Thursday, July 31, 2014

Are These Really "Atrocities"?

Chris Jordan is a photographer and artist making bold statements with images.

At about the 7 minute 30 second mark he calls the statistics surrounding prescription drug consumption, imprisonment, and breast augmentation surgeries "atrocities" in our culture. Is he right?  Since I teach teenage girls and see their daily struggles (not to mention that I vividly remember my own), the stats on breast augmentation surgeries for women under the age of 21, and given as a gift for high school graduation.... well, I'm not sure what to say.

Once we have gotten past our first five days and students have set up their initial tech, critical research, and analysis skills; I'd really love to dive into history with these images of today's statistics.  The lesson is that we have arrived at this place because of our history.  My job is to teach kids the history and to help them understand how it affected the present.  Their job is to help create change that will move us in a positive direction.  The people who came before us were not bad, but they were not aware the way we are.

School is meant to create better people who can think about the world's problems in new ways. We educators should not be indoctrinating a method of thinking. We should be inviting kids to create new ways of thinking.  I saw this last week on the iSchool Initiative tour bus and it really sets the mission of modern education:


How do we help our children understand that we and they are tasked with shifting our culture?  How do we get them to think in terms of "better" instead of "more"?

For more of Jordan's powerful work please visit his blog at Running the Numbers and Running the Numbers IIExperience the images. Read the corresponding statistic and click to see the picture zoom in or out to give you a true sense of the numbers.

Note: This post was inspired by coursework from Primary Source, Inc.