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Passions in Poetry

School

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Essorant
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0 posted 01-23-2007 10:25 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

School, from the Greek word:


σχολη [schole]"spare time, leisure, rest, ease"

[Liddel & Scott's Greek-English Lexicon]

Sound like school today?


Stephanos
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1 posted 01-24-2007 12:17 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,


That is not exactly descriptive of school today.  The reason being that the Greeks came to associate leisure with learning, since it was only when one wasn't occupied with physical labor that one could attempt to apply the mind and "figure things out".  As prosperous as Greek and Roman society became, it was one of the few societies where large groups of people had "spare time" to apply their minds to learning.


But anyone who has applied themselves to serious study knows that it is anything but "leisurely" in the original use of the word.  The explanation of the original word has to do with the incidental association I mentioned above.


Of course, one could argue that certain schools have reverted (in decline), accidentally, to the original meaning.  One could argue that in place of rigorous learning there is laxity and wasting time.


But as a college graduate, I would say that school usually involves very hard work.


The best critique of higher education I've ever read is "The Closing of the American Mind" by Alan Bloom.  It's criticism is not one of academic laziness however, but of philosophical forgetfulness.  Bloom would say that we work awfully hard at being ignorant.


Stephen.    
Essorant
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2 posted 01-24-2007 03:43 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I realized that context.  I just find it ironic how it came from a sense of leisure or spare time from other things, in which to learn and philosophize, to almost completly the opposite today, where it is now often felt to be more like a demand and unfreedom, and part of the burden, giving anything but a sense of "leisure" or "spare time".

Stephanos
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3 posted 01-24-2007 11:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I don't know Ess, it seems to me here in America school is too lax.  


School should foster a sense of rigor and discipline.  

I would say though that school has become too career focused, rather than knowledge focused.  


Stephen.
rwood
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4 posted 01-25-2007 10:15 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Teachers--would highly disagree with the Greek term.

I think that best describes those students who sleep in class, because they worked really hard the night before on becoming comatose. Their sense of leisure is highly intact.

Stephen~

I'd like to agree with you about your statements but there are too many schools in this country I can't get into. I either lack the talent, prestige, or ability to qualify for their particular fields of discipline.

so I want to give credit where credit is due, because I don't necessarily feel it's our schools' fault they lack challenge or discipline. I feel they mostly model or reflect society's priorities and demands.

As far as being career focused, most students who attend college are under grants/scholarships/and parental support. All sources pray they focus on some career because the funds are limited and the goal is that they become self-supportive, where much knowledge is gained by experience.

ChristianSpeaks
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5 posted 01-25-2007 11:25 AM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

quote:
School should foster a sense of rigor and discipline.  

I would say though that school has become too career focused, rather than knowledge focused.  



School's should foster a sense of rigor and discipline IF all things are equal at the onset. BUT there are not. Teachers are dealt a hand in each class that consist of family factors, poverty, language barriers, expectations. We then have to swim through that muck to set up expectations of the classroom.

"Yes, you may act that way at home, and I know your parents work the night shift, and your brother does drugs while their gone, and your dad hits you, but you have to focus on what is a quarter note and what is a half note right now.

So how rigorous can you be when teachers see themselves raising children as much as educating them.

That being said teachers and developmental educators are constantly thinking and emplementing new ways to test and new pedagogies to apply to the classroom to regain that rigor that has dimenished. It's not just career based. It's a lot more than that. If you teach you already know that.

cs
Brad
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6 posted 01-25-2007 02:55 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

If schooling is a form of self-improvement, isn't the difference dependent upon whether it is forced or not?

It's been a long time since I read "The Closing of the American Mind" but one of the points, I think, was that going to school to learn from our betters has been displaced by a belief that we are the betters.
ChristianSpeaks
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7 posted 01-25-2007 04:09 PM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

I see no emperical evidence for that. Self-improvement in school an utopic ideal that may work in high income districts, but many of these kids do better with strict structure and direction. It is only then that they will understand the freedom and enjoyment of self-directed learning.

You have to attend to the student as a person and as a learner. At times you will favor one side and at times the other. I didn't believe any of this crap when I was in school and now I try my best to balance day in and day out.

CS
Essorant
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8 posted 01-28-2007 03:04 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The problem I find is school is too much about academic and technical confirmation, and within fixed timeframes/deadlines, more than it is about learning in general. If one learn not or learn not well enough something within the confirmation-stipulations and fixed deadlines/timeframes, that the school sets, s/he basically goes down in the school history as a "failure" in that subject.  For example if Shakespeare is being taught in English or Literature throout that semester.  However, the same person, may have a masterful understanding of the Bible, Greek Tragedies, Edgar Allan Poe's poetry, et cetera, but because s/he didn't understand what the school wanted her, something Shakespeare wrote, had difficulty finding interest, difficulty writing about it, and failed, s/he gets to be dishonoured with a a foul "F" and go down in academic history with that too.  There is basically no recognition or honour given to one for anything one did learn in his/her whole life beyond the specific things and moments of the school demanding a somewhat specific understanding of this particular thing they happen to be teaching (for example Hamlet) and somewhat specific ability to write about that, and within a specific fixed timeframe and deadline. If you come ten years late, but with the best Hamlet essay ever written in the world, your F still remains an F.  Only the hares get to be the winners at the hastemaking school.  But at least the turtles get to win the much longer "race".

ChristianSpeaks
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9 posted 01-28-2007 07:28 PM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

I see what you're saying, but as much as school is about learning it is about adult preparation. You don't get a thumbs up for thinking about mailing your bills, but not quite doing it. The same is true in school. You have to teach a sense of responsibility and consequences, because these children have to be ready for that when they become adults.

You may say that it's the parents job, but sometimes, most times, the parents don't know what their job should be.

cs
Essorant
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10 posted 01-29-2007 12:13 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Imagine this:  A school-system where everyone may, for the most part, come and go whenever he wishes for most of almost any day, people of almost all ages and experiences together, setting up gatherings with teachers for subject-studies, and also being teachers to fellow students that are less experienced in a subject, and where even the parents may come for teaching and learning as well, where pursuing to learn something and get strong learning-help is as free and even more available than the average library book on a shelf,  and no one is ever called a "failure", and no one is forced that he must learn something only in a very fixed and specific amount of time.  If a person that can't afford much more than the food and clothes, and shelter he needs to live off, comes in and wants to study something and get academic help, he can find a way (just like everyone else) to have access to whatever books he may need without any charge whatsoever to use and study that, and find a way to get involved with a study-group and teachers that work with studygroups for the subject he wishes to be part of.  This is how I believe a school should truly work.  Just like a library, but taken to a far more active level.


ChristianSpeaks
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11 posted 01-29-2007 02:42 PM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

I'm afraid that with the state of education as it is currently, that idea is impossible.

Additionally, I think that it is of great importance that failure is taught either by experience or exposure. We do a great injustice to our youth by shielding them from failure while in the halls of education and slapping them in the face with it in the real world.

cs
Essorant
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12 posted 01-30-2007 01:43 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Are you suggesting that Ron couldn't make a school that works with the kind of principles that are here at Passions in Poetry? I don't think I agree with that.     
ChristianSpeaks
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13 posted 01-30-2007 11:28 AM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

I don't remember citing Ron as the basis for my statement, but I'm not going to make any sweeping generalizations like that except to say that on a large scale school cannot take on a classical bent as seen in classical Greek history.

There are too many external factors that create a need to be more than stereotypically educational in school.

cs
Essorant
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14 posted 01-30-2007 01:48 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Why would establishing such a center of learning be dependant at all on the system we have right now?  I don't think we must needs convert, or demolish the current one, in order to prove a better one.  But we will see how many people go to your school or university still, to be milled thro demands, stipulations and timerestaints, and if they are in the university stage, charged greedy amounts of money for learning, when they may come to this school, where people may find such strong learning and learning assistance, but come and go for the most part as they wish, people of almost all ages and experiences, being able to learn the same things but unpressured and for no charge whatsoever.

Ron
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15 posted 01-30-2007 04:05 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But we will see how many people ...

... hire your students, Essorant, for their untested skill sets?

Sorry, but I personally would just as soon that my surgeon attend and complete a more traditional school. I wouldn't want someone's first failure to be MY appendectomy.

Essorant, the kind of learning environment you want to promote is fine. Just remember, you'll have to print up your own degrees and certificates and should accept ahead of time that not everyone else is necessarily going to give them credence.

People unwilling to be tested and face defeat have to also surrender any chance they might have had for victory.

Personally, in my opinion, what you're describing isn't school and it certainly isn't a replacement for school. It is, rather, everything that is NOT school. It's what you do after the tests are taken and the degrees are granted. It's not school. It's a way of life, one that extends from the cradle to the casket.

Oh, and in answer to the original post, I think anyone who believes school is hard probably hasn't faced hard yet. They will, though.
ChristianSpeaks
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16 posted 01-31-2007 11:06 AM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

quote:
People unwilling to be tested and face defeat have to also surrender any chance they might have had for victory.


Well put!

quote:
I think anyone who believes school is hard probably hasn't faced hard yet. They will, though.


But those who have never expierenced hard are due for absolute and complete failure when faced with it in the real world.

cs
Essorant
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17 posted 01-31-2007 12:15 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
... hire your students, Essorant, for their untested skill sets?


The students at the Institute of Free Learning (that shall be the name of this school) are tested when they tell us they are ready to be tested.  The teachers encourage testing and progresswrits for careering-going and "credence"  When the student is ready and seeks to be tested in something (for whatever reason) the teacher creates a test for the student.  Sometimes the test is specialized specifically for the student, or specially according to what the progresswrit documenting his progress is needed for, and sometimes it is just "general" standard used a test in the subject.  What the teachers don't give however is a final and conclusive status. If someone does good on a test, or bad on a test, neither represents being "done" but represents a status in the midst of progress.  The student is encouraged and is always free to come back and learn more and be tested again, under all or any of the best helps we may give for the subject, thro resources, instructors, or physical application/training.  No one is a "failure" or "perfect" in the sense of "done", but those that have more trouble get more help, and those that have more success give more help.  The student that "fails" at a test is free to be tested again, without anything being denied or imposed on the student.  And the student that has great success is free to come back and continue having success, if not especially as a student, as a volunteer teacher or tutor.

 
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