Progressive Education, Education 225
January 29, 2013
Table of Contents of my Education
Seven Schools in Thirteen Years
I. School #1: My Montessori Education, All I remember is making bread...
II. School #2: My Co-ed Catholic Education, I am not catholic...
III. School #3: My Public Education: Too many kids in my class...
IV. School #4: My Experiencial Education: Taking Ownership of My Learning...
Standing up at the podium with a hundred people in front of my I opened my mouth to speak. I am the last of my class to speak to the audience. At this point 27 students have gone before me and I know I must try to keep the audience’s attention for just one more speech. I opened my mouth to speak my first speech in front of an audience. It was easy. I spoke about my love for people and for helping them. I spoke about making the world a better place and what I love to do. I finished the speech and was greeted by the first standing ovation of my class.
Hey everybody, I don't really know if this has any place in this Ecological Imaginings class, but maybe if we can imagine the preservation of women to be a form of ecology, not unlike the preservation of all plant life, animal life.
I just wanted to call everyone's attention to this excellent documentary currently being shown on PBS on Mon & Tues nights at 9:00 PM. I imagine you guys have lots of time to watch films, yeah! But this is an amazing series.
"Half the Sky" about gender based violence.
Here's the link to the first & second segment:
Hello beautiful Serendip world!
My name is Briana Bellamy, I'm a BMC alum '11. Recently, I returned from an incredible year of living in Nepal, working on a project funded by the Davis Projects for Peace grant. The project was called Sharing Knowledge for Peace, and its basic structure and philosophy grew from something that may be very familiar to some of you: the Teaching and Learning Initiative (TLI). As a sophomore at Bryn Mawr, I became involved with the staff-student branch of the TLI as a student mentor with a wonderful man from transportation services. It completely transformed my experience at Bryn Mawr, and became a huge part of both my sense of community and personal development. The relationships I built through the reciprocal model of the TLI and the deep learning I experienced both in these relationships and in the reflection meeting had a deep impact on me. I went on to become a coordinator for the program, and even wrote my thesis about it, exploring the inner workings of friendship, community, and shared spaces. I knew there was something powerful about the dynamics at play, and I was curious as to how the model of intentional reciprocal teaching and learning relationships could be valuable in other settings.
After skyping with the founder of an NGO which provides libraries and Ghanaian children novels in Ghana (I forgot the name of the NGO but I believe Kathy Knowles is the name of the founder) and learning more about the history of formal education in Ghana, I became to reflect a lot about what could be done to improve the education system in Ghana. According to Ms. Knowles, literacy is a problem in Ghana because reading is not seen as a leisurable activity, and is only associated with academic work. Moreover, education there is based upon repetition and memorizatioon, thus school can be very boring and dry to students. Also, students are constantly anxious about being graded since the whole curriculum and attitude of the teachers is based upon doing well on the exams. Additionally, I personally feel that such a system does not cultivate appreciation for the art of learning. We've virtually discussed (via twitter) the importance of making mistakes for one's learning and education. However, such a system in Ghana appears to leave no room for mistakes, or creativity for that matter. These aspects along with many others compose Ghana's education system and consequently do not appear to be conducive towards a positive, fun, and interesting learning atmosphere for students (or the teachers).
For my fourth class this semester, an independent study with an anthropology professor revolving around the topics covered in the 360, I have explored in the last week a series of pieces of literature delving into the differences and paradoxes between oral-based cultures versus those that have developed systems of writing. Specifically, my studies started by looking at Jack Goody's theory on the "technology of writing" in which he essentially argues that societies that have developed a system of writing have created a new tool or "technology" which has enabled them to be cognitively more advanced. The argument has been widely critiqued and problematized and I think the literature in general raises some critically important, provoking ideas.
I will summarize here a few of the contentions I found most stimulating. The first is the presence of logic and the potential way writing enables various ideas and works from different authors and different times to be consolidated in a way that is more logical and thus helpful than what can be done via oral tradition only. A second contention is that of audience. Whereas oral tradition requires, at least seemingly, an audience, written works can be written and transmitted without knowledge of a specific audience. I find this idea particularly interesting because it feeds directly into a third point about variability. Written works are stagnant to a certain extent, copyright and authorial presentation are limited to the page, lacking change with time, speaker or audience.
In looking at the tweets and conversations this week, I have made a few observations. First off, I would like to recall the tweets regarding bridging academics and personal experiences in the classroom as a means of learning. Something I am finding particularly useful about the Twitter is that it is allowing us to, at some extent, create these bridges. Though our experiences are held to a 140-character limit, it does allow us to bring what we observe, notice, feel, etc., in a precise moment into the classroom. Questions via Twitter also serve as a basis for further inquiry, such as the questions regarding code-switching and world-travelling. These questions, and the ones that are generated in class provide a framework and basis for thought, in and out of the classroom, leading us to form more experiences with the mindset and understanding of what we accomplish in the classroom.