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The Forum > Article Comments > Learn, don't think. > Comments

Learn, don't think. : Comments

By Daniel Brass, published 1/5/2006

Constrictive curricula rather than critical theory is the problem in school.

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I like the sentiment of your article, David. Freedom and autonomy are integral to the motivation to write and critique representations of human life.
It is apparent that literature comes from specific contexts of time and place. They bring with them limitations and ideas about what is and is not true.
When we have come to a time in our history when the mechanics of writing have become more important than its purpose, I weep. I see the primary purpose of writing comes from the human compunction to perceive communion and forgiveness, and to dance within the space provided by the freedom of faith. Think of Christ Jesus' act of writing in the sand, words we will never know, in response to society's compulsion to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery. (Story reference: Gospel according to John Chapter 8, verses 1-11)

Jesus' action in writing in the sand was a profound act of forgiveness, characterised by simplicity and peace. It also reminds us of our mortality: to bend down and touch the dust from which we come and to which we return.

I think when English texts are dissociated from moral questions and the human need for God, we make them sterile of their purpose and function: to raise the hope of humanity.
Posted by Renee, Monday, 1 May 2006 12:30:14 PM
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I must admit, being forced to study Measure for Measure under the banner of "Gender Justice" became nothing more than a regurgitation of feminist mantras and bastardisation of Shakespeare in order to make it "relevant" to this narrowing of the play.

Rather than study it properly, the narrowing destroys the love of the play and means that students are less likely to develop a profound love of it, just a utilitarian view that you only study it to bastardise it to "prove" the predetermined position (always politically correct).

Bastardising a book or play to support dodgy theory is a game, nothing more.
Posted by DFXK, Monday, 1 May 2006 1:13:22 PM
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Using the Tempest not only as an imaginative journey but as a discussion of colonialism? Are you for real? How about reading and reflecting the Tempset as a great work of literature and enjoying it for its own sake? Giving students an appreciation and love of great literature is infinately preferable to polluting their minds with post-modernism sludge rammed down their throats in a slinky manner disguised as "critical thinking"
Posted by jeremy29, Monday, 1 May 2006 2:19:27 PM
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So great literature is reduced to this - a tool to teach communications skills? "The stated aim of the syllabus is "to enable students to become thoughtful, imaginative and effective communicators in a diverse and changing society"." This is a vision from a soulless bureaucracy, not from a lover of literature who understands what a powerful force it can be for understanding and self-development, as well as enjoyment and enrichment of our lives.
Posted by Faustino, Monday, 1 May 2006 2:29:51 PM
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I agree with Daniel. Knowledge does not equate with wisdom. Unfortunately, the problem pervades in universities: independent thought is often frowned upon in favour of intellectual conformity. It seems that learning and creative thinking are not important: what matters is that you get your degree so you can earn exorbitant amounts of money.
Posted by Eugene, Monday, 1 May 2006 3:05:48 PM
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The truth is schools and unis are factories to prepare kids for jobs as best they can. Parents and family help the child turn into an adult. School Curricula should be well formed before it gets to the class room so there is more of the teachers time for teaching.

two more points lack of teachers has more to do with teach status and pay then anything else.
Lastly there is no such the as God and parents should be teaching morals not schools. Parents have been teaching their kids moral code well before public education come along (and the Christianity cult for that matter) and they should continue to. It should not be the role of government to lecture our kids in moral issue's.
Posted by Kenny, Monday, 1 May 2006 4:46:11 PM
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