I am a high school teacher from Canada.
Welcome to my education blog where I pursue professional development by reviewing books and writing about educational ideas.
My educational vision is to teach the liberal arts with 21st century methods. The liberal arts are the disciplines that make you a freely thinking person, rather than a slave to someone else’s ideas. The classical trivium, or methods of study, are about learning how to think, not just what to think. Once you have learned how to approach different forms of knowledge (grammar), analyse arguments (logic), and express your ideas in a cogent and appealing way (rhetoric), you can excel in pretty much any discipline.
Most of the themes in this blog have something to do with the question of intellectual freedom: in what ways does technology help or hinder our development? is science the dominant mode of understanding, and if not, what are its limits? what can we know, what ought I to do, and what can I hope for?
Sometimes there will be practical tips and suggestions, but often the goal is just to provoke thought and discussion. Luckily for me, teaching is a profession that makes all of these questions very real, in the sense that they are embodied every day in face-to-face relationships. This blog may not be terribly practical for others, but it certainly is for me.
Writing about education and ideas forces me to consider ideas for a longer period of time than I would normally do, and is an antidote to the creeping pragmatism of everyday busyness. It’s easy to feel engaged on Facebook or reading hyperlinked articles, while not really gaining any traction in the things that matter.
As Parker Palmer has said,
Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together…
Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher…. (The Heart of a Teacher)