Saturday, February 18, 2006

Aesthetic Realism and Education Seminar

The following is an announcement of a public seminar that was presented at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation on Thursday, March 2, 2006. The title was:

The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Succeeds & Answers the Question--Education, 
What For?
In classrooms throughout America, students are asking of their teachers with anger and pain: "Why should I learn long division? What do I need history for?"--or earth science--or Shakespeare? A frustrated third grader asks her mother, "Am I learning math just to pass a test?"

The scientific, kind, and deeply satisfying answer to the urgent question "Education--What For?" will be given by New York City school teachers at this important public seminar. Using examples of actual classroom lessons, teachers will show how the Aesthetic Realism method enables students to learn successfully, with a sense of wonder and large meaning, and meet rigorous academic standards with greater ease. This is the educational method that can end the high dropout rates, the poor learning, and the violence in our nation's schools!

Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism, explained definitively the what for? of education: "The purpose of education," he wrote, "is to like the world through knowing it." And he identified the greatest impediment to learning: contempt, "the addition to self through the lessening of something else."

The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method succeeds because it shows students that every subject in the curriculum says something about the world and their own often turbulent selves. The basis is this landmark principle:

"The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites."

For instance, there is Richard, a 7th grader who goes from feeling painfully stuck to frantically restless in one afternoon. As he learns that atoms put opposites together--they are made of electrons that whirl at terrific speeds around the protons and neutrons, which stay securely inside the atom's nucleus--he feels excited and composed at once. The very atoms that are in him--and also in his classmates and every bit of matter in the world--are doing what he wants to do: make a beautiful one of rest and motion, freedom and security! As students meet any item of the curriculum through the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method--a mathematical equation, a fact of history, the grammatical structure of a sentence--they feel, "This is about the world and it's about me!" They welcome learning, and they feel closer to other people, kinder!

For over 30 years, the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method has enabled students, including in some of the most economically hard-hit neighborhoods of New York City, to succeed in their studies. Increasingly educators have been learning about the Aesthetic Realism method through professional workshops; state and national conferences; and articles, written by teachers who use it, published in newspapers and educational journals. Come on March 2nd and see for yourself why this educational method is loved by students and their grateful parents and teachers!

Speakers: Rosemary Plumstead (science, LaGuardia HS, retired) Avi Gvili (Communication Arts, IS 7SI) Patricia Martone (ESL, PS 134M) Lori Colavito (1st grade, Southampton Elementary School) Arnold Perey (instructor, The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method)

Aesthetic Realism Foundation 141 Greene Street, NYC 10012 212-777-4490

My colleague, Dr. Arnold Perey, describes how through Aesthetic Realism the human self is so well understood that racism can end. Read Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology.

And be sure to read what Friends of Aesthetic Realism have to say about the lies being told about it by a few scurrilous individuals on the internet at Friends of Aesthetic Realism, Countering the Lies.

Aesthetic Realism shows that our self-expression is enhanced crucially by our attitude to the world: when we want to have respect rather than contempt. For a wonderful example of this see Miriam Mondlin on the subject of stuttering.

Several thousand articles, letters, and columns about Aesthetic Realism have been published in newspapers and journals throughout the United States and abroad. Read some of them by clicking here.

Resources in music, art, education, the social sciences, and life; written by persons who study the philosophy founded by poet and critic Eli Siegel are available here.