Week Eight

Il Postino

If you liked the musical theme, you can listen to it here.

View the trailer for the movie below.


What is a Poem?(an excerpt - The Poetry Experience, by Fitch and Swartz)

"What can be explained," wrote Carl Sandburg, "is not poetry." Maybe, just maybe, that is why we need poetry.

Those who teach poetry with passion and joy know it is one of the richest learning experiences students can have. We journey to worlds and peer into spaces in our hearts and minds and souls through poetry.

Poetry is word music, an art form that belongs to a rich oral tradition that pre-dates the written word.

At its most serious, poetry rattles us to the core of our being. Verse of the most nonsensical kind urges us, like an itch, to scratch and burst forth into a slide of syllables ourselves.

Poetry invites us to be.

Why poetry? If we hope to see curious, skeptical, creative thinkers emerge from our classrooms and go on to reach their potential, we offer them the experience of poetry.



Great resources for teaching and discussing poetry.


Choral Recitation: (Video clips)

If the Earth were a few feet in diameter: text


Neruda: poetry

The Symbolic Order: Teaching Poetry by George Shalley

As far as the teaching of poetry is concerned, probably the best we can do—each in his own way—is to find out how to bring our students into the presence of poems.

Li Young Lee

Reading his work

"Law as a Historical Process"
by Eisenberg

Week Seven

Lorraine & Katerina
Art Worlds In Schools. By: Maxine Greene

- Breaking out of the ordinary
- Not just acquiring skills

“Even as we work to incorporate and incarnate the arts in curricula, I believe we ought to cherish that special marginality.” Greene

“Artists are for disclosing the extraordinary in the ordinary. They are for transfiguring the commonplace, as they embody their perceptions and feelings and understandings in a range of languages, in formed substance of many kinds.” Greene

The passionate mind of Maxine Greene
By William Pinar

More info about Maxine Greene


Joseph Conrad “ The ‘Nigger’ of the Narcissus” (Google Book)


Sometimes, thinking back to Albert Camus’s great novel, I associate all that with what he called the ‘plague’, a metaphor for indifference, abstractness, and for the incapacity to ‘take the side of the victim in times of pestilence.’ Lately, I have been associating it with what the Czech novelist, Milan Kundera, (Greene) calls kitsch.


Dancing with the Stars (website)

So you think you can dance. (website)

Art / Dancing - Article
"Never has meaningless patter been so prevalent. ''Hard work and a lot of heart can win the game,'' exhorted the now-booted TV journalist Giselle Fernandez, whose underdog strategy of reminding everyone she had an incredibly small fan base failed to mobilize her incredibly small fan base. Other tips include just going out there and having fun, giving it your all, and believing in yourself."


Physics of the Impossible:


The lyric poem "Ithaka" by Constantine Cavafy.
This poem was written in 1911 and has been translated in many languages since then. Its lyric words and message are touching.


Caves in Virginia


Art in Second Life


Maria and Ashley
The Arts in Education: G.H.Bantock

"Live on Renaissance News"

The Book of the Courtier ( Il Cortegiano)
written by
Baldassare Castiglione

The Arts in Education: G.H.Bantock

"There was a time when certain of the arts were very central to the whole educational system: and perhaps if we go back to that period we will be able to illumine certain of our contemporary dilemmas and difficulties."

"I think that in schools we frequently give too much liberty to children to express themselves without giving them any of the tools with which they can discipline their expression"

"Consider, for instance, the incidence of bad art, by which we are surrounded, and its potential for deleterious behaviour. One only has to turn a knob, and bad art is at one’s command most hours of the day and night through radio and television—and this is the art that most people absorb from their environment. The whole question and role of bad art in our society needs very careful consideration."

"That image—‘the reflection of the moon in a piece of broken bottle’—sums up for me this notion of the ability of the great, the really creative, artist to transmute the very ordinary. Moonlight and broken bottle, commonplaces of our experience—but the combination of the two sums up this ability of the artist to take the real, the everyday, the mundane, and transform it by making it symbolic of a larger whole."



The Metronome (link)


( Law as a System of Rules by Eisenberg)

The Trial: Pink Floyd (clip from the movie)
(The lyrics)


A Life in Classrooms: Philip W. Jackson and the Practice of Education

"When we keep the letter of the law, we must also keep the spirit of the law. To keep the letter of the law, but ignore the spirit, is death."
(2 Corinthians 3:6)
The Oppressive Classroom:

Hard Times by Dickens
Topaze by Marcel Pagnol



Week Six

"The Limits of Cognitive Science"

Purpose of Music education
Shannon + Lorraine

Summary (Purpose in Music Education)
  • 1.Delight in music, a rich appreciation is our aim.
  • 2.Discovery is central to musical activities and the crucial questions are: What is it (like)? and What happens if…?
  • 3.Through the activities of composition, performance and listening we shall be looking for the development of skills, information, musical understanding and valuing, with understanding as central.
  • 4.Teaching and learning should be so organized as to draw on the natural energies of motivation common to everyone.

Shalom Chaverim (traditional)

"Shalom chaverim, shalom chaverim,
Shalom, shalom.
Lehitraot, lehitraot,
Shalom, shalom."


A Basis for Music Education
(By Keith Swanwick)
Google Book


Fine Arts IRP K-7: link
Draft Wiki:


Logdriver's Waltz (Lyrics here)

Share the Music Series: link


Choir in Britain
(A clip of the choir here.)


A Personal Philosophy on the Importance of Music Education

(Tristan Galinski) Link here.


Music Teachers Resources: link here


The Arts, Education and the Community (David Aspin)
Helen + Amanda

" Thus the future of the Arts in our society depends not only on their dissemination but upon the ways in which this is done and for what purposes. As Edward Bond remarks: ‘teaching about art is as important as
creating it’. "

"The various kinds and intensities of meaning of Guernica, for example, like that of Blake’s Sick Rose or Brahms’ 3rd Symphony, can only be fully understood and savoured by attending to the totality of the work and ‘letting it be’."


The cost of the Arts.
(Article in The Toronto Star: Arts for Children.)

"The place that the Arts occupy in the life of a nation is largely a reflection of the time and effort devoted to them in schools and colleges." (A Policy for the Arts)


"Looking round at the God-awful mess man has made of this planet, I am increasingly convinced that, were I faced with an omnipotent visitor from Outer Space asking me for one good reason why this world should not be wiped out tomorrow, I should reply by asking him to see Hamlet, to watch Ashton’s ‘Symphonic Variations’, to listen to the ‘Meistersinger’ quintet and to look at Vermeer’s ‘Head of a Girl’. Basically all forms of activity other than Art are inspired by self-interest and it is only in Art that humanity can justify its miserable existence."


The school, the community and lifelong learning
By David N. Aspin (Google Book)


Gauguin and his art:
(links here)
(his life)


Dixie Chicks Movie: Link


Synesthesia: (link)

Some celebrated people who may have had synesthesia include:
Vasily Kandinsky (painter, 1866-1944)
Olivier Messiaen (composer, 1908-1992)
Charles Baudelaire (poet, 1821-1867)
Franz Liszt (composer, 1811-1886)
Arthur Rimbaud (poet, 1854-1891)
Richard Phillips Feynman (physicist, 1918-1988)

"Focus on small doable things."

"What are the mistakes that we are making vis-a-vis Art?"
-attitudes? - thinking? -who does art?


The Danish way of Life.
(Vancouver Sun)


Man in the Modern Age - Karl Jaspers


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead
US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 - 1978)


Week Five

In keeping with the theme of the "limits of rational thinking", I've just finished reading "How We Decide" by Jonah Lehrer. (His blog is here.) In this book, he gives some insight into how we arrive at decisions. What is surprising is the extent to which emotions inform our final choices.

Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell is another must-read on a similar topic: our ability to make decisions based on an unconscious level of thinking. As Gladwell says: "There's a wonderful phrase in psychology--"the power of thin slicing"--which says that as human beings we are capable of making sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience."


Moral Education Today
"Control through reason" - John Eisenberg
Presentation by Sonya and Katerina


The hidden curriculum
Sex roles, social status, cultural differences?
(more on this concept)
(as something we might need to teach - )


Michael Ignatieff
wikipedia article
"informed vote" article


Racism in Canada (some perspectives)
Colour of Democracy


Carleton poster: (freedom of speech?)
Macleans article




Kohlberg’s stages of moral development


Parliament brawling:
Youtube clip

David Horowitz
The Professors

His name came up in the context of academic freedom.


Moral Relativism