Education Buzz Carnival

At the Education Buzz Carnival, host Steve Spangler is writing about connections.

As educators, we encourage our students to activate their schema – think of what they already know that they can connect to something new – with each unit, chapter, lab or problem set.

When we study science, for example, we are also studying mythology, Latin, Greek, history, and sociology. Astronomy cannot properly be studied without also studying mythology. A proper study of history is also a study of biography and geography. English is a combination of hundreds of languages. The ink in our pens. . . the alphabetical order of a keyboard. . . . the composition of our bread. . . . the etymology of our words. . . .the names of rockets and cars. . . . everything is connected to everything else. Oh, and by the way? All those weird punctuation symbols exist not only in writing class, but also in math and music as well.

Connections. Let’s make some!

Mark Bauerlein encourages teachers to teach unabridged literature.

And here’s the real challenge: to make 15-year-olds realize that The Odyssey isn’t drudgery, but in fact speaks to their egos and desires and anxieties a lot more meaningfully and entertainingly than does the latest episode of My Super Sweet 16.

Bauerlein reads stories from The Odyssey to his five-year-old son. Why did Odysseus taunt the Cylops? (Pride.) What happened (suffering and death).  Can a hero make mistakes. (Yep.)

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  1. This sounds good until I think about the details. He claims: “Astronomy cannot properly be studied without also studying mythology.” — What? I can see that you could study mythology along with astronomy, but to claim that you can’t teach astronomy without the mythology is ridiculous. Astronomy is an incredibly deep and rich content area–you could easily spend a semester studying studying astronomy and geology, or astronomy and nuclear physics, or astronomy and calculus, or just descriptive astronomy, or, granted, astronomy and mythology. But those are 5 separate courses right there. Insisting that any one of them is important enough that you can’t skip over it is silly. If you tried to include all of them in the same course, you couldn’t possibly do justice to the topic.