Where’s the harm in bringing pop culture into the classroom? Where’s the harm in letting music, like that of the Punk movement and the Sex Pistols, overrun our students’ attempts at writing? Where’s the harm, I ask?
There could be a lot of harm actually. Harm that they throw off the stifling nature of by-the-book, teacher-taught processes and systems. Harm that they might write about something they actually care about, even if it is a little off-setting to everyone around them. Harm that they might not try to perfect something, but rather re-form something old into something relevant to themselves and, in doing so, something new.
Harm that they might not see the academy’s side to things and refuse to join it or any other form of “civilized,” rationalized society. Harm that they may become different, in dress, in body art, in writing style.
The Punk movement asks listeners to listen before they move on to make their own art, rejecting the old on the way. Do we ask our students to write, so that they can ultimately reject that too, and begin writing in a whole new way, original (or semi-) to themselves? Maybe we should. What’s the harm?