August 6-9, 2019
I am Mexican by will and by imagination. – Carlos Fuentes
How do we approach teaching concepts like culture and identity in our classrooms? In her extraordinary TED talk, novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns us “the consequence of the single story is that it robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult and it emphasizes that we are different rather than how we are similar.”
This institute explored how we avoid the danger of a single story. Rather than looking at the single story that often characterizes Mexico in politics and media, this institute combined multiple layers of stories, cultural traditions, and artwork to paint a complex picture of Mexico. Teachers left the institute with an approach for curating any cultural or historical experience in the classroom, and with a variety of strategies for discussing cultural topics.
Throughout the week participants created with multiple art forms, marrying text with visual art, music, movement, and theatre. The institute is always shaped around core texts, but all institute activities can be applied to any grade level and text, preschool through adults.
The Chicago Institute was co-sponsored by Summit School District 104 and Berwyn North School District 98 with support from the Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.
This year’s institute was held at The National Museum of Mexican Art.
In the course of the day, all the learning experiences grew out of and built upon a set of core principles that are central to Habla’s methodology:
- Community building
- Multilingual communication
- Cross cultural exchange
- Meaningful texts
- Original energy coming from participants
- The making of beautiful work as an intrinsic motivation to learn
- Shared leadership