Beatles, Popular Culture, Relevance, Perspective …

the Beatles

I (Clare) was reading in the newspaper that Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ performance on “Ed Sullivan.”

 I probably should not admit it but I clearly remember the event. My entire family was gathered around the TV. “Nielsen says 45 percent of all TV sets in use at the time were tuned into the broadcast, with fans and the uninitiated alike gathered shoulder to shoulder in their living rooms.” The article on the Beatles commented that they “landed on a trigger point when they hit America. It was a pop culture sonic boom spurred by talent, timing and luck that’s still rattling the windows.”
So I had a few thoughts when I read the article about the Beatles:
·      For me there are a few key events in my youth that gripped the national (and often) world stage. Events where I remember so clearly where I was sitting when I heard the news, how I felt … . For example, I remember so vividly when the school principal announced on the PA (something rarely used) that JFK had been assassinated and I can recall as if it was yesterday sitting with my family watching the live footage of the first walk on the moon … I wonder what will be key events for our youth today?
·      In our highly diverse world, events in one culture/country can be viewed very differently in another (on a small scale, my grandmother was appalled by the Beatles and their long hair). As a classroom teacher I used to bring current events into the classroom because I felt it was important for the curriculum to go beyond the classroom walls. As a teacher educator who teaches literacy courses I spend a lot of time on non-fiction, in particular perspective in newspaper and news reporting. How can we prepare student teachers to bring current events (and global events) into the classroom for discussion and interrogation when there are such different views? (The current Olympics would be a good springboard for discussion). I know as an experienced teacher the skill and diplomacy needed to handle discussions that can be controversial. Current events need to be in the curriculum if we want to be relevant but it is not a simple task.
And for those of a certain age, listen to your favourite Beatles song today and sing along as if you are a teenager.  Clare

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