Performing Knowledge?

Posted on: April 13th, 2011 by

where performance and education meet

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”  Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Physicist and astronomer.

Each of us bears knowledge.  Each of us performs that knowledge daily, in our interactions with others and the world.  Performing that knowledge is what we do, however flawed the performance, however incomplete the knowledge.

The Performing Knowledge Project seeks to span that chasm between the knowledge we know and the knowledge we perform.  Through workshops, performances, and essays. Performing Knowledge offers teachers, students, artists, and audience possibilities. 

“Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire.”  William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) Poet and dramatist.
Course objectives are so technical; educational goals, so economic.  Education is nothing, however, if it does not inspire action, if it does not motivate more learning, if it does not become meaningful.  Thus, each classroom, each lesson, each assignment, each performance should seek to take the participants to a new place, a place of wonder and invention.
The Performing Knowledge Project seeks to advance experiments in theatre, performance, and education, with the goal to make each of us a better bearer of knowledge.

“If we would have new knowledge, we must get a whole world of new questions.”  Suzanne Langer (1895-1985) Philosopher and Educator

Each of us engages the world as learners.  Each of us explores the organization of the world around us.  The questions that we put to that world will determine the kind of answers we receive.  The answers we receive determine the systems of thought we gain.

The Performing Knowledge Project seeks to clarify the questions asked and, in that way, places the questions before both the process and the product of art and learning.  For without knowing the questions we are asking, we can never evaluate the effectiveness of the processes used or the validity of the answered constructed.

“In education, nothing works if the students don’t.”  Donald E. Simanek (1936-) Physicist, educator, humorist.

We do what we know.  We know what we do.  If the teacher works more than the student, then the student learns less that the teacher.  To perform is to learn, even as it demonstrates what we have already learned and what we still need to learn.

The Performing Knowledge Project strives to elevate performance as the missing ingredient in many of the educational models that currently dominate American schools. Our kinesthetic selves have been neglected too long within the nation’s educational environments.  We need to embody knowledge more fully.