I have attended two of Oprah’s online book club sessions on Tolle’s A New Earth. I am fascinated with how Oprah selects to present information. Other than the face shots of Oprah and Eckhart, there were two screens of quotes from the book. Then there were various people who are skyping in, emailing in (Oprah reads their email), and phoning in.
I am struck by several aspects.
When there is a compelling topic, there is no need for a “three ring circus” to keep people interested. Do we have compelling topics in our classes? Do we have essential questions that are really essential to students’ lives? The battles of the US Civil War are not critical but the differences that cause wars (personal, national, and international) is a critical understanding.
Words have to be carefully chosen to convey a precise meaning. Eckhart uses words like “form” and “ego” very precisely. How carefully do we select our words in the classroom or do we “wing” it? Have we planned out a powerful verbal or visual script that guides our students in their learning? Are our words so precise that students can see differences in concepts?
Big ideas need to be accompanied by vivid examples so that the ideas become “visible”. How do we take the big ideas/concepts in our subject area and make them visible to our students through concrete examples? Do we have a story, a visual, an emovie, or some technology to show that depicts the big idea?