Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Week Links

I think I'll try putting some of my shared items in a post like Melissa does. So here is the Christmas Week collection:

Christmas (there are still 11 days of Christmas, you know!)

Even a custom like Christmas baking ... has its roots in the Church's Advent liturgy, which makes its own the glorious words of the Old Testament... 'In that day, the mountains will drip with sweetness, and the rivers will flow with milk and honey.' People of old found in such words the embodiment of their hopes for a world redeemed....

Perhaps the right way to celebrate Advent is to let the signs of God's love that we receive in this period penetrate our soul, without resistance, without questions and quibbling. Warmed by these signs, we can then receive in full confidence the immeasurable kindess of this child.


So let’s say you teach algebra to this purely hypothtical group of kids. How would you approach it? I’m guessing that in 95% of the cases, the answer is as simple as saying, “I would teach them the text book, lesson by lesson, in sequence.” Ready for some irony? You can do that successfully, but it’s extraordinarily difficult. Here’s my thesis: to teach algebra that way would almost always be teaching your students to think like slaves.

The free mind is the mind that sees into the nature of things. When he reads a sentence like that, his eyes don’t glaze over and complain about it’s obscurity and how it distracts from the immediate needs of the moments. Something within is aroused. That something is whatever is left of the his sense of human dignity, and it is aroused to a very quiet hope that maybe, after all, in spite of the way his human dignity has been abused and belittled by his schooling and his work and his available forms of entertainment and everything about our society, still, maybe there is the possibility of becoming human.

And that possibility is the purpose of education.

So when you teach that algebra class, your immediate goals (getting through the lessons, learning a formula, etc.) can never be allowed to undercut that purpose.



Well, that took a bit longer than pushing the "shared items" button but it was interesting to pull together.

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