Sunday, November 28, 2010

Barry MacDonald - Implicit Social Contract

"Highly engaging visual ways of communicating thought" ~ Barry MacDonald

In this 90 second clip Barry MacDonald uses the concepts from Jeff Wilhelm's Implicit Social Contract. We all need to be making these types of connections with our boy learners.

First Mr. MacDonald speaks with the boy personally about his "trials and tribulations at school". This is first and foremost in Jeff Wilhelm's description of an implicit social contract, (Page 99) of Reading Don't Fix No Chevys.

Second, Mr. MacDonald zeros in on the personal concerns the boy has, "the boy feels like his intelligence isn't really expressed in his current environment, and has a written output problem" These are individual challenges the boy has. We know this as Mr. MacDonald explains specific examples.

Third, Mr. MacDonald asks the boy about his "discretionary passions", or in lay-persons terms, what the boy does for fun. The boy explains his personal interests include robotics, recording TV with a PVR and creating mash-ups and re-mixes using iMovie and uploading them to YouTube. This is the third important characteristic in Wilhelm's social contract: attend to my interests.

Jeff Wilhelm writes that if a teacher meets even one of these conditions, boys tended to respond positively and learn from and work hard for that teacher. So there is the challenge.

5 Steps to an Implicit Social Contract
by Jeff Wilhelm

1) To try to get to know our boys personally in a professional teacher/student relationship,
care about them as individuals and
3) attend to their interests. The other two are
4) help them learn and work to make sure that they learn and
5) teachers should be passionate, commited, work hard and know his or her stuff.

I try to at least meet one of the social contract indicators (but hopefully more) each and every time I work with boy learners.

Thank you Mr. MacDonald for sharing this powerful example.

Video Source: TedX - UBC

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