Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday Night Salon

When was the last time you had a genuine conversation--an experience not of mere self-assertion but of speaking and listening as though you had something both to offer and to receive? Our habits of language define us, but the pace of our lives is such that the simple gestures of listening carefully and speaking prudently are amazingly rare. The Friday Night Salon aims at being an alternative to the urban rush that denies the civilizing graces of community.

1. Are there "unalienable entitlements"?
2. What brings us happiness?
3. Is learning a competitive activity? Should it be?

3 comments:

Rummuser said...

I had a genuine conversation with my son this morning. He was sounding me out on a project that he is working on and was preparing a presentation. I was fascinated. He asked me some specific responses and he was amazed at the insights that I could offer. If both can listen and contribut without trying to score brownie points, conversations are still possible.

You ask a difficult question, or rather, in my view, the wrong question. Instead of "Learning", if you had used "Education" as being competitive, it would make more sense in the context. I believe that the original purpose of education - learning to learn, has been destroyed by our competitive orientation in the system. If I had my way, which I had with my son, I would have nothing to do with it. I would encourage children to learn to learn while doing everything that they should be doing when young like playing, wondering, dreaming and creating. Our present systems do not allow for those. I have posted a blog on this subject that may interest you: http://rummuser.com/?p=3020

Ginger said...

#1 I dislike the word "entitlements" which to me implies that there is something that, depending on who we are, allows us to have something that others do not get.. I'm thinking this question is a product of the health care issue where conservatives have decided that having healthcare is priviledge (like, as they say, car insurance) and not a human right. To me, everyone has the same rights and therefore "entitlements"
2. I don't know.. Define happiness. Seriously. If we can all agree on that, then we can answer this question.
3. In short, as things are, yes, it can be but only for honors students. The gap is widening so much that I'm afraid - like people fear the gap in wealth that generally causes revolution - of what might happen. There does need to be an education revolution. We do need basics, but after that I'm all for inquiry based learning like Ramana suggests. Unfortunately, that costs an an incredible amount of money (and time investment and patience), curiosity and experimentations does, and we as a society are not willing to pay the price.

gaelikaa said...

Some people seem to have a lot of success homeschooling their children. But I seriously thing that parents are the first educators of their children whether they attend schools or not and that in the education of children the school and home should complement each other.

The correct balance of listening to others as well as speaking is actually an acquired skill, and one which we can never stop learning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday Night Salon

When was the last time you had a genuine conversation--an experience not of mere self-assertion but of speaking and listening as though you had something both to offer and to receive? Our habits of language define us, but the pace of our lives is such that the simple gestures of listening carefully and speaking prudently are amazingly rare. The Friday Night Salon aims at being an alternative to the urban rush that denies the civilizing graces of community.

1. Are there "unalienable entitlements"?
2. What brings us happiness?
3. Is learning a competitive activity? Should it be?

3 comments:

Rummuser said...

I had a genuine conversation with my son this morning. He was sounding me out on a project that he is working on and was preparing a presentation. I was fascinated. He asked me some specific responses and he was amazed at the insights that I could offer. If both can listen and contribut without trying to score brownie points, conversations are still possible.

You ask a difficult question, or rather, in my view, the wrong question. Instead of "Learning", if you had used "Education" as being competitive, it would make more sense in the context. I believe that the original purpose of education - learning to learn, has been destroyed by our competitive orientation in the system. If I had my way, which I had with my son, I would have nothing to do with it. I would encourage children to learn to learn while doing everything that they should be doing when young like playing, wondering, dreaming and creating. Our present systems do not allow for those. I have posted a blog on this subject that may interest you: http://rummuser.com/?p=3020

Ginger said...

#1 I dislike the word "entitlements" which to me implies that there is something that, depending on who we are, allows us to have something that others do not get.. I'm thinking this question is a product of the health care issue where conservatives have decided that having healthcare is priviledge (like, as they say, car insurance) and not a human right. To me, everyone has the same rights and therefore "entitlements"
2. I don't know.. Define happiness. Seriously. If we can all agree on that, then we can answer this question.
3. In short, as things are, yes, it can be but only for honors students. The gap is widening so much that I'm afraid - like people fear the gap in wealth that generally causes revolution - of what might happen. There does need to be an education revolution. We do need basics, but after that I'm all for inquiry based learning like Ramana suggests. Unfortunately, that costs an an incredible amount of money (and time investment and patience), curiosity and experimentations does, and we as a society are not willing to pay the price.

gaelikaa said...

Some people seem to have a lot of success homeschooling their children. But I seriously thing that parents are the first educators of their children whether they attend schools or not and that in the education of children the school and home should complement each other.

The correct balance of listening to others as well as speaking is actually an acquired skill, and one which we can never stop learning.