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Lesson Plans

Philosophers' Walk: Farewell for now.

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
marcia m eaton (marciameaton)
Fri, 4 Jun 1999 04:06:09 -0400

It's time to say goodbye at the end of the school year and at the end of
our Philosophers' Walks for this season. Ron Moore and Marcia Eaton want
to say how much we've enjoyed this experience, and how much we've learned
from it.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson we've learned is that a good many
visitors to the artsednet site and digest, and especially teachers, are
quick to put these ideas to use in their own local contexts. We were
particularly impressed with some of the classroom uses made of the
questions and concepts we brought up.
Secondly, it is refreshing to see that some of our preconceived ideas
about where the conversation would go were absolutely wrong. Often, a theme
that we didn't anticipate catching fire was just was caught the fancy of
the web-users. And once the theme got going, it often snowballed (talk
about mixing metaphors!), with lots and lots of different takes oin issues
involved. (Consider, for example, the discussion of size or the recent
conversations about distorition and truth.) SOME of the philosophical
questions we thought would be useful and appealing didn't go very far.
(For example, althoiugh the evidence discussion was fun and interesting, it
didn't really get into the epitemological and logical issues we thought we
could tease folks into addressing.) Getting the right questions will take
more time and advice from people who actually work with students at
different ages.
We've been impressed with the friendliness and welcoming spirit in which
almost all the conversations have taken place. It's a bit like being at a
big neighborhood block party (where not everyone brought the same tuna
hotdish) where you are happy to discover that the folks turn out to be
interesting, bright, versatile conversationalists. It wasn't hard to get
chats going at all.
We welcome suggestions from all of you about how to improve our
attempts to integrate aesthetics and other philosophical questions into the
classroom. One idea we've played with is doing a video (a la Sister Wendy?)
where we actually are seen and heard as we walk in the presence of artworks
and where the video can be "paused" so that students can join in the
conversation. Who knows where developments in electronic media might take
us next. Certainly a decade ago, neither of us would have imagined
ourselves plugged in the way we have been this year.
So----best wishes for a very happy and relaxing summer. Hope to cross
paths with you again very soon.
All the best, Ron and Marcia