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  1. #41
    Jon King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    That's what it shoudl do, but I'll believe it when I see it. The housing market rose so fast and steeply, that tax rates couldn't drop in response quickly enough. Changing tax rates usually involves governments changing tax laws - this is hardly a quick or responsive process.
    Setting tax rates in NH (I'm sure everywhere) are quite involved, but not terribly confusing once you know the tricks. I was on my town's Finance Committee for a few years - it was like learning all the magician's tricks - once you know the tricks, you can see the slight of hand clearly every time. Also, town and city tax rates are set by the state, not the towns.

    I'd be happy to explain in more detail if you're interested in a pm or email, because this is way off topic.
    Jonathan
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  2. #42
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Entirely separately, I agree with MHV. Pretending to mistrust pseudo-objective assessment criteria, then using them, is dishonest. Critical and original thinking can be taught in any and all subjects, not just the visual and allied arts: this is nothing to do with cultural transmission.
    Thank you Mister 'Icks. I'm a strong believer in the idea that schools are important vectors in the transmission of ways of living, and that this is an end rather than a means.

    Problem is that eventually too many teachers get sucked up into the idea that they should only "provide meaningful experiences" to their pupils. My girlfriend teaches English in a small regional university, and many of her students eventually go to Education after their BA degree. They are so enamoured by the stupid Dead Poet Society crap that they don't even care about teaching things properly. They all want to be friends with their students and give them meaningful life experience. Verbatim.

    My French class in the last year of high school is still for me the gold standard for what the proper mixture of cultural transmission and knowledge acquisition should be. Our teacher was not trying to be our friend or anything, but when he saw a copy of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal on my desk, he would always exchange a few words with me about it. He made us read great books, asked us to think about it, we even did some fun skits for our reading reports, but he never tried to make himself "cool" or something like that. He loved literature, believed in it, knew his stuff on his fingers, but he taught it as an autonomous subject. Neither a means to enhance our performance, nor a vehicle for fulfilling a lack of self-esteem.

    That makes me think that I should perhaps give him a call the next time I'm visiting my parents.
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    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    ...schools are important vectors in the transmission of ways of living, and that this is an end rather than a means.
    Deat Michel,

    Superbly put. As were your observations about 'Dead Poets Society crap'.

    The class I taught Len (the lad in the story) was 'Citizenship'. I had no more idea what it was than the kids did (14-15-year-olds), so when I went in to the class for the first time, I said, "OK, what is 'citizenship'?"

    One of the heavies at the back put his hand up, and said, in a sing-song voice, "You teach us to be good little citizens."

    I shook my head. "No. I teach you to think about being good little citizens."

    Even the heavies were intrigued. Thinking? In school? This was something new, especially in the roughest secondary school in Bristol (it was right next door to the prison).

    A few weeks later, the headmaster sent for me. "Susan Smith in 4b tells me you said it wasn't your job to teach them to be good little citizens."

    Once I realized what he was talking about, I told him the above story. He said, "You're wrong. It is your job to teach them to be good little citizens."

    I then pointed out that I had been hired as a teacher, not a Party commissar, and that if he didn't like it, he could fire me. Of course, he didn't, and he left me alone after that.

    The point? That a class like 'Citizenship' is no use as a qualification, and indeed, had it been taught the way he wanted, it would have been no use at all. But as a transmission of culture -- the meaning (and limits) of democracy, and of education -- I flatter myself I achieved something. Len certainly thought so.
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  4. #44
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    ...the arts are only worthwhile in the same manner counting or spelling is: to be a good employee.
    They're hardly alone: http://www.botzilla.com/blog/archives/000431.html

    (Reminds me of creationists attempting to "prove scientifically" that Noah forgot to save unicorns on the ark and so forth -- when the whole point of their exercise is to ignore scientific evidence. They undermine their own message)

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  5. #45
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Deat Michel,


    One of the heavies at the back put his hand up, and said, in a sing-song voice, "You teach us to be good little citizens."

    I shook my head. "No. I teach you to think about being good little citizens."
    I thought it was only todays kids who expected to be 'taught' - you can't teach anything but you can allow students to learn and give them the information they need to do that learning , it seems that as schools become more 'producers of employees' in a way which is even more explicit than the days of factory fodder the expectation to be taught something increases.

    In response to the original article I am a Math(s) and Science teacher who also organises the vocational courses for those who want to follow Hairdressing or Mechanics post 14 but I still see the value of Art , Music and even English Literature because some of the kids who describe themselves as cr*p in my lesson are good artists or musicians and they have at least ONE success in their school day.

    Cheers CJB
    Hmm- Wonder if she'd notice if I bought that :)

  6. #46
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Just another remark on the opposing conceptions of culture as luggage vs. culture as ways of living, I'd invite you all to brush up your French and read a bit into this column by La Presse's journalist Pierre Foglia this week:
    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20...0/CPACTUALITES

    Translation of a few important points:

    "Culture is often defined as a sum. I read 12 millions book, I went 43 257 times at the museum, I studied the Enlightenment (...) But no. Culture is not the sum of these knowledge.

    Instead of considering culture as a state of things, we should consider it as a moment, the moment at which we receive and participate to a discourse, where we confront words, sounds, shapes that pull us away from the quotidian and the habits of consumption, especially the consumption of culture.

    Culture is an attempt to becoming adult every once in a while, shutting the mouth to the kid inside us, the one that always want to play, eat candy, and play stupid games (cues to the names of a few local TV game shows here).

    Culture is not about knowing everything of the Quattrocento, it's someone that tells you about it, and the link that you do yourself with music or novels. It's the moment when you think alone."
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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