Posts tagged education
My Lessons from Prison

Inmates at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women can earn a two-year community college degree, beneficiaries of Doris Buffett’s incredible Sunshine Foundation. The week before our class, they read about Courage and Humanity from Little Big Minds. Their assignment was to be prepared with their own definitions of these concepts and with questions for me. They were so much more than prepared. They were amazing. Eager, respectful of each other and the professor and me, smart, honest, inquisitive, articulate, grateful for their educations, responsible for their lives past and future and focused on the present.

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Hooray! For Jack Jouett Middle School

I can’t begin to address the “educational system,” but I can point to an educational beacon and the people who make it work. Is the work hard? Yes, absolutely. I don’t know about its “system,” but Jack Jouett’s bedrock philosophy of love serves everyone well. Single purpose commitment to each student elevates the humanity of all.

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Ode to the Human Body

Tis true that I’m easily awed. Upon reflection it seems that I reserved my amazement for what I thought of as the “natural world”: Hummingbird wings flapping, dolphins gamboling, the Grand Canyon opening, a redwood stretching. Now I experience awe in the very near presence of a part of the natural world that I will never again take for granted. Praise the majesty of the human body.

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A Fresh Take On Success

One of philosophy’s charms for me is the opportunity to think, as if for the first time, about the meaning of ideas essential to good living. What is good living? What is persistence? What is possibility? What is belonging? What is empathy? This constant reexamination widens our perspective and guards against our falling into the trap of stale assumptions and preconceptions. I can think of no idea that begs for rethinking more than the concept of success. What is it?

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Essential Conversations for Any Educator

We considered the truth about education and success together. In The Philosopher’s Table I write: “The root of education suggests a process of bringing forward, leading up, drawing out. I picture individuals climbing a steep hill together, teachers and students in spry pursuit of knowledge. The word conveys positive images, this movement forward, up, and out so we can stand on higher ground.” We took off from this small start. I asked that they think back on a powerful learning experience in their lives, in or out of the classroom, what they learned and why it remains memorable. Interestingly, one common theme emerged: failure taught marvelous lessons. Not knowing knocks on the door of knowledge. Loss gives birth to victory. As the school year plays out, thoughts hopefully will return to the meaning of teacher, of student, of education.

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