|New plans. Ideas. Shinies.
||[Jun. 8th, 2010|12:43 pm]
So, not that long ago, I taught a lesson for one of my assessment points whilst being observed by someone from the university department. It involved an application of Hume's critique of miracls to a fictional narrative. A narrative involving sentient cake, a recurrant kleptomaniac cake-lover called Timmy and God owning a bakery. The 6th form loved it. My mentor / the teacher claimed that if it was fancied up a little bit it might have been something of publishable quality. Which leads me to think: So what if I spend time making more of these? What if I put real time and effort into things? It could make philosophy accessible. Relevant. Teach thinking skills. Teach argument and evaluative skills. Even just convey basic factual data in a way that makes it relevant, linked to other contexts and spaces where it comes alive and has purpose. The Ontological argument could be properly demonstrated, its reasoning inductively unpicked and poked and prodded.
Then I read Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture , which had a wonderful analysis of the power of collective knowledge in contemporary media. In particular, I was excited by the idea of transmedia storytelling. So I went on to study narratology, albeit briefly. I came to the conclusion that transmedia narratives could use everything here. Concepts and ideas woven into a fictive narrative space, linked to constant characters, environments and worlds. It crystallizes the abstract and lets students play with it. And the pretty thing about narrative theory (And the subsequent narrative pedagogy I'm building) is that it can be applied to any medium, any technology and be enhanced by it. Utilise it. So resources could be made to teach concepts, facts, skills, revise - anything and everything. Although hardly intended to be my or anyone else's sole teaching resource or dominant mode of practise, I think it could be something fascinating to explore and a powerful tool for learning.
I want to try and make some sexy resources to revitalise RE (Or, as I'd like to see it, Philosophy, Religion and Ethics). I want to do things across media. Thing that overlap, augment and supplement eachother. I want to produce films, games, video, interactive novels, roleplay, music - everything. So, that's what I'm going to try and do. Inevitably, I'll need a lot of help and will ask for it. Hell, people have already offered - and will quite likely be taken up on their offers once I've drafted my plans in more concrete terms.
But at the base of things, I think it stems from this: Religion doesn't have to be shit, scary or pointless. The concepts underlying it don't have to be meaningless abstractions. Too many text-books, resources and government ideologies seem to imply it. Society at large only sees the shit bits. Yes, aspects of religion are oppressive and hideous. But other aspects are exciting and stimulating - and still somehow incredibly relevant. And I intend to prove that.