Christine Slingerland believes that curriculum and literature can come to life when you combine them with theater, music, movement, and art. A longtime teacher in NYC, Slingerland was educated at Bank Street College of Education, a school known for its progressive and experimental approach to education. This past summer, Slingerland brought her teaching experience to the Literacy Unbound summer institute held in the Teachers College Learning Theater, where she led a workshop in music and vocalization.
The Literacy Unbound program embodies the ideas that Slingerland uses every day in her classroom. High school students and teachers throughout NYC come together during this 2-week intensive program to read and create an original performance around a piece of literature. This year, the group focused on Joseph Conrad’s controversial novel, Heart of Darkness. By having students and teachers collaboratively reimagine a classic text, the Literacy Unbound program aims to unbind traditional approaches to teaching and learning.
Through her music workshop, Slingerland was able to share experimental pedagogy techniques with the teachers involved while helping the students try out new ways to relate to a text. Sometimes unbinding traditional norms is as easy as reimagining a single line of text as a string of musical notes. And sometimes creating a learning community is as easy as singing that strand of music together.
Music: house by johnny_ripper