Inventing the Humanities

Monday, May 01, 2006

What does it mean to learn?

I am having a difficult time deciding which of these proposals to write. I like both projects, however I think that I am going to write a manifesto.

I would like to write a manifesto about the way in which we learn. I think that learning has changed so much over the years and I do not necesarily agree with the road education has taken. Many of the stories we have read in class deal with how students were taught and in turn how they learned things, mainly academic topics. I would like to use the novels we have read in class as well as some of the movies about teachers and learning to try and strengthen my argument.
I am planning to compare education in our day with education in the past. I might choose to compare our education in the United States to the education process of those in other countries. With this, I would like to identify the problems I find with our educational process and write a list of solutions to some of these problems. Who is (was) most successful at learning? Why?

Tell me what you think.


At 6:39 PM, Blogger Cheryl said...

That sounds like a very interesting topic that can really be beneficial to you as an educator. I would definitely compare historical education to that of the system today. I think that it would allow you to examine the system in a way that we as teachers don't normally do. How much do you plan to focus on the systems of other countries? This may be quite complicated. Maybe you should focus only on America and a few others.

At 4:28 AM, Blogger Cynthia B said...

I was thinking, maybe I could incorporate or take a turn to how much control or say do we have about our own learning?

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Jason Tougaw said...

Your focus on "then" and "now" is ideal for a manifesto. Remember also that a manifesto is all about "what next."

That said, be careful not to overgeneralize. The development of education hasn't followed any single path. Focus in one a core set of changes--those that you can document--and then consider what the problems with current methods are. How might looking to the past help us solve these problems?

To do this well, you'll need to be very specific about the methods you're focusing on.

What sources might be helpful. The Young Composers? The discussion of 19th C studens might be an intersesting way to give this some context. Rodriguez and traditional Catholic education?

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Jason Tougaw said...

I really like your focus on the relationship between the "person" and the "student." How do these two categories tend to be in tension with each other? What particular experiences helped you put them into productive relationship with each other.

It seems to me that Miller and Rodriguez would be obvious sources for you. Perhaps Nafisi too.

I'm curious: how does this relate to the difference between "Brian" and "Mr. Kelly." There's a parallel, isn't there?

At 10:06 AM, Blogger elizabeth said...

Your topic sounds very interesting! Since you are a part of "the system", I think that it would be beneficial to focus on American education and how it has changed, since you have first-hand knowledge. If you look at the problems which exist within your own school regarding current methods, you might be able to compare this to the past or other types of schooling in the American Education system; ie: Private vs. Public, NY State vs. California, etc.


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