Saturday, March 21, 2015

Food for Thought ~ On Thinking Independently and Educating Ourselves

Cinnamon Mufins

I am sharing only two links this weekend. Not because that’s all I have, but because both of these are so important that I don’t want them to be missed. Go read them. [Yes, I’m bossy like that.] I have shared quotes to whet your appetite, but they are no substitute for the full articles.


:: What I Learned from Teaching English in North Korea @ Ideas.TED

As you might have noticed, I’ve spent a great deal of time contemplating discussing ideas, learning dialectically (as opposed to didactically), and writing persuasive essays this year (with more posts to come). This article has haunted my thoughts for the past two days because it shows the consequences of not doing these things. We must let our children (and ourselves!) learn how to wrestle with ideas! It reminds me of a quote by Leigh Bortins in The Question: “One of the hardest things about being a parent or teacher is believing (to the point of acting on your belief) that truth will stand up to scrutiny.”

“Their entire system was designed not to be questioned, and to squash critical thinking. So the form of an essay, in which a thesis had to be proven, was antithetical to their entire system.”


:: Stop Cleaning the Kitchen and Read a Book by Susan Wise Bauer @ Memoria Press

Tsh posted this article in her Cuppa Reads at The Art of Simple this weekend, and I needed to read it after a rough time with a book last night.

I have a confession to make. Reading is difficult for me. Does that come as a surprise to you? I have a hard time shutting out distractions and not going for easy entertainment like television. I struggle with important books that I don't understand or feel like I'm not intelligent/receptive/emotionally sensitive enough to get. I get impatient when I can't get into a book quickly. I get impatient for the ending of a book when I do get into it. I feel guilty if I'm reading strictly for pleasure (and books I truly simply enjoy are super rare). But if the book isn't pleasurable, it is work to read it.

But still, I make time to read because it is important to me.

“In order to get educated, we do not have to go to graduate school. We have to read, take notes on what we read, and discuss ideas with our friends.

“…But remember this, as you resolve to embark on a program of self-education: Reading is very difficult. Many of us become frustrated in our first attempts to read the classics.

“…Often, this is the point at which the battle for self-education is lost. We decide: Ah, I just don't have enough education to understand this. And we give up.”


sandysister said...

A beautiful pastry picture like that and no recipe link? Gotta have something to nibble while reading the blog ;)

Heidi said...

Sandysister~ That wasn't very nice of me, was it? ;) They are called French Breakfast Puffs and they're a favorite from my childhood. Here's a link to a recipe for them.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Thanks for these links- surprised you struggle with reading. I've dedicated myself to reading the one's I've ignored. Letting myself put them down, but making myself pick them back up as well. And learning grammar, sentence structure, ... that whole essentials class really supports the writing and the reading/understanding of learning. I'm trying to determine what grammar to use for students next fall. I'm continuing to go back to our mother tongue. And from one of your links looking at the on-line diagramming as a support. Have a lovely day-- and thanks again. AND those donut thingy's. your killing me. :)