Mindtools and Song: Connective Bridges to Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political Stories
Abstract: This paper references the constructivist, teaching for understanding paradigm, and discusses the ways that mindtool technologies, such as concept maps, spreadsheets, and databases can support student-centered, self-directed, authentic curricula. Teachers, in a facilitative role, can design generative questions that guide student thinking, and help them to make conceptual connections between their own interests and the general course information. Additionally, the paper demonstrates ways for humanities educators to utilize students’ pop culture interests, such as their own song choices, to explore both traditional and interdisciplinary themes. Mindtools can help students make new cognitive connections as they re-examine and re-organize information.