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Lesson Plans


Re: stuff

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry (taylorh)
Sat, 11 May 1996 12:57:16 -0700 (MST)


On Sat, 11 May 1996, EILEEN PRINCE wrote:

> I believe one of the most negative aspects of human nature nature is
> our tendency to generalize:

Eileen,
This post is really an excellent exploration of the central
problems of epistemology

Below you confront the paradoxical tendency of things to be contrary, to
have two opposing but equally "correct" answers. Perhaps it might be like
the case of binary vision where two descriptions provide something not
present in either -- depth. It is connected to this point above with
which you begin.

Consider the problem inherent to language. Commonly, as Bateson noted,
language stresses only one side of any interaction; the perception of a
single eye is described. In the case of the generalisms, especially those
to which you refer of the us/them variety, generalisms are applied with
reference to only one side of the equation. However, THE OTHER SIDE IS
IMPLIED. And it would be useful if we could commonly recall that a
generality represented only one part of a double vision. To unravel a
generalism we need to supply the missing but implied information. Too
often, of course, we don't. Who teaches such thought in today's world?

Snip...
>>> ...every group is made up of incredibly diverse individuals, and we as
teachers need to see that and understand that different individuals have
different needs and that the strategy that works best for one child might
fail another. Just as the strategy that works best for one TEACHER might
not work at all for another.<<<<

Oh yeah!
My thought exactly.

Is there any response BUT improvisation? Not random response, but, like
Jazz (or even a Bach Fugue) a response derived from a collected body of
experience, "knowledge", and understanding of relationships.

It's that BALANCE word again that keeps popping up.

Yep. AKA -- Al-gebra (middle eastern) or Tao (asian). Does the West have a
tradition of the balanced harmony of opposites? We have the old Manichaen
Heresy still told in Star Wars, the opposition of GOOD and EVIL where
"only ONE can survive." If someone out there would remind me of that
Western tradition of the BALANCE of opposites I'd appreviate it. Probably
something really obvious like Barney.

Snip...
>>> Unfortunately, I believe, the answer to good teaching is, when all the
theory (even the wonderful Getty stuff) has been studied, and this month's
newest trend adopted as the definitive answer to great education,
............Definitive Answer???? GAG!!!!!...............................
just what it has always been - great teachers. People who understand the
basic goals and walk a fine line between structure and freedom to achieve
those goals. People who understand that children are not all alike.<<<

Used to be called "Wise People". Who cares about Wisdom these days? When
was the last time you heard Wisdom, or its accumulation, evoked in a class
for pre-service teachers? Yes indeed Eileen, this post of yours hits all
the hot buttons!!!

Snip...
>>>What I have come increasingly to understand over many years of teaching
is that one approach, (even mine!) won't be best for eveyone in my class
every time.<<<

And one teacher is unlikely to find the "key" or the right curriculum for
each-and-every student who arrives to be "taught" even IF a class can be
configured with a unique curriculum for each ,unique, child.

Snip...
>>>As teachers, we must be aware that different kids have different needs
and that, while we may not meet all those needs every time in every
half-hour or hour class, we need to try to reach everybody at some point.
We can't be rigidly wedded to one single approach.<<<

Snip...
>>>What we cover is highly organized. HOW we cover it is more open,<<<

Amen!

Snip...
>>>I am always intrigued by the comment that "We should not impose our
adult standards on kids art." I thought that was my job. That is what
teachers DO. We impose adult standards. That's why schools exist: to
enculturate the children with society's expectations so that they may
become productive, contributing members of that society.<<<

Yes! Yes! Yes!

When we impose "CHILDREN'S STANDARDS" we place an almost insurmountable
barrier between childhood and adulthood. The children learn to be
"successful children" because that is precisely what we ask of them in the
Western Tradition. The process of becoming an adult is, most often, left
incomplete. (But then we worship "youth" :-) Is it any surprise how our
children turn out when they face the beginning of adulthood still thinking
they should be like the most recent and popular idol of their generation,
the model of their childhood and adolescence?

Snip...

>>>there are no pat answers. There can be five teachers who disagree
totally about methodology and each one could be a wonderful teacher.<<<

Yep!

Neat Post "Princess" Eileen!

-henry