Thursday, January 19, 2012

Parrots in the classroom?

MAXINE NODEL at NYTimes/Schoolbook has a post titled Of Parrots, Paras and Time which includes text:

In a scary, echoing room, two older Board of Examiners sat before a table as good cop/bad cop, pressed a tape-recorder button and questioned me about art pedagogy. All was dandy until they inquired as to how I would make use of a parrot in my classroom.

Actually, they said, “para,” but since I hadn’t studied education, I was unaware that the question was about a paraprofessional. I proceeded to talk about birds in education to the best of my ability. Luckily, the two gentlemen did not hear me say the ‘t’ sound at the end of “para.”

“I think any addition to the classroom is beneficial. Students can work in small groups with the parrot. They can take the parrot on field trips. Students can talk and listen to the parrot to improve their verbal skills and have lunch with the parrot. And if it’s an older parrot, students can learn about the aging process.

“Very good, Ms. Nodel!” they said.

Having a parrot, especially a macaw like Lex Luther, would likely be a valuable addition to a classroom. As one point, though, parrots don't show easily perceptible signs of aging. To a a large degree, they pretty much look the same, year after year.


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