Educational Excursion Quotes

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Such injunctions were burned into us, for Mommy felt strongly about proper behavior; about sitting with a straight back, knees together, legs crossed at the ankle; about walking with shoulders back, head high. 'A person meeting you for the first time judges you by how you walk, how you spreak, and how you're dressed,' she told us. On our Sunday excursions to Asbury Park, she would watch for an example . . . 'See that?' she's say. 'I don't know that man from Adam, but I can tell from his walk he's stupid, dumb, a no account.' Then she'd point to another man. 'I don't know him either, but that's an educated person. His back's straight, he's walking straight, not slumping and slouching and oozing along'.
Yvonne S. Thornton (The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story)
The more proposals, the more credit. Fan says Trix always asks when she comes home after the summer excursions, how many birds have you bagged as if men were partridges. What wicked creatures we are! Some of us at least. I wonder why such a love of conquest was put into us? Mother says a great deal of it is owing to bad education nowadays, but some girls seem born for the express purpose of making trouble, and would manage to do it, if they lived in a howling wilderness.
Louisa May Alcott (An Old Fashioned Girl)
Its “object” was the physical education, the moral training, the mental discipline and instruction, and the spiritual growth, of the child. Its constitution, parents of whatever class, and others interested in education. Its plan of work included arrangements for business meetings, lectures, field excursions, schoolroom and cottage lectures, cottage field excursions, the dissemination of literature, occasional lectures by well-known educationists, an examination scheme, a magazine for the UNION, a training college, and lectures on education under the headings of the ‘Objects.
Parents' National Educational Union (In Memoriam: A Tribute to Charlotte Mason)
The fundamental problem with learning mathematics is that while the number sense may be genetic, exact calculation requires cultural tools—symbols and algorithms—that have been around for only a few thousand years and must therefore be absorbed by areas of the brain that evolved for other purposes. The process is made easier when what we are learning harmonizes with built-in circuitry. If we can’t change the architecture of our brains, we can at least adapt our teaching methods to the constraints it imposes. For nearly three decades, American educators have pushed “reform math,” in which children are encouraged to explore their own ways of solving problems. Before reform math, there was the “new math,” now widely thought to have been an educational disaster. (In France, it was called les maths modernes and is similarly despised.) The new math was grounded in the theories of the influential Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, who believed that children are born without any sense of number and only gradually build up the concept in a series of developmental stages. Piaget thought that children, until the age of four or five, cannot grasp the simple principle that moving objects around does not affect how many of them there are, and that there was therefore no point in trying to teach them arithmetic before the age of six or seven.
Jim Holt (When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought)
A Puritan twist in our nature makes us think that anything good for us must be twice as good if it's hard to swallow. Learning Greek and Latin used to play the role of character builder, since they were considered to be as exhausting and unrewarding as digging a trench in the morning and filling it up in the afternoon. It was what made a man, or a woman -- or more likely a robot -- of you. Now math serves that purpose in many schools: your task is to try to follow rules that make sense, perhaps, to some higher beings; and in the end to accept your failure with humbled pride. As you limp off with your aching mind and bruised soul, you know that nothing in later life will ever be as difficult. What a perverse fate for one of our kind's greatest triumphs! Think how absurd it would be were music treated this way (for math and music are both excursions into sensuous structure): suffer through playing your scales, and when you're an adult you'll never have to listen to music again. And this is mathematics we're talking about, the language in which, Galileo said, the Book of the World is written. This is mathematics, which reaches down into our deepest intuitions and outward toward the nature of the universe -- mathematics, which explains the atoms as well as the stars in their courses, and lets us see into the ways that rivers and arteries branch. For mathematics itself is the study of connections: how things ideally must and, in fact, do sort together -- beyond, around, and within us. It doesn't just help us to balance our checkbooks; it leads us to see the balances hidden in the tumble of events, and the shapes of those quiet symmetries behind the random clatter of things. At the same time, we come to savor it, like music, wholly for itself. Applied or pure, mathematics gives whoever enjoys it a matchless self-confidence, along with a sense of partaking in truths that follow neither from persuasion nor faith but stand foursquare on their own. This is why it appeals to what we will come back to again and again: our **architectural instinct** -- as deep in us as any of our urges.
Ellen Kaplan (Out of the Labyrinth: Setting Mathematics Free)
What the poet has to say to the torso of the supposed Apollo, however, is more than a note on an excursion to the antiquities collection. The author's point is not that the thing depicts an extinct god who might be of interest to the humanistically educated, but that the god in the stone constitutes a thing-construct that is still on air. We are dealing with a document of how newer message ontology outgrew traditional theologies. Here, being itself is understood as having more power to speak and transmit, and more potent authority, than God, the ruling idol of religions. In modern times, even a God can find himself among the pretty figures that no longer mean anything to us - assuming they do not become openly irksome. The thing filled with being, however, does not cease to speak to us when its moment has come.
Peter Sloterdijk (Du mußt dein Leben ändern)
If “bullshit,” as opposed to “bull,” is a distinctively modern linguistic innovation, that could have something to do with other distinctively modern things, like advertising, public relations, political propaganda, and schools of education. “One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit,” Harry Frankfurt, a distinguished moral philosopher who is professor emeritus at Princeton, says. The ubiquity of bullshit, he notes, is something that we have come to take for granted. Most of us are pretty confident of our ability to detect it, so we may not regard it as being all that harmful. We tend to take a more benign view of someone caught bullshitting than of someone caught lying. (“Never tell a lie when you can bullshit your way through,” a father counsels his son in an Eric Ambler novel.) All of this worries Frankfurt. We cannot really know the effect that bullshit has on us, he thinks, until we have a clearer understanding of what it is. That is why we need a theory of bullshit. Frankfurt’s own effort along these lines was contained in a paper that he presented more than three decades ago at a faculty seminar at Yale. Later, that paper appeared in a journal and then in a collection of Frankfurt’s writings; all the while, photocopies of it passed from fan to fan. In 2005, it was published as On Bullshit, a tiny book of sixty-seven spaciously printed pages that went on to become an improbable breakout success, spending half a year on the New York Times bestseller list.
Jim Holt (When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought)
Nowhere in all this elaborate brain circuitry, alas, is there the equivalent of the chip found in a five-dollar calculator. This deficiency can make learning that terrible quartet—“Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision,” as Lewis Carroll burlesqued them—a chore. It’s not so bad at first. Our number sense endows us with a crude feel for addition, so that, even before schooling, children can find simple recipes for adding numbers. If asked to compute 2 + 4, for example, a child might start with the first number and then count upward by the second number: “two, three is one, four is two, five is three, six is four, six.” But multiplication is another matter. It is an “unnatural practice,” Dehaene is fond of saying, and the reason is that our brains are wired the wrong way. Neither intuition nor counting is of much use, and multiplication facts must be stored in the brain verbally, as strings of words. The list of arithmetical facts to be memorized may be short, but it is fiendishly tricky: the same numbers occur over and over, in different orders, with partial overlaps and irrelevant rhymes. (Bilinguals, it has been found, revert to the language they used in school when doing multiplication.) The human memory, unlike that of a computer, has evolved to be associative, which makes it ill-suited to arithmetic, where bits of knowledge must be kept from interfering with one another: if you’re trying to retrieve the result of multiplying 7 X 6, the reflex activation of 7 + 6 and 7 X 5 can be disastrous. So multiplication is a double terror: not only is it remote from our intuitive sense of number; it has to be internalized in a form that clashes with the evolved organization of our memory. The result is that when adults multiply single-digit numbers they make mistakes ten to fifteen per cent of the time. For the hardest problems, like 7 X 8, the error rate can exceed twenty-five per cent. Our inbuilt ineptness when it comes to more complex mathematical processes has led Dehaene to question why we insist on drilling procedures like long division into our children at all. There is, after all, an alternative: the electronic calculator. “Give a calculator to a five-year-old, and you will teach him how to make friends with numbers instead of despising them,” he has written. By removing the need to spend hundreds of hours memorizing boring procedures, he says, calculators can free children to concentrate on the meaning of these procedures, which is neglected under the educational status quo.
Jim Holt (When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought)
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The preserved disrepair of colonial buildings are top selling points in tourist excursions throughout the world: colonial homes refitted as colonial-era hotels confer the nostalgic privilege of those who can pay their price; girls’ boarding schools are turned to the profit of “educational tourism”; slave quarters are now assigned as World Heritage sites; colonial ministries are updated as archival depots for the dissertation industry; plundered objects are refashioned as ethnological museums in metropolitan centers to valorize cultural difference. All are comforting affirmations that colonialisms are over, initiatives and gestures that firmly and safely consign those places and sometimes the people who once inhabited them as frozen icons of a shamed and distanced past.
Ann Laura Stoler (Duress: Imperial Durabilities in Our Times (a John Hope Franklin Center Book))
Most of my pedagogical excursions in my life have been with students (junior high through college) and the general public. Only rarely do I get the chance to talk to teachers, although I love nothing more. Apart from generally being an enthusiastic and friendly lot, they shape the conduit of our nation's brain trust. Along the way, they work in the trenches while the rest of us sit at home with a TV remote in our palm and bark out complaints about the state of the educational system. The nation's teachers are collectively underappreciated, underrespected, and underpaid, but they are not all created equal.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist)