Myths for Mutual Pedagogy 5: Maze

You are teaching a General Education (GE) course at a large research university (during a period of the overhaul of the GE requirements).

In the classroom you have constructed a maze from a grid of wire, suspended 12 feet above the floor; heavy cord is attached to eyelets in the floor for verticals and walls made of clear plastic, black and white opaque plastic, wrapping paper, and newspaper.

Five members of the faculty and administration from the General Education Review Coordinating Committee, who came up with the revised requirements, are in the maze in a series of confrontations planned for the students as they come through.

You tell the students to go through the maze, to come out whenever they wanted and pass by the briefing area at the front of the classroom, which comprised a table covered in paper and pencils. You ask the students to write whatever words came to mind and go back through the maze again.

As your students go through the maze, encountering members of GE review committee and writing on the paper provided, you may notice the rhythm breaking down and the students resisting the lesson. They may even begin to destroy the maze, creating great momentary disorder. In its place, the students may in turn reconstruct a totally new maze and proceed to stay inside it for the remainder of the class, possibly staying for hours after the allotted class time is up. Other students may come in and drift in and out of this new maze, some visiting briefly, others staying for longer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *