Wednesday, February 07, 2007
THE ALGEBRA OF AWARENESS: COMING OF AGE IN THE AGE OF AIDS
What does it mean to "come of age"? What are the rituals, fears, and questions we have to mark the changes we experience in life? And what does it mean to come of age during one of the worst global health crises -- AIDS? At Crown Academy, I'm working with Mathematics teacher extraordinairre, Luke Albrecht, to develop a ten week unit that explores these ideas with 7th and 8th graders. We're using THEMBI'S AIDS DIARY (www.radiodiaries.org) to explore the stories behind the statistics. We're exploring the metaphors and functions of algebra to help us more deeply understand the significance of AIDS and HIV. Our first day was all about conversations related to "growing up." Students held silent conversations by writing to each other on large sheets of paper in groups. They asked each other questions and started to dig for the big ideas behind "coming of age."