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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two provocative articles for my students

 Waselenchuk’s judgment of the court’s geometry would make even Euclid wonder.
I'm giving my Philosophy of Ed students two provocative articles from the New York Times to consider. They have just finished reading John Dewey's Experience and Education and the articles exemplify the fundamental connection between experience and learning.

The first is, "A Field Trip to a Strange New Place: Second Grade Visits the Parking Garage" by Michael Winerip.
Experiences that are routine in middle-class homes are not for P.S. 142 children. When Dao Krings, a second-grade teacher, asked her students recently how many had never been inside a car, several, including Tyler Rodriguez, raised their hands. “I’ve been inside a bus,” Tyler said. “Does that count?”

When a new shipment of books arrives, Rhonda Levy, the principal, frets. Reading with comprehension assumes a shared prior knowledge, and cars are not the only gap at P.S. 142. Many of the children have never been to a zoo or to New Jersey. Some think the emergency room of New York Downtown Hospital is the doctor’s office.
 To understand how Kane Waselenchuk became the dominant player in the history of racquetball, one must embrace the teachings of the Bulgarian psychotherapist Georgi Lozanov... “He developed a way of teaching called Suggestopedia,” Jim Winterton, the coach, said about Lozanov. “In layman’s terms, it says that everybody has the capacity to be a genius, but the traditional education system screws us up. Children play using all their senses and learn all they know before school, and once they get there, it slows dramatically.”

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