New Civilization News - Category: Education    
 Children's Team Art Project11 comments
picture8 Aug 2005 @ 14:27, by jerryvest. Education
When positive or joyous feelings and attitudes pass through each organ and circulate throughout our whole system, our physical and chemical energies are transformed and balanced. Tarthang Tulku, Gesture of Balance

This newslog was inspired by Judih [link]in her work with children as a teacher, introducing music and art to teach teamwork, cooperation and interaction. During this past weekend I introduced this project to my grandchildren. We also included photography and writing to describe our project here on NCN. I will invite Ariana and Beau to share their feelings and thoughts about this project. Daeja enjoys her independence and decided she would not share her experience with us right now.

Ariana is 7 and Beau is 5. Daeja, our 3 yr old, had some difficulty sharing her art work with her brother and sister so perhaps she is too young to understand these concepts of adding to each others art work. Ari also had to remind Beau that our goal was to add to each others expression or try to improve it when we can. I think with more practice they will all improve their spirit of cooperation.

Our music, Culture X, [link] was very enthusiastically received and my grandkids would frequently leave the project and begin dancing. I think that these temporary diversions helped them extend their play time and enhance their abilities and creativity. I really appreciate their spontaneity and often dance with them.

This is Ari’s description of our art project:

Well, I love this project because it lets me express myself freely and I think it is a good thing for kids to learn how to cooperate and work together. When I paint, my feelings come out on the paper in a colorful and creative way. I also felt inspired by the game and that showed me I could eventually become a professional artist, writer and photograper.

The music helped me see that art and dance all go together nicely. The music goes through my body and makes me want to dance. When we stopped the music we would change each other’s art work and continue on with the game.

One other activity that we added was photography. I used PaPa’s camera to take pictures of the art project and learned how to load them into the computer. I had lots of fun doing this project. When we taped all our pictures together it looks beautiful like a thousand butterflies.

Beau described his experience like this:

This was fun and it made me happy and I would like to do it again some time. The End.

For me, I couldn’t think of a better way to have fun and be with my grandchildren. I love their creativity and joyful expression. They are really proud of their end result and know that we will frame the pictures and hang them on our wall.

Thank you Judih for the comments, enthusiasm and creativity that you share with us on NCN, on the Delphi Teacher Forum [link]and your own website. What an honor and joy you must be for children in your classroom as you naturally express your love for the arts and for the children you work with. Again, I look forward to continuing these projects with our grandkids, with the incarcerated juveniles, soldiers, and others I work with.

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 Romance Languages25 comments
14 Jul 2005 @ 16:48, by ming. Education
Now I'd kind of like to be able to speak Italian, since I think I'll be coming back. And it seems like it actually would be easier than French. You pronounce it like it is written, the conjugations are more simple, and many of the words are familiar. But learning a whole language is kind of a big thing.

Anyway, besides getting some beginning Italian books and a dictionary, I got a book teaching several Romance languages at the same time. Which kind of makes sense. They all come from Latin, they have many similarities, and it all becomes more clear when one is looking at the systematic differences and similarities between them.

I found an excellent book, "Comprendre les Langues Romanes", which teaches Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian to French speakers. And there's a parallel book in each of those 4 languages doing it the other way.

The book, interestingly, turns out to have been organized by some Danish professors in Romance languages, with the collaboration of colleagues in a number of countries. See, there's an idea that maybe is more likely to occur to somebody from a Scandinavian country. The 3 Scandinavian languages, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, are to a large degree inter-comprehensible to people from those countries. Oh, they're different in many ways, almost as different as the Romance languages are. Certainly not just a matter of a different accent. At least a third of the words are different, and pronunciation has very different rules between them, different phonemes (units of sounds), etc. But the Scandinavians learn the basics about the other languages in school, and they consider each other close. So, in principle, one should be able to speak in one's own language, say Danish, and another person speaks Swedish, and we can understand each other. There will be gaps and little things one doesn't quite get, but generally that works. Even if I can't list the rules for Swedish grammar and pronunciation, I mostly understand it when a Swede speaks it, and he'd understand most of what I say in Danish.

So, the idea is that one could have the same inter-comprehensibility between the Romance languages. There's no big reason a French person shouldn't understand a Spanish or Italian speaker, and they should understand him when he speaks French. Mostly that isn't so at all, but it could be if each of them learned the basic differences and similarities, and a bit about how they've evolved.

For examples, in French the word for the English "full" is "plein". In Italian that is "pieno", in Spanish it is "lleno", "cheio" in Portuguese, and "plin" in Romanian. That at first looks very different. But they all come from the Latin "pleno". It is simply that they've converted it according to different rules. Many words that would start with pl- in French would the same way start with pi- in Italian, ll- in Spanish, ch- in Portuguese and pl- in Romanian. Which suddenly makes it easier to recognize what the words are. There are a lot of situations like that, where the differences are quite systematic, and one can see the similarities through it.

Potentially, many people could be capable of having a basic understanding of quite a few languages, if they went straight to learning how they relate to each other, how they've evolved from common roots, and what the essentially differences are between them. Which would be a very good thing for cross-cultural understanding. Less of a Tower of Babel. Maybe you don't master the languages, but you can understand most of them.

But, hey, maybe there's a conspiracy against it. There is a curious coincidence in this book. Its main author is listed as Paul Teyssier, a Danish language professor. But the foreword is by a different Danish language professor, Jørgen Schmitt Jensen, the project's coordinator,who gives a lively introduction to the book, and ends with the sad note that Mr.Teyssier unfortunately has passed away, so therefore, in his place, he would be writing the introduction to Romance languages. And then, under that, there's another note, from somebody else, that unfortunately, because of Mr.Schmitt Jensen's untimely illness and death, the introduction will not be written by him either, but by so-and-so. Who apparently survived through it. But it is a bit like they all get killed off, because they have the audacity to teach more people to understand each other. Nah, they were probably just old, but one never knows.  More >

 Moonlight through Leaves4 comments
picture24 May 2005 @ 07:56, by koravya. Education
Monday evening into Tuesday, May twenty-third into the twenty-fourth. Every speaker has his or her turn during presentations week. Tonight the teamworkers of Group Dynamics covered three topics: the HIV-AIDS virus and epidemic and treatment at the state and global levels; history of internet, software, and media piracy in all of its various forms, and how it should be dealt with strategically and ethically; and the troubling issues and situations that many of today’s children have to face and deal with, including divorce of parents and their possible remarriage, abuse by one or both parents, verbal or physical, socialization issues from pre-school to adolescence and what or any concept of the future are they developing? Eighteen presentations altogether, eight minutes each, no more than ten. Shall see many of these same students in their portfolio and professional procedures class next quarter. Guided awareness training in how to develop an effective prospective employee persona. How to write up a one-page definition of where you come from and what you know how to do. Tomorrow evening, there will be a total of seven presentations covering three separate topics. Teams of two, two, and three, covering the effects of three specific U.S. based transnational corporations and the countries they operate in or through, either directly or indirectly. Could be very interesting if done well. Everyone gets a turn to tell the rest of us what he or she has taken some trouble to find out. The fruits of labor are spoken.
Image from: [link]
A rather evocative image.
*/-^/.*  More >

picture 24 Apr 2005 @ 09:44, by feecor. Education
The original Earthday was on March 21, 1970. The first Proclamation of Earth Day was by San Francisco, the City of Saint Francis, patron saint of ecology. Players at that time were [link] {link: U. N. Secretary General U Thant, Margaret Mead, John Gardner, Robert Muller, ... more.

As the times with the first astronauts was right later many Earth Days were created, but only the original is on Equninox and so in line with the traditions of many other cultures.
This note is written on the US - California Earth Day 2005 to help us see the various approaches to celebrate, honour, and safe Mother Earth - and see how they combined could be stronger, or seperately serve different "clients"??  More >

 The Violation of Our Children10 comments
picture 13 Mar 2005 @ 02:26, by nemue. Education
I have long held the view that Drug Companies are the scourge of the corporate world (yes there are others) but Drug and Chemical Companies in my view are the worst.

On reading articles of late on the topics of ADD/ADHD I question how long are we to stand by and watch our children being turned into a nation of ‘zombies’. If you haven’t taken the time to read up on this subject (and think of yourself as a caring individual) I urge you to so. This is frightening stuff.  More >

 Night into Dawn5 comments
picture12 Dec 2004 @ 09:21, by koravya. Education
Thirteen Moon Natural Time Calendar; Blue Crystal Storm Year, Overtone Moon, Moon of Radiance, Overtone 27, Kin137, Red Resonant Earth, Guided by Universal Water. Night of the New Moon, Saturday, December eleven. [link]  More >

 Memories for the Day5 comments
picture19 Nov 2004 @ 05:17, by koravya. Education
Thoughts for the Day,
Summary of Events,
Catalog of Occurances,
Synopsis of the Syllogism,
Ruminations on the Ridiculous,
Awe at the Awesome,
Fascination with the Fabulous,
Point of the Motion.  More >

 Request9 comments
picture25 Sep 2004 @ 03:39, by koravya. Education
To my well-informed friends at NCN, I have a request. I am currently teaching a composition course in argumentation, and part of the quarter’s requirement is to write a basic research paper. I’ve asked my students to submit their proposed topics, and one of them is interested in developing an informed opinion on the issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I would like to direct him to a few websites that can provide him with some balanced and reasonable perspectives on the issues involved. I know several of you are quite well versed in the deepest complexities of the history in this area. Where does one who doesn’t know much more about it than what he might find in the daily newspaper go to begin his self-education in this domain? Here is his proposal.  More >

 Education, then and now11 comments
26 Jun 2004 @ 19:28, by ming. Education
Via BoingBoing, this is part of a eighth grade test from a 1895 Kansas schoolhouse:
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono,super.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd,cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane,fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
OK, it is just the Orthography section. Not that the other sections are much easier. What the hell happened? In case you don't get the point, here's a sample piece of an 8th grade test from a U.S. school today:
11. What feeling does the author try to communicate about the topic?

A. serious
B. light-hearted
C. critical
D. silly

12. What question does this article try to answer?

E. Are Light Twinkies healthier than regular Twinkies?
F. Why do people like sugary, fatty foods?
G. Do Light Twinkies taste as good as regular Twinkies?
H. Why did the Hostess company invent Light Twinkies?
I'm not kidding. Most tests are multiple choice in the U.S. So, did major knowledge about education get lost, or were they really not as smart back then as it sounds like?  More >

 Last Day Of School14 comments
picture3 Jun 2004 @ 03:31, by jazzolog. Education
Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.

---St. Francis De Sales

My life has been the poem I would have writ,
but I could not both live and utter it.

---Henry David Thoreau

Tear open the tree!
And can you see
The cherry flowers that yearly
Bloom on Yoshino?


Am I preaching to the choir? Oh well, I love a good rant!

Picture of Dave Eggers at a recent booksigning at Boston College.

Reading, Writing, and Landscaping
Mowing lawns, scrubbing bathrooms, selling stereos: How teachers make ends meet
Dave Eggers
May/June 2004 Issue of Mother Jones

As a nation, we're confused about how we see teachers. Most polls show that respect for the profession has risen in recent years, yet we have certain quietly entrenched ideas—that teaching is easy, that teachers get out at 3 p.m. every day—and these notions, all ludicrous, allow us to accept the injustice in teachers' dismally low salaries. We love teachers, we think they're saints, but most of us consider unavoidable the fact that they are underpaid and often have to work two or three extra jobs to maintain a middle-class existence.

The latest statistics put the average teacher's salary at about $46,000; some teachers earn a little more, some a little less (the average teacher's salary—not the starting salary—is $38,000 in Kansas, $36,000 in New Mexico, and $32,000 in South Dakota). Overall, that's about the same that we pay pile-driver operators ($45,980) and about $8,000 less than the average elevator repairman pulls down. Meanwhile, a San Francisco dockworker makes about $115,000, while the clerk who logs shipping records into the longshoreman's computer makes $136,000.

The first step to creating an education system full of the best teachers we can find is to pay them in line with their importance to their communities. We pay orthodontists an average of $350,000, and no one would say that their impact on the lives of kids is greater than a teacher's. But it seems difficult for everyone, from parents to politicians, to shake free of a tradition in which teaching was seen as something of a volunteer project for women whose husbands brought home the real money. Today's teachers need to, but very often can't, support a family on their salaries. They find it difficult or impossible to buy homes, to save money, to live comfortably, and, in wealthier areas, to live in or near the towns where they teach.  More >

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