“Beyond the classroom walls” is the title of a recent project that I am working on, and it was originally created to encourage educators to reflect on their education practices through various forms of Art. A Canadian teacher Liane Paixao concerned about the education system in Canada started this project a couple years ago. She first started to think of the idea of what she calls “bite-size learning”, using Digital Media, to deliver a concise and powerful message in no more than ten minutes about a certain education topic. She later wrote a song called “Is This For Real?” and recorded it in order to address one of the topics.
My job as a filmmaker is to make a music video about this idea based on her song “Is This For Real?” to promote this innovative idea. First, I have to say I like the way she thinks as she is not just working as a teacher, but also as a thinker who truly cares about what she does. When we talk about this project, I often can see her passion about how to let kids receive knowledge in a more interactive way. One day, these children will have to face the world and respond to real world issues.
Therefore, a music video may be used as a tool to help kids learn. As a kid who was born in China, I truly understand about the concept of “feeding knowledge” instead of always understanding such knowledge. In China getting a good grade is the ultimate goal of every student. The education system in China is also trying to make everyone act and think in a similar way. I have only received a university degree in Canada, but I think there must be some similarities about how to educate kids who are willing to learn everything through schooling.
Here is one line from the teacher’s song that struck me: “After 12 years of confinement to a desk, how do you conquer bias and oppression by memorizing dates and facts?” I am not aiming to make an “Educational” music video about this thought. I would rather create something more conceptual and interesting, so that everyone can think about education outside of the box and also be entertained. How I will use a limited budget to create something big will be the main challenge here.
After all, the message is simple: to challenge the audience, and to rethink what they know about education. Please give me some suggestions if you are interested in this idea. I am excited to work on the script now.