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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pedagogically Correct Newsletter Oct 2009

Here is another edition of Pedagogically Correct because education is so important.

"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

Follow this link for the latest VanDamme Academy Newsletter, which features the following article entitled "VanDamme Academy Presents: Music Appreciation"

Two years ago, Mr. Travers introduced art appreciation into the VanDamme Academy curriculum. Like the name suggests, the purpose of this course was neither to teach students the history of art nor to train them in the production of art. Rather, his goal was to help them learn to deeply, sincerely enjoy or appreciate art.

Toward that end, Mr. Travers teaches students how to look at a painting or sculpture. He demonstrates to them that looking is not automatic-it is actually an active-minded, methodical, purposeful process. Students learn to do a "reading" of a work of art: noticing and cataloguing all the details, making connections and generalizations about what they observe, comparing and contrasting their observations with other, similar pieces, arriving at a basic theme of the work, and finally, connecting that theme to their own lives.

This process integrates perfectly with the VanDamme Academy literature curriculum, for which the process of analysis is much the same. And indeed, Mr. Travers often makes a point of finding artworks that reflect the values and characters presented in the novels students are reading for literature.

This year, Mr. Travers has introduced music appreciation into the junior high curriculum.

In music appreciation, students listen to a short composition with a definite emotional tone and are asked to describe the scene that plays through their mind in connection with the music. I witnessed one of these classes, and the results were remarkable. First, though the scenes they recounted varied greatly from student to student, the commonalities were fascinating to note. Second, the students' writing was delightfully uninhibited-this assignment really allowed them to be creative free spirits. Lastly, I was moved by the variety of ways in which their performance on the assignment reflected their education overall: the compositions were articulate and eloquent, they often related to great scenes from history or literature, and they showed a capacity for a deep and meaningful connection to art. Listening to Mr. Travers read the students' work aloud while the music played, I was moved to tears.

Here are some samples of the students' writing about Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." I recommend that you listen first, and then read.

"A wave comes onto the shore, bringing a man to his home town. He is dead. Memories flash of his life as the procession leads him to his grave: his wedding, his first born son, his captaincy. Nothing is banal any more."

"An army has just defeated their enemy. However, their greatest hero has fallen. It is raining, and everyone is crying, especially the hero's family. The hero had hugged his family right before he was shot. It is pitch black except for one light that is shining on the hero."

"Trees are swaying in the forest as the flowers are slowly blooming. They twirl at the sun's powerful heat. One day, they suddenly shrivel up. Kids are staring down at their once beautiful flowers, depressed and heartbroken. The trees begin to shrivel. The pinecones open up to let new seeds be planted."

"I see a boy walking up to a large building in New York for the first time and he can't believe its size. He is amazed and his mouth is ajar. He goes into it, and he is riding up in the glass elevator. He has reached the top; he looks at the view and yells happily off into the city. He is overwhelmed. He feels like a small sand in the desert."

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.

Happy Learning!

VanDamme Academy--Experience the Power of a Real Education

VanDamme Academy
phone: 949-510-4861

Friday, October 09, 2009

Post Follow Up

Pursuant to my last post, here are the details: for quite awhile my house's interior in the kitchen, dinette, living room and hallway had white ceiling, walls and trim. Boring! Now I have a flat white ceiling, beige walls and pure white trim. I must say I really like it. So does the wife.

My sister came to see me and the kids, and their kids, then went to see another brother in S. Carolina. She hadn't seen us in 21 years. Plans are being made to do it again next year. I really loved reconnecting with her. She was the only girl out of the seven of us kids. Yeah, she was spoiled, just a little. It's been raining here in Detroit all day. I guess the clouds are crying because my sister went back to California.

On Sept. 21st, I became a grandpa again. Introducing Allison Rose Neibel:



Doctor says she's in good health and her older sister Payton, 18 months, seems to be taking it quite well wanting to give lots of kisses.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Back to Blogging

It's been a busy two months what with trying to paint the inside of the house with the ceiling one color, the walls another color and the trim still another. Plus my sister whom I haven't seen in 20 years came for a 6 day visit, a most happy time for me, and I became a grandpa for the fifth time. Her name is Allison Rose.

More on the above soon.