: “Process, Product, and Playmaking.” MJ Fisher, SS Purcell and R May. English Education (July 2009), 337-355. English Education is the teacher training publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Quote: “Fraden contextualizes the role of participation in theater for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women: Process…refers to how participants learn skills and create art when they become involved in a project…. What many shared was a sense in which the point of process is to produce more process, more participation. …Participation entails more of itself, it regenerates itself and this is its purpose. The process of participation is therefore never quite complete. It is a performance constantly reconstituting itself.” p. 338.

Quote: “Allowing the girls to create and tangibly see the scene form before their eyes better encourages them to put pencil to paper and create stories in the form of a play.” p. 346.

Comment: Standardized tests don’t measure what these girls are learning. The sequence of process and product increases participation, but the product comes directly from the girls’ participation in writing, imagining and acting stories in plays. Emphasizing standardized tests in the inner city kills creative projects like this one. RayS.

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