Category Archives: Boles University

Has the War Already Been Won Against Public Schooling?

I come from a long line of public school teachers.  Our family believes in government-sponsored schooling that teaches facts and science and nature.  If one desires something of a Faith-infused-immersed learning, there are Churches for that; we enliven the mind not with mystery or superstition but by hard, verifiable, facts that can be reliably predicted with logic and learning.

Read more

The Inking and Garbage Hunger Games: Teaching Debtor Children an Immoral Lesson

There is nothing more raw in America — land of amber waves of grain — than when someone goes hungry.  When that someone is a child, there is no greater human shame than refusing to feed hungry kids or, even worse, feeding them, and then pulling the food out of their gaping mouths to teach the sin of the parents a lesson.

We’re creating a whole new Debtor Nation in the USA and, as usual, the first victims are the young and the elderly — the very people this nation should be protecting and preserving.

Read more

The Frost King: Defending Helen Keller and Other Non-SuperHuman Deaf-Blind

Helen Keller — a Deaf and Blind woman who became an author and an international SuperStar against the merits of her monumental disability — is one of the most magnificent examples of the human spirit in the history of America.

I have defended the spirit of Helen Keller on this blog, and while I am a tremendous fan of her incredible mind, I’m not terribly interested in her sex life as a lesbian or not, or as the secret, fateful, lover of her teacher, Anne Sullivan’s, husband, or her role as the concubine of a local cub reporter who wrote about her early life and made her a star.

What does concern, and interest me, is the lingering slandering of her as a young child in her effort to write, at 11-years-old, a story for publication called “The Frost King” — that was too closely associated with a previously published work entitled “The Frost Fairies” — that she was accused of plagiarism that haunted and stooped her for the rest of her life.

Read more

Education as an Abstraction: Teaching with Real Things

When teaching becomes an abstraction and not something real, the learning doesn’t stick in the student very well.  Imagination must first be grounded in a hard reality.

As we move closer into living in a 24/7 virtual world, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that learning is best fostered using real things, in real-time, in the same, real, room with each other getting real.  That is important in all human interactions, not just the classroom.  We’re always trying to learn from each other and doing it with real objects is a powerful experience that binds.

When you’re teaching about a flower — is it better to show a computer image of a flower, or hand out a flower printed on a piece of paper, or is it best to share a real flower plucked from a garden in your alive hand?

A real flower authentically engages every bodily sense and creates a sensation in the mind.

Read more

Lost in Cultural Translation: Aesop’s Fables, Fairy Tales and Disney Movies

Every plan has a hole.  Every ship has a leak.  Every internet session is insecure.  These are the new universal writs of living in the new ancient world.  I learned that lesson in an especially troubling manner that forced me, in an instant, to reassess my role in the world as a Midwestern White Man teaching at-risk minority undergraduate students at a major New York City university.

I thought the assignment was simple and universally understood. I’d used a similar teaching plan at other universities with great success; but, in reflection, I realize most of those successes were found in mainstream classrooms with well-schooled students who were taught that learning was a priority in the home.

In my new teaching role in the inner city, many of these students working on a B.A. did not come from the same font of mandatory educational opportunities. They scraped by to earn understanding. They fought for what they grasped while others around them had learning handed to them.

There was a great divide of the mind and cultural experience that I quickly had to bridge or the entire end of the semester was at risk of failing, and the blame would solely be mine as the instructor for not being able to quickly re-adjust and move the field lines to be fair to my students so they could find success.

Read more

« Older Entries