4. The Interview (K-12)
CLICK HERE FOR A MS WORD DOWNLOAD
Television interviews are a pervasive cultural reality. Every student has a picture of a reporter holding out a microphone to ask questions of an accident victim or a rock star or a politician accused of graft.
Questioning is firmly entrenched when it comes to the news media. A wise teacher builds upon such models, for the students readily ape the questioning styles they have seen on television so often. Unlike many textbook publishers, reporters like to ask questions that flow from or stimulate curiosity, because unlike schools, televisions do not have captive audiences. A reporter will ask the victim how he or she is feeling, the rock star why he or she used drugs and the politician why he or she betrayed his or her constituents. Sometimes we are offended by the boundary lines of decency that curiosity compels these people to cross, so a recent rock song portrayed the phenomenon as "We love dirty laundry." We should expect considerably more sensitivity from our students, yet the model can work powerfully for us as we explore the issues surrounding any human event being studied in a classroom.
If your class is about to read a story or see a film about an event, tell them in advance that you will ask one of them to act as one of the main figures in the story or film once it is over. The rest of the class will take turns asking that student interview questions. It is important to ask all students in the class to actually write out at least three questions to ask. Students may otherwise rely upon a small number of highly active and vocal students to carry the effort. Better to embrace all members of the class. Unlike answers, questions carry little risk because the activity has made it acceptable to identify what it is that you do not know. The more typical classroom activity involves concealing what it is that you do not know. When questions are nurtured, admitting a lack of knowledge is rewarded. It is the first step in learning and problem-solving.
Back To Contents