Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

After reading this blog entry, I thought about the words of Alfred North Whitehead, and I will quote:

"The general topic of this volume is education on its intellectual side. One main idea runs through the various chapters, and is illustrated in them from many points of view. It can be stated briefly thus: The students are alive, and the purpose of education is to stimulate and guide their self-development. It follows as a corollary from this premiss, that the teachers also should be alive with living thoughts. The wh*** book is a protest against dead knowledge, that is to say, against inert ideas."

In the first chapter of the book, Whitehead writes:

"In training a child to activity of thought, above all things we must beware of what I will call "inert ideas" - that is to say, ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilisd, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations".

Can you give examples of inert ideas?

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Comment by Brian Ballsun-Stanton on March 6, 2010 at 7:44am
Names and dates is the first one that comes to mind. We teach/used to teach students the names and dates of historical events according to the approved history books. These are absolutely inert: they alone produce no increased understanding of a society, its history, its culture, it's taboos, or its interaction methods.

Many maths courses also involve the transmission of inert ideas. See: http://technoccult.net/archives/2010/02/25/the-punk-rock-philosophy...
Comment by Raymond M. Kristiansen on March 6, 2010 at 9:31am
how do we spread the memes which are defying a names/numbers-approach to teaching?
Comment by Brian Ballsun-Stanton on March 6, 2010 at 11:58am
Require students to answer questions which demonstrate critical thought. The proper answer to every question is: "It Depends."

Of course, I can do that cause I write essay questions exams for my students. The memes are simple: "Most education is a sham. Take your students out of public schools (and most private ones) and actually invest time into their learning."
Comment by Raymond M. Kristiansen on March 6, 2010 at 12:06pm
i dont have students myself, and no children.

How can agents in the civil society invest time into the learning of others?

Organize free workshops and lessons? (i mean locally, I guess)

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