What is your Philosophy of Education?

Today I led a PD session for my colleagues in our Middle School.  As part of it , I asked some experts and friends four BIG questions to help our discussion: What is education? What is learning? What is excellence in teaching? What is your philosophy of education? Here is what some pretty smart and dedicated educators had to say (apologies to GNA and Bryan, but Blogger does like your flash madness):


GNA Garcia – Parts Unknown

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Rob Fisher – Manitoba

Gregory Chomichuk – Manitoba

Phil Taylor – Manitoba

Bryan Jackson – British Columbia

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Making Connections

Welcome to our Advisory activity for Tuesday, April 23, 2013. Each advisory will select one film from the short documentaries below. Watch the film together, have a discussion of what you heard and saw, and then answer the questions below as a group. Comment on what other advisories are saying. Be sure to think deeply about the big issues and make sure you listen to what others are saying.

Synopsis:

In high school, I was a member and co-president of WaterAid International, a club dedicated to educating people about the world water crisis and fundraising for water infrastructure projects in developing countries.
I attended a talk given by Deborah Lapidus of Corporate Accountability International (CAI) with my club and learned about the environmental and human rights problems associated with bottled water. I was in a teen film program at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the time. I was so blown away by Deborah’s talk that I decided to make a documentary about bottled water for my class project in the hopes that I could educate other people about what I had learned.
Deborah agreed to my filming her at a workshop she was giving, where I met Tina Clarke, Campaign Director for Massachusetts Clean Water Action. Tina agreed to be interviewed about corporation efforts to extract water for bottling purposes in Massachusetts.
I was invited by CAI to film a “Think Outside the Bottle” action at a Coke shareholders’ meeting in Wilmington, Delaware. I also interviewed someone from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, who spoke about the high quality of Massachusetts tap water.
My film addresses the prevalence of bottled water, reasons people buy it and the environmental and social costs associated with it. Many people told me that they plan to stop drinking bottled water after seeing the film. Other people have either continued to drink bottled water or only stopped temporarily.

Synopsis:

Two years ago, honeybees started to disappear. About one in every three colonies left their hives but never came home. We set out to discover what was plaguing these hives and learned how non-commercial beekeepers care for and keep healthy bees alive.
Bees are responsible for pollinating every third bite of food we eat. And we are losing millions of bees each year to a mysterious disease known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). We visited beekeepers in Manhattan, Long Island, Nantucket and Chicago, and interviewed a scientist and elementary school students all to get a better understanding of this phenomenon. But along way, we discovered that with proper care and nutrition, bees can stay healthy and their honey can help us stay healthy and allergy free.
Since production of the film, CCD has been linked to a virus but studies continue to show that the mystery is far from solved. Community apiaries and non-commercial beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular. Legislation about keeping hives may be pending.
Questions:
1. What does this film say about our connection with all systems on Earth?
2. What are the implications of our activity on Earth?
3. What steps need to be taken in order to avoid severing our connection with systems?

YCJA Case

James Turner on the YCJA

Read this case

Do you think the punishment was just? Why? What’s the big issue? Do you think it is the responsibility of the criminal justice system to solve the problems (such as this one) of society?

Abdul Rahim Mah Jemei
Abdul Rahim Mah Jemei, 22, was murdered on March 16th, 2011

-Becca and Derek

The Good Life

Over Spring Break, I have been doing a great deal of thinking about perhaps the most important philosophical question we can entertain: What is the good life? Many of my colleagues and friends have been jetting off to foreign (and warm) destinations, while I have been in Winnipeg trying to finish off my  thesis proposal and shovelling endless snow. As I was feeling sorry for myself, I friend of mine shared this video created by the University of Winnipeg Sustainability Office:

Aristotle? I had to start thinking back to first and second year university! I needed to reread Aristotle’s The Politics and also talk to my good friend, Dan Webb, who is a professor of political philosophy at the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Mennonite University. Here are the questions I asked and responses he gave back to me:

Who are you and what do you do?

What is the Good Life?
Part 1

Part 2

What is the Good Life according to you?

How is the Good Life related to notions of Sustainability?

So my question for all of us is: What is the good life? Do you agree with Aristotle? With Dr. Dan Webb? With the folks at the UofW? Please read The Politics, chapters 3 and 7, as these will provide you with a good understanding of what Aristotle was trying to suggest.

I would also ask you to include ideas from the film, Dr. Webb, and Aristotle (and other sources) in your response. You are also encouraged to comment on what other people are saying in our class.