Why We Need More Blue In Education

Diego Téllez Rodríguez posted this animated short film, Alike for the Innovative Teaching Academy group in early April.  Shortly afterwards, A.J. Jullianni thankfully shared his own reflection here because otherwise I may have missed this tiny treasure:

There are so many ways to reflect on this short film, but one thought is how we have squashed creativity and wielded compliance in so many aspects of what we call school.  Regardless of how we earned our teaching certificates, it’s unlikely that this was ever a vision that we created for ourselves or for our students.

North Carolina State University College of Education, Masters Degree Hood

The regalia worn by those conferred Masters and Doctorate degrees by Colleges of Education displays light blue along with the school’s colors.  Coincidentally, the father in the film is blue while other adults, including the teacher, are colorless.

It is the child in the film who brings color back to the parent and the parent who brings color back to the child when school has finally drained out every ounce of orange.

If you have Kleenex handy and can make it to the end of the credits, you’ll notice “To our families for helping us not to lose our color”.   One of my own sons lost his color back in elementary school when he had to repeatedly replicate art assignments without being permitted any creative freedoms. Subsequently, he wouldn’t consider those electives in middle or high school; so, this film has tugged my mom heart even harder.

For me, the color in the film represents the joy and fullness of life that comes with creation and innovation.  Being alike, thinking alike, looking alike, producing alike, and so on kills that joy and makes the world blah.  The color blue reminds me of my commitment and dedication to the Education profession and the vision I formed while walking the brickyard of NC State to facilitate learning for our #FutureWorldLeaders.

There’s not a lot of blue in my NC State color scheme, but I always tell my students and their families that the color of Education is blue.  Sure, our NCAA rivalries are fierce during football season and March Madness, but the blue of Education is the one color that unites us all.  

Education is “the great equalizer”, as in opportunity for learning not as in alike. Learning in the 21st Century without the creation component, is just school and just school was never part of our vision and just school isn’t what hopes and dreams for our future are built on.

The short film Alike has recommitted me to the teaching philosophy I formed as a student and to the blue worn proudly on December 18, 2013.  Since I never once have ever dreamed of doing my part to make the world blah, I’m putting more blue in my Educational practices with the goal of allowing for more color in my classroom.

Please join me in this endeavor for the sake of all of our children.  Feel free to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below.

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