Friday, October 05, 2007

Through the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Knowledge Opposes Anger--& Students Learn!

On Thursday, November 1, 2007 there will be a public seminar given on the success of the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City. As a teacher who used this method for more than 33 years in New York City public high schools, I know how how greatly this method enables students to learn with enthusiasm and grace. I am pleased to present here the announcement for this seminar, sent to educators near and far.

The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method enables students on every grade level to learn successfully and become kinder people! Teachers who use this method will describe lessons from their own classrooms, and show how through it students not only pass standardized tests, but love knowledge--and this includes young people who were cynical, angry, and had just about given up on the goodness of their minds.

The Purpose of Education
Eli Siegel, the great American educator and founder of Aesthetic Realism, explained the purpose of education: it is "to like the world through knowing it." He also showed that contempt--"the addition to self through the lessening of something else"--is the chief cause of a student's failure to learn. And contempt for the world and other people is also the cause of the violence that has made America's schools dangerous.

Young people feel cheated and are furious. Many feel there's no future for them. Many see their parents desperately worried about being able to feed and house the family. Students also feel disrespected, having to go to school buildings that are in disrepair and where there aren't enough textbooks. The feeling, "Why should I bother learning this stupid subject in a world as mean and crazy as this one?" has intensified.

Meanwhile, inwardly, young people are screaming, "Please don't give up on me!" They're thirsty for convincing evidence that the world can be liked, honestly respected, without leaving out any of the facts.
The Aesthetic Realism teaching method resoundingly meets this hope--through the following principle:

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

An Instance
For example, students are excited to see, as they study the human immune system in a high school science class, how it puts together general and specific, for and against. They learn that the immune system can respond by sending a general force of white blood cells to defend the body at the site of a paper cut, splinter, burn. And there are also white blood cells that seek out and destroy very specific disease-causing agents in our bodies. These blood cells are for us by being against pathogens that take up residence within us.

Students want to be proud of how they are for AND against the world. As they see these opposites together beautifully in the immune system, they respect reality; they remember the facts of the subject. They also see that they can be for the world--have true respect for it--and at the same time be against injustice, be accurate, useful critics. And this makes them proud and much kinder.

On November 1st, you'll see the educational meth0d that meets the fervent hopes of students across the nation!

"It is my professional opinion that this is the world's finest teaching method! It can solve the crisis in education." --Jeffrey Williams, science teacher, PS/MS #37, Bronx

"The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method changes the pervasive dullness, cynicism, and lack of interest in both students and teachers--and makes classrooms dynamic with real learning and pleasure!
--Leila Rosen, English teacher, Bayside HS, Queens

Speakers: Lori Colavito (3rd grade, Southampton Elementary School)
Avi Gvili (communication arts, IS 7SI)
Rosemary Plumstead (science, NYC HS, retired)
Patricia Martone (ESL, PS 134M)
Christopher Balchin (social studies. Brooklyn Academy of Science & the Environment)
Arnold Perey (instructor, the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method)

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