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New Trend In Education?

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#41 Bob Coyle

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 07:23 PM

A paradigm shift from mechanical to electrical.. from non-connected to connected. What do we really need to learn?... arithmetic?...we got calculators. Spelling?... we got spell checkers. grammar?... we got syntax checkers.  reading?... we got voice readers.  library research?... we got Google. You want to make art?... get Photoshop or a  a 3D printer. Should we depend on these tools or go retro and say you must do it the old way? All these things are here to stay. All the knowledge I learned the hard way is just a Google search away... but so is 100 times more worthless crap that is shoved in the face of anyone looking for something useful.

 

so I guess the challenge for teachers is to adapt and steer the kids in the right direction... as it always has been.  I believe teaching kids rote arithmetic and times tables is as useless as expecting first year engineers to use slide rules and log tables...spelling the same.  Teach the underlying theory and step aside for the way the world now works. But gee.. then what are we going to TEST them on???

 

There will always be ######## offs in every class. Sometimes they can be turned around. Good teachers are the ones who can do this.

 

I'm kind of glad I'm a geezer because I don't have to deal with a lot of this, but if I want to get the message out about my art, even I have to know the tools available now in 2014 and my learning the Palmer method and how to diagram sentences doesn't cut it any more.

 

My heart goes out to the teachers of this generation in transition. I think they have it rougher than in previous generations.



#42 Wyndham

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:45 AM

Bob,

Someone has to make the tools, the Ipads and program in the log tables or algorithm or we'll be like the Geico commercial where the Egyptian engineer sees the pyramids were supposed to be cubes.

 

Here the thing, with or without  a formal educational system, people learn. It's an eternal truth about human beings, we hunger for knowledge.Our survival depends on new knowledge being acquired constantly.

The fact that the "knowledge" being acquired is not what mainstream society wants or needs only confounds the principals in education who themselves, may have political agenda's not readily seen on the surface.

The clash between political agenda's in a formal education setting and the political agenda's of "3rd world Street smart education" is as unrecognized but equally important as (and also unrecognized as) the barbarian invasion of Rome.

Teach a 9 yr old kid that he can make $1000 as a lookout for a drug dealer, why would he want to work for Micky D's

At 15 he's a dealer and at 20 he's dead but the 3rd world cartel doesn't care nor do the kids that will replace him.

Not only drugs but poverty and corrupt governments push people to migrate for a better life and the predators are waiting like the crocodiles in the river.  

 

So we have to recognize we are at war outside and inside. Surrender and we fall, do nothing and we fall or fight and we may possibly survive.

I don't see anyone(on either side) in Washington willing to take on the battle.

The one's on the front lines, in the school don't have the support needed to wage this kind of battle, pop guns vs bazookas

My old soapbox is getting rickety, later

Wyndham



#43 Bob Coyle

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:26 PM

Wyndham. I'm not sure what part of my post you are referring to.  I did not mean it to be an attack against teachers or education.  What I was trying to point out is that there is a need to realize that some of the old ways of doing things... how we teach and how we test. Needs to catch up with reality.

 

Here is a case in point. I was involved in an adult literacy program here and I was sent an African immigrant who was trying to get a job in construction. The screener said he needed to develop his math skills.  We went through some exercises and true... he couldn't do math on paper because he had not memorized his times table. He however, knew the basics and had no trouble with a calculator. I told him that he was OK, and that he should have no trouble with a construction job. He didn't need me.

 

When I went to school we learned how to count with Roman Numerals. Comes in real handy if you want to find out what year a film was produced. Last  time I noticed they were still using them in the credits.



#44 TJR

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 08:24 PM

Wyndham. I'm not sure what part of my post you are referring to.  I did not mean it to be an attack against teachers or education.  What I was trying to point out is that there is a need to realize that some of the old ways of doing things... how we teach and how we test. Needs to catch up with reality.

 

Here is a case in point. I was involved in an adult literacy program here and I was sent an African immigrant who was trying to get a job in construction. The screener said he needed to develop his math skills.  We went through some exercises and true... he couldn't do math on paper because he had not memorized his times table. He however, knew the basics and had no trouble with a calculator. I told him that he was OK, and that he should have no trouble with a construction job. He didn't need me.

 

When I went to school we learned how to count with Roman Numerals. Comes in real handy if you want to find out what year a film was produced. Last  time I noticed they were still using them in the credits.

Bob;

They always come up in crosswords. L is 50.M is 1000

TJR.



#45 Benzine

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 10:21 PM

A paradigm shift from mechanical to electrical.. from non-connected to connected. What do we really need to learn?... arithmetic?...we got calculators. Spelling?... we got spell checkers. grammar?... we got syntax checkers.  reading?... we got voice readers.  library research?... we got Google. You want to make art?... get Photoshop or a  a 3D printer.

 

There will always be ######## offs in every class. Sometimes they can be turned around. Good teachers are the ones who can do this.

 

I still think we should teach mental math, despite the existence of calculators, ditto for everything else. 

 

I've had my share of idiots in class.  Some leave with a little better attitude, and even some knowledge, the rest leave pretty much the same, as they came in.  It's tough for a teacher to undo decades of what their outside environment has done. 


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#46 Bob Coyle

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:05 PM

 

I still think we should teach mental math

Why? Do you do long division on a sheet of paper when you do your income tax? I didn't say don't teach math. Everyone needs a to learn basically what arithmetic is all about. But why memorize times tables when the energy could be spent on more realistic pursuits.  It's been so long since I have done basic math with out a calculator that I have to strain to remember my sevens times table, yet it has not stopped me from developing some very sophisticated software to process chemical instrumentation data.

 

How about a compromise... teach them how to do math in binary and hexadecimal or teach thembasic computer syntax. this would better  prepare them for what lies ahead  than learning their decimal times tables.



#47 Stephen Robison

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 01:13 PM

This is for education in ceramics. Of course everything is connected but this almost doesn't seem like the appropriate place for this discussion. This is almost like a bunch of old people shouting at clouds. "Oh the problem with kids today" ... "I used to walk ten miles to school and back"... "oh yeah I had to lick the lake clean".. Monty Python .. 

 

So yes students have become slightly less engaged, but I find my students to generally want to learn and be challenged. ###### we are talking about CLAY! It is so awesome! Along with that challenge I find it important not to dictate outcomes fully. To me the challenge in introductory classes is to pass on some technical skills and introduce them to formal and conceptual issues in art. Are they going to make great work, no but if they leave me understanding what it takes to make great work then I have succeeded. Of course there is maybe around 10% who leave without a clue.  In intermediate and advanced coursework it is more about something Kirk Mangus taught me, and that is to "give them enough rope to pull them out of the ###### they are stuck in or to hang themselves".  Of course structure is very important also. If you let your students even look at their dam "smart" phones during class then you are doing something wrong.

 

I have colleagues who complain about students all the time and of course there is the seriously humorous one or two every quarter that I also complain or laugh about. But in 20 years of teaching I have not seen a huge change. And I remember what kind of student I was! They are a raw product and you introduce exciting material to them and it molds them as much as you do.  Getting most students excited about clay is easy for me and as they get excited the work ethic builds and builds. 


STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
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#48 Stephen Robison

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 01:30 PM

PS there are plenty of political blogs out there so when you feel the need for discourse in that arena please seek them out. Thanks John for getting the post edited to be more relative to our agenda at  Ceramic Arts Daily. Yes politics most certainly does fit into the education topic, but our mission here is to expand on knowledge directly related to Ceramics.

 

Lets talk about the positive issues around our own learning and if we are teachers what our students accomplish and how we get our points across. 

 

What is the best way to get a student to focus and find their own voice?? Are we just conglomerations of appropriated imagery and the knowledge that we have been exposed or exposed ourselves to? Is there a reinvention of the wheel or are we using it to move down the road? Are the sights that we see in our journey in clay that much different than the previous generations that traveled a similar path. How did the previous generations influence how we see our path? What scenery did they shed light on? Is it a spout, a handle, a lid, a belly, a shoulder, an expression on a face, a texture or a firing technique or....

 

 

If its politics someone wants to talk about, put in your work like Richard Notkin's amazing work or Picasso's Guernica. Yes education in our country is looked at very differently by our two parties. But again we are specifically talking here about education in the fantastic world of CERAMICS. And what an incredible and diverse world it is! 

 

Go get your hands in the clay! Thats what I am going to do! 

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STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at

http://www.flickr.co...57623735313670/

#49 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:02 PM

I have enjoyed your posts Bob. I agree if there is a tool that can help you why not, as long as you understand the concept of addition etc. Sometimes in my most boring of part-time jobs I actually did simple maths by hand just to test myself a little but that is another story. I have listened to some mathematicians saying we should go back to counting in base 12 as it makes maths much much easier.

 

I think with everything in life you need a balance. Everything in moderation.

 

Once you know the basics of a subject you can skip or combine steps to get to the solution. I learnt this recently when trying to teach a beginner some throwing. I now centre clay by doing 3+ steps in one go but to begin you have to break it down into single movements and pressures that you apply.

 

How do we teach people who don't care and don't understand how good it is to be alive... that is a hard question. Is there a way to get through to them or are they just a lost cause. I guess it is both.

 

 

 

I still think we should teach mental math

Why? Do you do long division on a sheet of paper when you do your income tax? I didn't say don't teach math. Everyone needs a to learn basically what arithmetic is all about. But why memorize times tables when the energy could be spent on more realistic pursuits.  It's been so long since I have done basic math with out a calculator that I have to strain to remember my sevens times table, yet it has not stopped me from developing some very sophisticated software to process chemical instrumentation data.

 

How about a compromise... teach them how to do math in binary and hexadecimal or teach thembasic computer syntax. this would better  prepare them for what lies ahead  than learning their decimal times tables.

 



#50 Bob Coyle

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 07:37 PM

 

###### we are talking about CLAY!

 

You are right on Stephen. I believe that modern ceramics takes a larger intellectual commitment than most other media.

 

Clay is a complex physical entity that requires us to understand it. there are three ways to do this (1.) spend 20 years studying and documenting what you have learned. (2.) Get familiar with the science behind what you working with. (3.) Do both.

 

You can buy a set of paints and go crazy as a painter and not know a thing about what's in the paint tube, but doing really cutting edge ceramics requires that you have at least a nodding understanding of some physical concepts even if the base technique is 2000 year old.

 

There is not an advanced ceramicist  in this group that doesn't understand the concept of C.O.E, or  the difference between oxidation and reduction atmospheres . If you are formulating your own glazes then you need to understand the basis of Unity calculations and molecular weights. Hard won knowledge but  the sooner you begin to learn the better off you are.

 

P.S.

How did you slip shi* past big brother in the e-mail?






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