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As with most people I love hearing stories to help me learn and understand new ideas and perspectives. There is ample evidence to suggest that story telling is a great method to engage students and the ‘stories’ are generally things which are remembered long after the ‘content’ of the lesson is forgotten.

I stumbled across this great little project that tells a wonderful story of how an American educator and author, Philip Greenspun, donated a water buffalo to a poor family in china and follows their journey and how and why it all unfolded. Certainly a touching story that has a lot of potential to be shared in the classroom with lots of messages that can be discussed and analysed with the class. While it does not clearly link in with PDHPE I showed one of my year 8 classes this one today as we were talking about living conditions and there effect on health and they did not seem to connect with the message that not everyone in the world lives like they do.I find showing little clips like this can really focus a class on an idea and open their minds a little – much more than I am able to do with words anyway. A simple use of technology but certainly powerful.

I liked this little blog comment I found about the movie”I know some folks will fail to see the relevance in this, and will talk about standards and curriculum and mandated testing. But I guess I don’t see how this could be any more relevant – this is life in the 21st century (ironically demonstrated by very non-21st century water buffalo cultivation). This is 12 days from problem to solution, and 24 days from problem to Internet-viral-movie-extended solution that may impact hundreds or thousands. Shouldn’t we be teaching kids about this stuff? Can’t we address the curriculum and standards in ways like this? Shouldn’t we be helping prepare them to be really good at using these tools in both their professional and personal lives to impact the world around them? Shouldn’t we be helping prepare our students to change the world?”


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