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Re: AEN hs rant


Date: Sun Mar 07 2004 - 10:40:54 PST

In a message dated 3/5/04 12:15:01 PM, writes:

> Personally...I resent what is creeping into our culture a notion that fun
> must incorporate a degree of aimless foolishness.  Everytime I watch a video
> on Michelangelo and what he was doing at 13 years of age...or that John
> Quincy Adams was ambassador of the Unites States in Russia at age 14, and
> that we have forgotten most vocabulary he used at that age which would send
> us to the dictionary in a hurry...I think something of value has been lost
> in this world.

I appreciate your point, Larry, but we need to keep in mind that not all
people in Michelangelo or Adams' time were as bright, literate and curious as
they. In the society of their time there were many ways to be a productive adult
without even being able to read or write. Today's society seems to demand
enormous paper/pencil skills of everyone (or soon new media skills?) I
believe that in this country we are attempting to do something that has never been
done in the educate an enormously diverse population through grade
twelve and mostly in the verbal/linguistic and mathematical/logical domains.
(Gardner) In the "good old days" upper level schooling was for the few. The
public schools are deeply flawed in many ways, but they do take all comers.
While I am often critical of aspects of public schooling it boggles my mind to
think of the alternative; who do the privatization proponents think will
educate those who the private schools would never accept? Now I may be
digressing I will also add that I share your distress at the parenting which
I see from a distance. Shopping and television seem to be major family
values in large segments of our society and with my young students there are many
who are such passive "watchers" that they need to have instruction in
imagination and play. All the more important to have art teachers, right? Thanks
for all your ideas.
 kathy douglas