Monday, April 23, 2007

The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Relates Sports, Dance, Biology!

I began my career in education teaching health and physical ed on the high school level in 1971. In 1974, when my study of Aesthetic Realism began, I started to test the Aesthetic Realism method--how are opposites made one in the sports I loved all my life and in folk dance, which I loved to teach? I saw how in volleyball, the set pass put together delicacy and gentleness as a person's fingertips meet the ball. Meantime, the spike has great power with precision. In order to hold a bat and hit a ball successfully a player has to have a grip that is at once firm and flexible, and a stance that is alert yet relaxed. In every team sport there needs to be a good relation of the individual and the collective, self-assertion and yielding to others.

Continuity and discontinuty, hop and glide, separation and junction are one in folk dances from different countries. At first, students would moan and groan at the idea of learning such uncool dances. Then, lo and behold, they didn't want to stop. "The world, art, and self explain each other:" Eli Siegel explained, "each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites." Opposites such as: power and delicacy, firmness and flexibility, continuity and discontinuity, so gracefully and beautifully put together in a sport or dance, are opposites every person, at any age yearns to put together. As students saw these opposites could be made one in the subjects they studied, they had more hope for their own lives.

In 1990, while on a sabattical, I obtained the necessary credits to teach science full time. I particularly loved teaching anatomy and physiology. The human body is a stunning relation of opposites--many and one, power and delicacy, junction and separation, firm and flexible--the same opposites present in sports, the dance and the turbulent self of every person. Many students had difficulty learning about blood and showed tremendous fear when as we began to study the subject. However, when they saw the aesthetics in our blood, their fear changed to interest. Some of what they learned is present in this article title, "Lesson in Blood" published in the Philippine Post.