The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Week 2: Teaching to Transgress

Week Two Reading: Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks ( yup, no caps in that name! )

Often college reading assignments can be a bit dull but thats not the case in SCU 300. Here we only get the best: bell hooks. bell hooks had me marking orange highlighter all over this campus copy packet and adding specially cut post-it notes to emphasize the epitome.

So whats the main point?

* teachers should take a personal interest in their students and be excited about what they're bringing to the class. say maybe by rolling up to that school in a bus.
* education should not be: "memorizing information and regurgitating it...gaining knowledge that could be deposited, stored and used at a later date..."
* students should feel that their voice is important, that their contribution is equally valued and that they have a right to challenge the norms.

Some of these points you and I may take for granted. So right now I want you to think of your best educational experience. Your favorite teacher, class or chemistry lab accident. I'm willing to bet that these simple values were part of that experience. We of M-Lab are here to help build those moments... in the form of an RV.

With local high schools lacking the space and in some cases the ability to afford up-to-date technology, our RV has a purpose. We want to create an environment that makes learning more personal and certainly unique. We envision M-Lab to be an art gallery, a library, a teaching center, a space for creativity on wheels. It may not look like this just yet but no worries. We've got a plan.

1 comment:

Sam Harmon said...
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