All teaching and learning at Habla is organized along the following elements:
The Production of Original Artistic and Written Products
Performances of Understanding
Core Principles :
supporting peer to peer teaching and learning
creating beautiful work
connecting the world of the text to the lived world of its readers
documenting our processes and products
reflecting on our work
The institute is multi-modal – from highly interactive physical activities to more contemplative presentations and reflections. Challenging texts are de-mystified by playing close attention to the actual language (its sounds and silences when read aloud, its resonances, its images, its textures), by sharing multiple interpretations of and associations with particular pieces of text, by transmediation (re-representing the work in different media); and by embodying our inquiry through performances of understanding to be seen and heard by others.
Habla weaves mini-performances and artworks developed in the course of exploring a text into a celebratory culminating performance of understanding for an audience. Rather than labor over time intensive rehearsals to present a fussed-over show, the institute instead simply shares the artistic products that have already been created by the participants during the week. The performance included origin stories, praise poems, soundscapes, character arcs, kennings, prints, dichos (proverbs), and masks developed in response to the text of Don Quixote.
The participants and presenters of Habla’s teacher institute created a dynamic learning community which emerged from their radical creativity and openness to sharing and listening. The workshops and community-building exercises brought inspiration and a renewed passion for empowering their students, their community members, and themselves. For the emotional and touching final sharing, we each concentrated our spoken reflections down to the time it takes to exhale a single deep breath. The breath of fresh air.