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Subject:

CL quiz

From:

Ted Panitz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 17 Dec 1996 11:47:51 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (104 lines)

 Hi listers,

     Can you guess who wrote the following statements and when they were
written?  The author has done a marvelous job of defining why the lecture method
of teaching is so widely used while at the same time warning of its limitations
and drawbacks. In addition the author provides a very strong philosophical and
practical basis for cooperative learning, something many people have asked for
in previous discussions.

    I was considering giving a prize to the first ten correct replies, something
like a trip to the Bahamas during the winter months, but that is financially
impractical so your prize will have to be the satisfaction of knowing your were
correct.

    I will send out the answer at the beginning of the posting of responses to
CL series #6-policies, which shall follow wihin a few days. Some list members
will just have to let their excitement build over the next several days in
anticipation of that material arriving. A little like waiting for Santa.

     On a serious note I would love to hear your comments on the quotes below.
Send them to the list to see if we can generate additional discussion about CL
or to me directly and I will compile them.

Regards,
Ted      [log in to unmask]


The following paragraphs are taken from the same source and are continuous and
unedited. Quotation marks are left out for convenience.    WHO IS THE MYSTERY
AUTHOR???

  Intentional education signifies, as we have already seen, a specially selected
environment, the selection being made on the basis of materials and method
specifically promoting growth in the desired direction. Since language
represents the physical conditions that have been subjected to the maximum
transformation in the interests of social life- physical things which have lost
their original quality in becoming social tools- it is appropriate that language
should play a large part compared with other appliances. By it we are led to
share vicariously in past human experience, thus widening and enriching the
experience of the present. We are enabled, symbolically and imaginatively, to
anticipate situations. In countless ways, language condenses meanings that
record social outcomes and presage social outlooks. So significant is it of a
liberal share in what is worth while in life that unlettered and uneducated have
become almost synonymous.

     The emphasis in school upon this particular tool has, however, its
dangers-dangers which are not theoretical but exhibited in practice. Why is it,
in spite of the  fact that teaching by pouring in, learning by a passive
absorption, are universally condemned, that they are still so intrenched in
practice? That education is not an affair of "telling" and being told, but an
active and constructive process, is a principle almost as generally violated in
practice as conceded in theory. Is not this deplorable situation due to the fact
that the doctrine is itself merely told? It is preached; it is lectured; it is
written about. Bit its enactment into practice requires that the school
environment be equipped with agencies for doing, with tools and physical
materials, to an extent rarely attained. It requires that methods of instruction
and administration be modified to allow and to secure direct and continuous
occupations with things. Not that the use of language as an educational resource
should lessen; but that its use should be more vital and fruitful by having its
normal connection with shared activities. "These things ought ye to have done,
and not to have left the others undone." And for the school "these things" mean
equipment with the instrumentalities of cooperative or joint activity.

     For when the schools depart from the educational conditions effective in
the out-of-school environment, they necessarily substitute a bookish, a
pseudo-intellectual spirit for a social spirit. Children doubtless go to school
to learn, but it has yet to be proved that learning occurs most adequately when
it is made a seperate conscious business. When treating it as a business of this
sort tends to preclude the social sense which comes from sharing in an activity
of common concern and value, the effort at isolated intellectual learning
contradicts its own aim. We may secure motor activity and sensory excitation by
keeping an individual by himself, but we cannot thereby get him to understand
the meaning which things have in the life of which he is a part.  We may secure
technical specialized ability in algebra, Latin or biology, but not the kind of
intelligence which directs ability to useful ends. Only by engaging in a joint
activity, where one person's use of material and tools is concsiously referred
to the use other persons are making of their capacities and appliances, is a
social direction of disposition attained.

     The natural or native impulses of the young do not agree with the
life-customs of the group into which they are born. Consequently they have to be
directed or guided. This control is not the same thing as physical compulsion;
it consists in centering the impulses acting at any one time upon some specific
end and in introducing an order of continuity into the  sequence of acts. The
action of others is always influenced by deciding what stimuli shall call out
their actions. But in some cases as in commands, prohibitions, approvals, and
disapprovals, the stimuli proceed from persons with a direct view to influencing
action. Since in such cases we are most conscious of controlling the action of
others, we are likely to exaggerate the importance of this sort of control at
the expense of a more permanent and effective method. The basic control resides
in the nature of the situations in which the young take part. In social
situations the young have to refer their way of acting to what others are doing
and make it fit in. This directs their action to a common result, and gives an
understanding common to the participants. For all mean the same thing, even when
performing different acts. The common understanding of the means and ends of
action is the essence of social control. It is indirect, or emotional and
intellectual, not direct and personal. Moreover it is intrinsic to the
disposition of the person, not external or coercive. To achieve this internal
control through identity of interest and understanding is the business of
education. While books and conversation can do much, these agencies are usually
relied upon too exclusively. Schools require for their full efficiency more
opportunity for conjoint activities in which those instructed take part, so they
may acquire a social sense of their own powers and the materials and appliances
used.

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