Utne Reader Project June 98

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Utne Reader Project June 98

-- Anonymous, November 04, 1998


Learning in the Key of Life by Jon Spayde, June 1998, pp. 45-49.

Why I found this article thought provoking. Timm Ringhofer After reading many articles that I thought would be interesting in the June 1998 issue of the Utne Reader, I finally found one that really sparked my interest. Learning in the Key of Life is an article on a topic that I have spent some time considering in the past, and renewed my thought patterns about it. I was raised on a dairy farm where in years past formal education was not a necessity. What one needed to know most likely was learned from elder family members or neighbors on how to get the job done right or in a better way. This type of learning is disappearing as we know it as families become more involved with other activities such as TV, the internet, or the countless other technologies that are available as we head towards the 21st century. A statement that I hear each day in my classroom is Can we use our calculators? Most days I say no, but in the past five years, I have become more and more willing to let them use the calculators. David Orr makes mention of slow knowledge vs. fast knowledge. This I believe in my classroom is difference between working the problems by pencil and paper and using the calculator. In an English classroom, this might be the difference between writing in calligraphy and using a word processor. It is my belief that students need to understand the slow knowledge in my classroom before they get to use the fast knowledge. Technologies change, as the article states, but the patience and resilience of completing the square of a polynomial or taking the derivative of function will always stay just that way. I hope that other teachers and business people see this the same way. In closing, I focused my thoughts on the above mention ideas. However, I believe that some other ideas in this article have merit as well. The idea of the humanities making one rich inside rather than moneywise is so true. Also, the idea that one must love a subject in order to learn is another topic that I very much could have discussed. Maybe in a future time, when time and society once again dont constrain us to specific work days and social norms.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 1998

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