In keeping with the fact that education is of critical importance today, here is another newsletter from Pedagogically Correct.
Pedagogically Correct Volume 3, Issue 4
January 13, 2009
"Pedagogy": The art and science of teaching.
:: Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
:: Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
:: Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog
The following is an interview with Evan Storms, a VanDamme Academy graduate currently in the process of applying to college. Perhaps my favorite part of the interview was his answer to my request for the interview itself: "Considering what I gained from your school, I would write a doctoral thesis for you if you needed it; but I can settle for the interview."
When did you attend VanDamme Academy?
I attended VanDamme Academy for two-and-a-half years from 2003 to 2005, from sixth to eighth grade.
Where had you gone to school prior to that, and how did your experience there differ from your time at VDA?
Before VanDamme Academy, I attended a reputedly exceptional public elementary school in Laguna Hills. My education there differed from my experience at VanDamme fundamentally. Where VanDamme offered a logically-structured, ordered curriculum, my elementary education consisted of unconnected lessons seemingly chosen at random; science would cover volcanoes one week, and the anatomy of a frog the next.
Where do you attend high school, and what have been the strengths and weaknesses of your experience there?
I attend Fairmont Preparatory Academy in Anaheim. Academically, the school is, to the best of my knowledge, the strongest in the area. Fairmont offers a wide range of AP and otherwise advanced courses, generally taught by knowledgeable teachers who present their material clearly and logically.
Moreover, the school allows considerable academic freedom; it has, for example, allowed me to create my own independent study philosophy course, and has created two new math classes so that I can continue to advance. The number of intellectually ambitious students at the school, however, is small. And despite the strengths of the higher level courses, the curriculum in general emphasizes memorization over understanding, with the widespread use of multiple-choice testing and the heavy reliance on textbooks.
What have been some of your most important achievements since your time at VanDamme Academy?
Since attending VanDamme Academy, I have excelled in every facet of my academics: I have earned nearly perfect grades, taken and earned fives on eight AP exams, and been recognized as a national merit scholarship finalist.
Where have you applied to college, and why?
Though I applied to many schools, I am only sincerely interested in attending two: Duke and Stanford University. Both schools offer strong general academic programs, so that, whichever course of study I ultimately choose, I will be able to study under a first-class department.
How do you think your experience at VanDamme Academy shaped you?
At VanDamme Academy, I gained the foundations of an independent mind. I learned that ideas have consequences, are important, and are worth pursuing. I learned to think logically, to allow myself no half-formed knowledge or superficial understanding. I learned to appreciate great literature, to analyze facts scientifically, to write with clarity. And I learned that the sublime is possible to the man who thinks.
Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
Now Anyone Can Understand The Fundamental Principles of Science Better than Most Scientists
"Fundamen tals of Physical Science: A Historical, Inductive Approach"
By David Harriman, Historian and Philosopher of Physics
Learn all about it at our brand new website.
Here's what other Pedagogically Correct Readers are Saying:
"I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in physics, and I was amazed at how much I learned from David Harriman's course. This course stands head and shoulders above any other course or textbook I have encountered."
"It's perfect for someone relatively new to physics like myself; it's perfect for even advanced people who want a deeper historical perspective than is usually taught...I found Mr. Harriman's physics course to be an exciting walk through the fascinating world of physics."
"I think this type of course is needed for everyone, as in my experience, it's so far above the courses I've had throughout my life as far as the actual transmittal of knowledge is concerned...In short, this course has made science and math much more intelligible for me, and was completely worth the time and cost - I highly recommend it."
I was a physics major when I entered college, yet I can easily say that my actual understanding of physics is much greater as a result of this course than I can credit to any other class I've taken.
With this course you will:
* Finally understand the world around you, the world of science and technology, in a way you never thought possible. (No, you don't have to be a math wiz.)
* Learn the thinking methods of the greatest minds in history.
* Understand what all those physics equations and formulas you once memorized really mean.
* Be inspired by scientists' amazing 2500-year quest to unlock the mysteries of the physical world.
* And have a great time in the process!
All thanks to a one-of-a-kind science teaching methodology available in no other course or textbook.
Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
Lisa VanDamme's educational career began when a group of parents, disillusioned with standard public and private schools, hired her to educate their children. In 1998, she chronicled her successes homeschooling and explained the methods that made them possible in a lecture, "Reclaiming Education." The audience, fascinated by her insights about education, and inspired by the stories she told, gave her a standing ovation. In 1999, she made "Reclaiming Education" available in written form, to the delight of thousands of readers. Since 1999, the essay version of "Reclaiming Education" has been unavailable. Until now.
For the first time in almost 8 years, we will make this remarkable work available. And we are giving it away for FREE as an e-book to those who help us grow Pedagogically Correct by recommending it to their friends. Just send enter the email addresses of at least five friends who might appreciate an invitation to receive PC--along with a brief personal note, or our standard note below. We will not add anyone to our email database without their permission.
Click here to refer five friends and get your copy of "Reclaiming Education."
Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog
Check out our 'blog, which will contain much (but not all) of the material we sent out in our newsletters. Spread the word!
VanDamme Academy encourages you to forward our newsletter to your friends or post it on your website or blog. If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you can sign up to receive Pedagogically Correct for free, at www.vandammeacademy. com.
VanDamme Academy--Experience the Power of a Real Education