Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Subject: Random Thought: Educational Theater
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 07:42:18 -0400 (EDT)

It's 5:30 a.m. The air is cool. The campus is still. No walking today. I'm in the office pouring through student journals. It's hard to keep focused on them. So, I'm taking a brief break. My mind was on yesterday's imaginative, creative, exciting, issue-raising, substantive 5-15 minute student "theater productions" in my three history first year classes about the American Revolution and the framing of the Constitution. Each classroom was an off-Broadway stage. The floors, desks, and walls were shrewn with props: cardboard tomahawks, paper feather head dresses, cutouts of a tea-bearing ship, huge painted scenery backdrops, waterguns in lieu of muskets, farm implements, colorful placards to stage scene changes, tapes to provide musical background, even a life-sized stuffed dummy. The students were decked out in costume clothing, wigs, and make-up. In groups of three and six, to each flicker of the lights, they offered drama, musical, comedy, and satire. So far all of the productions were worthy of rave reviews in the New York _Times_ and at least nominations for a Golden Globe. They have reinforced my belief, as I recently told someone, that in the educational long run--for lasting learning--imagination is stronger than information, dreams are more powerful than realities, creativity is more important than fact, a prepared spirit is more significant than a prepared mind.

We have about another two days to go. I can't wait.

Make it a good day.


Louis Schmier  (912-333-5947)
Department of History                      /~\    /\ /\
Valdosta State University          /^\    /   \  /  /~ \     /~\__/\
Valdosta, Georgia 31698           /   \__/     \/  /     /\ /~      \
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                          -_~     /  "If you want to climb mountains, \ /^\
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