I have written about our current HSC Belonging assessment task previously, you can see it here. My students have requested that I make a model representation and rationale for them so they can see exactly what is expected of them. I was hesitant to do so as I feel that it could result in a series of copy-cat representations – contra to the educational philosophy behind the task: critical and creative thinking – however I have relented as this is the first time they’ve completed a task like this, with ultimate freedom of form comes ultimate responsibility. I don’t wanna scare the little guys.
Below is my representation of belonging. The process used to create the task is the process I have asked my students to follow, think about the ideas you want to articulate, the understanding of belonging you want to share, then think about HOW to do this.
UNDERSTANDING OF BELONGING —–> REPRESENTATION OF BELONGING
Rationale of representation:
Anxiety about one’s status within a group may result in self-imposed isolation. However, such isolation can facilitate independent thought. I have elected to use a new and evolving text form to represent the aforementioned ideas about belonging – the Google search video. This highly compact visual medium immediately resonates with the viewers because of its brevity and the ubiquitous nature of the Google search.
My understanding that status anxiety causes an individual’s reticence to belong to a group has developed as a result of my close study of Rolf deHeer’s film Ten Canoes, the short story ‘A Clean Well Lighted Place’ by Ernest Hemmingway and the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. These texts helped me to appreciate that individuals who become frustrated by their desire for status within a group may elect to remove themselves from the group, resulting in an opportunity to reconnect with their own thoughts about the world.
I have tried to represent this understanding of belonging in my representation through the use of humour, music and literary allusion. Humour is evident in the choice of search words used in the representation. The use of the lines ‘How to fit into a group’ and ‘Is being alone a bad thing?’ aim to be humorous as searching these indicate the persona is troubled by feelings of not belonging or perhaps an unwillingness to belong to a group. The background music is designed to be dramatic and builds in intensity to create sympathy for the searching persona who is experiencing conflicting feelings about their status. Finally, the literary allusion to Jack London’s Call of the Wild informs the well-read responder that the persona wishes to exile herself from civilisation just like Buck, the protagonist of London’s novel.
Ultimately, this representation aims to suggest that belonging to a group may not be conducive to independent thought.
Wanna make your own Google-search story? Click here.