Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Education—What For?" An Urgent Seminar
for Teachers, November 6 in NYC

Teachers all over the US and Canada are rightly outraged at the state of education in our schools today. Reading about the increasingly organized teachers' coalitions now combating the corporate-imposed, legislatively-sanctioned culture of testing is inspiring, and I respect them very much!

Still, the central question about teaching and learning must be asked—and answered—in order for education to succeed in the fullest sense: in order for students to love learning.

This will take place at an urgently needed seminar at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City on November 6: "The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Succeeds, & Answers the Question "Education—What For?" I'm proud to have used this exciting, practical method in my English classes for nearly 30 years, and I can say with confidence that it can change what goes on in every classroom for the good of students and teachers alike.

The announcement for the seminar begins:
AMERICA’S SCHOOLS are in tremendous turmoil, and in this desperately needed public seminar you will hear the solution. You’ll hear the convincing answers to questions which plague students and which teachers dread: “Why should I learn long division? What do I need history for?”—or earth science—or Shakespeare? Amidst new “standards” and relentless testing, a boy repeating 4th grade in the Bronx asks himself, “What’s the matter with me? Am I dumb? Will I ever be able to learn?” A frustrated 3rd grader asks her mother, “Am I learning math just to pass an exam?”

New York school teachers, using examples of actual classroom lessons, will show how the Aesthetic Realism Method enables young people to succeed—to learn with true pleasure, and also meet the feared “rigorous” academic standards with greater ease.

That is because Aesthetic Realism explains definitively the what for? of education, its purpose. "The purpose of education," Eli Siegel, the founder of Aesthetic Realism, explained, "is to like the world through knowing it." And he identified the greatest impediment to learning: contempt, "the addition to self through the lessening of something else."

This is the groundbreaking principle on which the Aesthetic Realism method is based: "The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites." At this event, NYC teachers will give examples from their classes of how lessons based on this principle make learning come alive!

 To read the entire announcement, click here.