Giving Meaning to the Absurd




Cassivi, Audrey
Mercier-Plouffe, Julie

From the perspective that all teachers must innovate and use their creativity to facilitate students’ access to knowledge, the authors emphasize the importance for school content to connect first and foremost to the student’s primary culture and serve as the basis for building knowledge and a secondary culture. A didactic sequence illustrates how this approach was used to introduce the absurd school of thought in the course Littérature et imaginaire. The sequence, which uses plays, humorous sketches and a film, not only covers the entire subject matter, but also meets ministerial expectations and competency components. In addition, it attempts to bridge the gap between primary and secondary cultures, something the student must achieve. The authors provide details of the sequence in two modules designed to introduce and have the students appropriate the play under study. These activities allow the student to play an active role in his cognitive process and the acquisition of knowledge, with constructive evaluations included to measure how well the program’s objectives are achieved. Opening up to students’ primary culture and using it as a springboard in our teaching can prove highly useful in reaching our educational goals.


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