Literacy is an indicator for all areas of development (economic, social, emotional, cognitive, vocational, etc.). We learn to read in order to learn everything else. While the number of readers has grown worldwide, reading comprehension stays alarmingly low because students need to use texts, not merely receive them, in order to interpret and understand. Pre-Texts engages students as active users of the material that they interpret and master.
Simple yet rigorous, Pre-Texts adapts to any curriculum and cultural tastes. “Make art with this text and reflect on the process” is the prompt that activates cognitive, creative and emotional development for groups of participants. This student-centered pedagogy invites students to propose the arts activities that they enjoy in order to interpret required texts. Playing with the challenging material is the surest way to master it. This acupuncture works with literature and science, with children, teens, and adults.
Pre-Texts adjusts to all levels of learning, leadership, and socioeconomic conditions. It works with standard curricula and manages to make new things with old materials (including recycled garbage). When participants witness the range of creativity and the depth of reflection among peers, they admire one another and become good citizens. In training workshops and a follow-up protocol, Pre-Texts refreshes civic life through creative and rigorous education.
"This matter of art is less foreign to the needs than to the tastes of our age; to arrive at a solution even in the political, the road of aesthetics must be pursued, because it is through beauty that we arrive at freedom . . . Man is truly human when he plays, and he plays when he is truly human,”
Friedrich Schiller, Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, 1794
"We lay hold of the full import of a work of art only as we go through in our own vital processes the processes the artist went through in producing the work. It is the critic’s privilege to share in the promotion of this active process. His condemnation is that he so often arrests it.” [Conclusion]
John Dewey, Art as Experience, 1934
"One of the violences perpetrated by illiteracy is the suffocation of the consciousness and the expressiveness of men and women who are forbidden from reading and writing, thus limiting their capacity to write about their reading of the world so they can rethink about their original reading of it."
Paulo Freire, Teachers As Cultural Workers, 1998
"To stimulate life – leaving it then free to develop, to unfold – herein lies the first task of the educator. In such a delicate task, a great art must suggest the moment, and limit the intervention."
Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, 1912
“Play is the continuous evidence of creativity, which means aliveness.”
D. D.Winnecott, The Language of Winnicott, 1996