The impossibility of it…

I am overwhelmed by the impossibility of it – all this energy; all these personalities with different experience, expectations, sensitivities, possibilities; intelligences. How to enthuse them, build up their confidence; allow them their individuality while keeping them on a road that goes somewhere? To provided discipline without de-motivating; to allow them to take responsibility for themselves.

What interests me is the process of school: what is really happening? What is really being learnt? The BIG questions:

  • What is really interesting?
  • What is relevant?
  • What do you need to know?
  • How do you learn it?
  • What is the role of school in this process? How can I best use it?
  • Who Am I? What is my character? How do I behave and react? What are my habits?
  • What is my motivation?
  • What do I want to become? How do I need to change to achieve this?

6 Responses to The impossibility of it…

  1. Okami*Ryu says:

    *What is interesting is the World.
    *What is relevant is what you can teach me.
    *What i need to know is the world, in order to become a concept artist and give the players or public a new world where dreams are real.
    *i learn it by living every day and taking all i can from school (it’s a shame that we don’t have more academic drawing, because i learned so much from it).
    *the role of school is to help me going to my goal. Help me understand things. The best way for me to use it is to take everything may teachers can teach to me and then remember what i need.
    *i am no one, but i expect to become somebody. i am shy, i think that i am stupid and that i have no talent, even if i expect to be good in drawing. i, sometimes tell that i am god, just to remember that i am so far from It and that i have so much to learn. i hope that i am modest and that i can tell where i’m average and where i’m very bad.
    *my motivation is to become a great concept artist. Known by the people working in the branch.
    *i want to become a concept artist. i need to try this world to see if i’m welcome or not. And i need to become good before i try it.

    Sorry for my bad English.

  2. Okami*Ryu says:

    i made a lot of writing mistakes and a lot of grammar and vocab mistakes. sorry.

  3. Tabitha says:

    Are these questions you want your students to consider and explore? Or, are they the questions you ask yourself as the teacher. I think they are relevant either way, and a key component in answering them lies in teaching our students to analyze and figure out what questions to even start with.

    You ask: Who Am I? What is my character? How do I behave and react? What are my habits?
    What is my motivation? These questions are just as valid for the teacher as the student, and the mere acknowledgment that they are pertinent is something that I think effective teachers consider of themselves as well as their students–and teach their students to ask.

    Whether the object of study is literature, history, chemistry or philosophy, making the knowledge applicable to the students’ daily lives is important–and challenging. Of course, this means staying in touch with who your students are and what is important in their lives.

    • pp says:

      Both! I agree with you entirely. I am writing a book at the moment in which I say: “The simple truth is that we cannot know The Truth; we can no only a truth: that truth which arises from our own experience, perception and cultural values. Yet, like children, as Scott Peck writes, we hold on the illusion that we are the centre of the universe and that those who do not share our perceptions are mistaken or evil. Much human misery arises from mistaking the subjective for the objective and reducing of . to fixed and inflexible models, rather than the living, breathing relations of which it consists.” Research suggests that we must reach 18 years before we can understand such relativity but I think we can sew the seeds. I became a teacher because I believe that the power to think for ourselves is the only liberty that we can achieve and I wish to give my students the tools to do this

  4. Tabitha says:

    Oh,how I wish we had more teachers like you, then! I think you are right when you say thinking for ourselves is the only freedom we can achieve. I am striving to teach my seven year old that, and his self-analysis and perception continually amaze me. I believe you can provide the foundation for this kind of questioning and probing analytical thought by engaging in a continual dialogue with others–whether it is a five year old or a 22 year old–by continuously pointing out applicable experiences, providing interesting analogies, and asking questions, yes, but discussing the validity of answers and building up a self-confidence in an individual’s analysis of the world.

    Our classrooms, where it is often more desirable to be quiet and follow directions unquestionably, are probably the reason for this idea that 18 is the beginning of this analytical ability–that’s about the age when students are beginning university studies and are finally asked to think for themselves. The problem I’ve seen with this as an instructor is that these 17, 18, 19 year old have no concept that it is alright to question and think for themselves–rather, they regurgitate what they have heard throughout school. As a result, students seem unable to question and analyze ideas and understand them relative to their world.

    I have really enjoyed what I’ve read so far–thank you for sharing!

    • pp says:

      Thank you for your encouragement: so much of schooling is about power and control: getting people to obey and accept their position rather than question and change! There is a lovely quotation from a teacher of medicine that I use a lot:

      “We say we want sensitive, thoughtful, analytic, independent scholars, then we treat them like Belgian geese being stuffed for pâté de foie gras. We reward them for compliance, rather than independence; for giving the answers we have taught them rather than for challenging the conclusions we have reached; for admiring the brilliance of purely scientific advances rather than developing greater sensitivity to the inequalities in health care we have too often ignored. As one of my associates has observed, ‘we put our medical students in jail for years in order than they shall learn to become free men.”
      G.E. Miller ‘Teaching and Learning in Medical Schools. Medical Education 12 Supplement 1978

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