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On Happiness 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. —Thomas Jefferson & There is one fundamental experience that every parent has with their child, and that every school-teacher has …

Posted 97 months ago by

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On Balance 

If a man finds that his nature tends or is disposed to one of these extremes..., he should turn back and improve, so as to walk in the way of good people, which is the right way. The right way is the mean in each group of dispositions common to humanity; namely, that disposition which …

Posted 98 months ago by

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Mediumism: The Art of Education 

As someone who takes the aesthetics of education seriously, I was pleased to be asked to respond to René Arcilla's new book, Mediumism. The Panel is this evening, and should prove interesting. In part because Arcilla confounds the line concerning aesthetics and education. If Art Education, at first glance, is simply about the teaching of …

Posted 108 months ago by

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Perfect Strangers Playing Mothers 

What does it mean to be a teacher? Caught between the need to differentiate ourselves as professionals and the need to be recognizable, have we gone the way of the British School of psychoanalysts? According to Adam Phillips, in On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored, the paradox of the analyst is that they must not …

Posted 110 months ago by

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The Problem with Problems 

The problem with problems—math problems, word problems, the stock in trade of schoolwork—is not that they are not "real." As if that distinction were un-problematic. Isn't it that they are insufficiently playful? They are irrelevant, not because we can't relate to them, but because they are not fantastic. It is common enough to point out …

Posted 110 months ago by

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In Depth: Swimming to Learn 

A sixteen-year-old-boy, for example, tells me in a session about the moment, at age ten, when he eventually learned to swim after having been terrified of water: "I knew I was safer out of my depth because even though I couldn't stand, there was more water to hold me up." —Adam Phillips in "On Risk …

Posted 110 months ago by

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Monogamy in Education  ☆

Adam Phillips' book, Monogamy—anything but the paean that it's title might suggest—is a beautiful study in examining the workings behind the scene of our apparently simple beliefs. Perhaps not surprisingly the questions of monogamy, that is to say, of relationships and how they should go, overlap with questions of education. Children drop adults far more …

Posted 112 months ago by

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