Magic of Meta

Standard

It’s been such a crazy year and a long time since our last post. As evidence, check out this more recent pic of the previous blog’s cute kitten:

Change is actually the topic for this blog. In particular, let’s look at the transformation of superheroes and teachers.

(Slight Spoilers Below!)

Televised Transformations

The new Disney+ show “WandaVision” has been a love letter to sitcom television through the ages. Although it started as a unique gimmick, the episodic show slowly revealed a larger narrative and connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Along the way, viewers got to enjoy a loving homage to past and present TV shows from “I Love Lucy,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Family Ties,” “Modern Family,” and more.

Interestingly, despite advances in technology and techniques, “WandaVision” as a show didn’t stray much from the standard sitcom formula. Even though styles changed over the decades, each 30-minute episode featured similar jokes, hijinks, character interactions, and more. (And if you’ve seen the show, you might notice parallels to the grieving process.)

True change finally occurs when a new element is introduced. Namely, magic.

Hints of the supernatural popped up throughout, but it wasn’t until “WandaVision” was halfway over when the series truly transformed.

Change in Schools

Teachers, think about the analogy to education. Schools and classrooms are notorious for slow transformation.

Take a look at the following slideshow of classroom photos and notice the similarities over the years.

One of these classroom images isn’t even a REAL school. It’s from the Star Wars show “The Mandalorian.” If that story takes place “in a galaxy far, far away,” it shows how widespread and ingrained our cultural view of schools reaches.

This is not to say that a certain formula is always bad. On the contrary, it often helps to follow a standard template and procedure. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That said, the best teachers (and schools) strive to always get better. That pursuit of improvement requires transformation, which might involve drastic changes from time to time.

The show “WandaVision” demonstrated that minor changes can occur over time, but true innovation requires something more, something magical.

So Meta

A lot of the fun from “WandaVision” has been its meta-commentary on television eras and cultural norms. This involves stepping back from the story and reflecting on the larger picture. The same happens to the characters in the show.

In order for education to improve, teachers and schools must take time to “step back” and reflect. Research on learning supports the powerful role of “metacognition,” or “thinking about thinking.” Educators are encouraged to use metacognition strategies to help students learn, and we should do the same for our own growth, learning, and change.

Metacognition may not be magical, but it can certainly lead to metamorphosis.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s