• thedeadidea
    98
    It is all relative... we should just forget novels altogether after all they are all texts... Highe School Education should have equal testing for SAT levels of Shakespeare and To Kill a Mockingbird as they do Bob The Builder and Dora the Explorer.

    Reinforcing the narrative and myth of 'age' appropriate material is the beginning of ageism ignorance. we should move beyond that in its entirety.

    It isn't even an opinion the complete lack of standards in aesthetics is one thing, to apply that to education is just disgusting. If one wants to dispute aesthetic predilections of literature more power to you but if one wants to suggest literacy rates or all texts assess the same level of literacy and interpretation you are insane.....

    The idea of replacing film with reading is just shit and missing the entire point of education... That is to also develop a toolbox of cognitive ability.... Including but not limited to READING ABILITY
  • ZhouBoTong
    256
    a) the same piece of art claimed to be painted by a white conservative male or a Hispanic lesbian which has more value? If you want to claim both would have equal opportunity to get their art hung in a gallery you are out of your mind....thedeadidea

    Well until very recently odds would have been WAY higher for a white male (like 100 to 1). Today I would say it is slightly in favor of the hispanic lesbian (more like 3 to 2 than 100 to 1). Either way, those are examples of the type of subjective assessments of art that I have a problem with.

    b) a conversation in contrasting the significance of Starry Night by Van Gough, The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso and Tracy Imin's unmade bed.... Go on have a chop don't just go to the catch 22 Renaissance writers, poets and other mainstream cultural icons paint your own artist canon with the same brush.... Have a real go... then after you get done defending the bed half-heartedly contrast the value of Tracy Imin's art to the kind of aesthetic commentary one might draw from Artist's Shit by Piero Manzoni....thedeadidea

    This is a bit jumbled, but I get the sense you are saying that I need to be as critical of Michael Bay as I am of Shakespeare? If that is what you are saying, then no worries, that is exactly what I am doing. In fact I am arguing that art critics and elites DO NOT apply the same standards to the 2. I am exactly applying the same standard to Shakespeare as I am to Michael Bay.

    c) If one is a philistine for treating some art as shit and others as not but all are equal then consider the biography of a man like Auguste Rodin whose classical style in France elicited criticism and scorn in his day but still triumphed....thedeadidea

    Wait, isn't eventual recognition of his triumph support for my position that we should not just listen to the established authorities?

    d) If you don't like Shakespeare that is up to you but his stories were written 400 years ago... You will have to forgive the writer if they did not weather as well as some English majors hyperbole would have you believe.... But given his pre-industrial revolution pre democracy writing one might have to be a little more forgiving...thedeadidea

    My point is that the stories do not hold up, not that they did not have some value in the past. I would even admit that, to some people alive today, Shakespeare may be very beneficial or rewarding. I just don't think he will resonate with a very large audience anymore (I would even go as far as to suggest that part of the reason for Shakespeare's enduring success would be the lack of competition until recently).

    e) The reason why you wouldn't see Shakespeare in a lot of schools today is that he is probably one of the best and most humanistic centers of CULTURE the C word that some artsy wishy-washy Lefty Safe Space Occupying Morons don't want anymore...thedeadidea

    Wait, I am complaining that there is way too much Shakespeare (and as you have just joined, I am using Shakespeare as a placeholder for all art that is well respected but rarely actually enjoyed).

    I just don't understand why kids need to read the same book.... Surely we could have an electronic database of books and let them pick in 2019.... Insisting on references (reference generators), cut and paste quotations and a digital copy so teachers could cut and paste a reference in doubt into said data base and quickly know whether it is there or not..

    Considering its all arbitrary anyway a kid might as well read and write a report on the book of their children rather than read the same book and share opinions nobody cares about or learn to form those opinions. At least they might actually get some joy out of their English class
    thedeadidea

    This sounds like stuff I would agree with and yet...

    It isn't even an opinion the complete lack of standards in aesthetics is one thing, to apply that to education is just disgusting. If one wants to dispute aesthetic predilections of literature more power to you but if one wants to suggest literacy rates or all texts assess the same level of literacy and interpretation you are insane.....thedeadidea

    Well less insane than attempting to use Shakespeare to teach literacy. Also, I am not necessarily advocating for a complete lack of standards. Just pointing out that the current "standards" are almost entirely arbitrary and subjective.

    The idea of replacing film with reading is just shit and missing the entire point of education... That is to also develop a toolbox of cognitive ability.... Including but not limited to READING ABILITYthedeadidea

    Huh? So if currently around 90% of learning in English classes takes place through reading, and I think that should be reduced to 70 or 80% with movies (or other options) replacing some of the reading; how have we hindered students' reading ability?
  • thedeadidea
    98
    The fact you equivocate aesthetics and education that is the principle of arts criticism and pedagogy as the same thing means you are exactly the type of person I have no wish to agree with.... Because you somewhere lost the democratization of content to an infinite subjective everything is permissible form of education...

    Meanwhile in the real world I need to understand certain facts...

    like Bob the Builder and To kill a Mockingbird have very different reading levels and the latter is a reading level I want high school students to experience....

    It is not okay for the board of education to let people read anything universally... Try think of some controversial titles and imagine if parents would phone in or not....

    More so the problem with unlimited and infinite aesthetics sameness is it applies to values too...
    If I get a book on how to bake muffins.... that is the value too... contrasted to To Kill a Mockingbird... are you so vacuously relativistic that you want to argue the sameness of educational importance ?

    I doubt it... I mean maybe you would double down on the bullshit... but as an educator I have a real world and normative interpretation of reality to consider outside of the context of your own hypothetical musings.

    'Postmodernism' or whatever synonym you want to use for relativisim ad-infinitum pedaling twits is full of shit and although I am for democratization of school content where possible some key underlying themes need to be insisted upon for a syllabus of any kind.... The fact you don't get my clear sarcastic ridicule just goes to further highlight one of my current hypothesis that is Postmodern theories and literature generates autism and autistic interpretation.
  • ZhouBoTong
    256
    I'm just pointing out that it's not the same for everyone or in each scenario. It's not the case that one thing or the other catalyzes more imagination for everyone.Terrapin Station

    Hey Terrapin. Just making sure you don't feel ignored in this thread. I think we are in general agreement (perhaps not exact, but much closer than those I am responding to). I just don't have anything to say when people are in agreement with me, haha. Certainly let me know if you feel I have missed anything.
  • ZhouBoTong
    256
    First, a side question; when I was in school, history was my subject. I liked it, and did well on tests. However, even in high school, I was aware that I was one of only 3 people in any history class that actually liked history. Are you aware that similarly, most of us did not like English class? In the same way that most do not like Math?

    In movies the imagery is given to you. In literature, the imagery is constructed by you via imagination.javra

    Well how much practice do we need at this skill (visualizing words in our minds as the ideas they represent)? I would consider that skill to just be part of "literacy". And I don't know many people who lament their lack of ability to visualize imagery. I am not saying this skill should NOT be taught. Just that it is taught. And if we taught it 10% less, I don't see a problem (I get you are arguing we should teach it more - but at the expense of what?).

    For example, in Fahrenheit 451javra

    I addressed this in the previous post. The summary is that my problem with this example is that what you learned could have been taught in a more succinct and direct manner, assuming an interested audience.

    Having both read Dune and seen the movie (I enjoyed both), this same disparity applies to the novel Dune to far greater extents. In the novel, erudite observations of politics abound, as do insights into human psychology. One soundbite-friendly observation that comes to mind, paraphrased, is that the typical adult human would rather die than find himself holding beliefs antithetical to those beliefs he’s assimilated into himself as an adult. The movie greatly skims the theoretical aspects of the book in favor of action that is visually depicted—thereby depriving the story of its more pleasant experiences, this while reading the novel.javra

    I like all of this. But if the goal was to learn, "that the typical adult human would rather die than find himself holding beliefs antithetical to those beliefs he’s assimilated into himself as an adult", couldn't we have taught that in less than the 20 hours required to read the book (40 if we assume they are actually taking the time to understand these complicated ideas you are mentioning). Notice that if we knew that EVERYONE (or close to it) would enjoy the story, then it is worth the extra time to engage the students. But if only 20% of the class is going to like any given story, it seems more just a waste of time, not to mention filling their brain with unimportant facts that elbow out all the useful ones. (this paragraph has too harsh a tone - take everything said as my reasoning for teaching 10-20% less formal literature, not eliminating it entirely).

    If we equate plot to story, the story remains roughly the same in a novel and a movie. But just as plot-depicting cliff notes cannot convey the aesthetic experiences of living through the story—regardless of whether it’s a movie or a novel—so too will a good movie not do a good novel justice, for the movie at best abridges far too much of the novel’s contents: those of perspectives, of background, of psychology, of worldviews, etc. And again, by comparison, a good movie will not flex the mental muscles of imagination (so to speak) anywhere near as much as will a good novel.javra

    So the main reason I LIKE novels more than movies is that they are longer. If it is a world you enjoy (by world - I mean the fictional environment that the story takes place in) then likely 2 or 3 hours is not enough. However, there are very few movies (even the great ones) that end leaving me wondering about background or character details. And for me personally, I would struggle to separate my enjoyment of one over the other (book vs movie). I would say that if teachers approached movies similar to books, there would be plenty of opportunity to flex mental muscle. Notice a concept like symbolism could be taught just as easily in either format. Why not introduce it in the format students are most comfortable with, and interested in, then they can use their new found skills and knowledge when they are given a more complex and less familiar work, like the novels you have mentioned?

    Now, though unfortunately too often derided among rational types, imagination is of pivotal importance in everything from finding satisfactory solutions to problems (of all types and breadths) to the progress of the empirical sciences (from arriving at new paradigms which explain all outliers of data, like the Theory of Relativity and the Theory of Evolution, to the formulation of worthwhile hypotheses and adequate tests for these).javra

    I think we would have to have a whole discussion on "what is imagination" for this to go anywhere. I have found it interesting that my "creativity" directly correlates with how much knowledge I have. I am not trying to deride creativity, just point out that if creativity refers to "wholly original" then I wonder if it exists, if it means "a slight or significant change to an already existing idea" then you can see how more knowledge = more creativity; and yet that does not seem to fit the meaning of creativity. I understand "creativity" as more of an emotional expression than something that is logical and concrete (the connotation far outweighs the denotation). I would also point out, that WHATEVER creativity is, it is NOT equally attainable for all. Just like intelligence, or athleticism, we are all born with certain potentials and limitations. Can I teach someone to play soccer? Of course. Can I teach someone to play soccer like Lionel Messi? Of course not.

    And, quite arguably, among the best ways of improving this cognitive faculty among all individuals is via the reading of literature.javra

    I don't think you will be able to convince me that people learn more creativity from literature than movies. Maybe you are talking a specific type of creativity? Notice visualizing imagery is a very different type of creativity than creating an interesting story or developing a new theory of physics. I could develop my ability to create stories by watching movies. If I want to develop my creativity in physics, I will have to learn some math (the best mathematician will not necessarily be the most creative physicist {ie Einstein}, but without a fairly solid math base, good luck creating some important new theory.

    I am getting closer to caught up!
  • Terrapin Station
    9.2k
    Hey Terrapin. Just making sure you don't feel ignored in this thread. I think we are in general agreement (perhaps not exact, but much closer than those I am responding to). I just don't have anything to say when people are in agreement with me, haha. Certainly let me know if you feel I have missed anything.ZhouBoTong

    Sure, no problem. It's a topic I'm very interested in, but so far in this thread I primarily keep hoping that people will relax from typing so much, haha. I like to interact with folks so that it reads like a transcript of a casual in-person conversation we might have . . . which makes me picture people obliviously going into interminable lecture mode with all of these long posts.
  • ZhouBoTong
    256
    Sure, no problem. It's a topic I'm very interested in, but so far in this thread I primarily keep hoping that people will relax from typing so much, haha. I like to interact with folks so that it reads like a transcript of a casual in-person conversation we might have . . . which makes me picture people obliviously going into interminable lecture mode with all of these long posts.Terrapin Station

    I get what you are saying and have been trying to think of a way to accomplish that. But I think part of the problem for people like Javra and I is that I can go a long time between responses. Therefore I try to include a lot and respond to every point a person has made. I do wonder though, if every post between us is so long, will we ever be able to recognize any progress? I think for me personally, I need to learn to respond to the spirit of people's arguments rather than nitpicking every word (but I can't help it). I will work on it...this is still longer than most of your posts, haha.
  • javra
    767
    (to those who decry long posts, feel free to not read this)

    [...] Because I don't see how your definition created universality.[...]ZhouBoTong

    There’s a lot that I haven’t yet replied to. Even if I don’t get around to all of it, I thank you for the candid replies. It in the meantime struck me that we might not ever resolve our differences due to reasons that are far more foundational philosophically: those pertaining to our underlying views concerning human universals. I’ll do my best to illustrate this possible disparity via one analogy:

    The aesthetic experience is not the only human-relative experience that conforms to the three descriptions we’ve so far roughly agreed upon in relation to aesthetics. In want of addressing the issue somewhat more impartially, I’ll here reference the experience of being in love. Being in love is a) an emotive experience, b) is a narrow subset of attraction-toward, and c) becomes intertwined with one’s own being such that others’ derisions of that person one is in love with is in many ways sensed as a derision of one’s own being.

    In further rough parallel to the experience of aesthetics: While some can sincerely fall in love multiple times in the course of a lifetime, others never do experience this state of being. Some find this emotion to be very transient; others can be affected by this emotion for the remainder of their lives. Those givens, such as personality traits, with which one person falls in love with will very often not be those which some other person falls in love with. Relative to individuals that can experience it, this state of being can be of greater intensities and of lesser intensities. Also, there are no currently known empirical means of establishing the specifics of what this experience is like for the average human psyche.

    Chances are you’d fall in love with people with whom I’d not fall in love with, and vice versa—this though we’d both experience the same emotive state of being we term “being in love”. Chances are no two people can experience the exact same psychological states of being when being in love—just like no two people can likely ever experience the exact same visual impressions of the same physical object (for no two people share the same spatiotemporal point of view in relation to a commonly experienced physical object). Chances are that being in love with some person qualitatively fluctuates over time. Etc.

    Now, if due to the aforementioned you are one to argue that, therefore, what we English speakers commonly term the experience of “being in love” cannot be validly upheld to hold a universal referent relative to our human species—a universal referent relative to which greater or better, and lesser or worse, instantiations of this universal can occur in individuals—I find that we then sharply disagree on the far more basic issue of human ontology at large. This, specifically, in relation to universal properties of human psychology (As an example: such as the human capacity to experience the color red; while some colorblind people may not be so able, this, to me, does not then dispel the human universality of the experience of red as a color). If this disagreement is there, than no amount of discussion on aesthetics per se can resolve our differences, for these differences are then rooted in our differing perspectives in relation to ontology of mind—again, particularly, in relation to the nature of human psychological universals.

    If it is the case that we disagree on this rudimentary issue pertaining to the human mind, I’ll then respectfully bow out of this discussion - primarily because the discussion would enter a completely different ballpark.
  • ZhouBoTong
    256
    There’s a lot that I haven’t yet replied to. Even if I don’t get around to all of it, I thank you for the candid replies. It in the meantime struck me that we might not ever resolve our differences due to reasons that are far more foundational philosophically: those pertaining to our underlying views concerning human universals. I’ll do my best to illustrate this possible disparity via one analogy:javra

    I appreciate what you are trying to do here. I was just thinking after my last post that we might just go back and forth on details for eternity :smile:

    In that spirit, after reading your post a couple of times, and deleting my own unhelpful ramblings, I think I can get to the heart of the matter a bit quicker.

    Now, if due to the aforementioned you are one to argue that, therefore, what we English speakers commonly term the experience of “being in love” cannot be validly upheld to hold a universal referent relative to our human species—a universal referent relative to which greater or better, and lesser or worse, instantiations of this universal can occur in individualsjavra

    So I would say the "experience of being in love" is quite comparable to "the experience of enjoying a work of art". But how does this make Shakespeare universally better than Transformers? I feel like I missed something major, because as I read your description of love and how we are unlikely to fall in love with the same person, I immediately thought, "exactly. just as we are unlikely to like the same work of art to the same degree".

    a universal referent relative to which greater or better, and lesser or worse, instantiations of this universal can occur in individualsjavra

    Wait, I got lost here. How can love be better or worse? If a husband beats his wife, is that worse love than a husband not beating his wife, or is beating NOT an act of love...even if the perpetrator thinks it is? Is love better if you remember every valentine's day? Notice I have ZERO idea how love could be "better" or "worse"? Human expressions of love could be viewed as better or worse by the recipient, but that seems very different (Do I love my mom more if I remember Mother's Day? No. But Mom sure seems to think so).

    Basically, how can I take the universal truth that "most (all?) people enjoy some art" and somehow then conclude that Shakespeare creates "better" art than Michael Bay?

    As an example: such as the human capacity to experience the color red; while some colorblind people may not be so able, this, to me, does not then dispel the human universality of the experience of red as a colorjavra

    I hope this example can help. I think it is easy to establish the universality of red (to a fairly strong degree). Put the colors ROY G. BIV on a piece of paper and ask people to point to red, as you said absent colorblindness, we will approach 100% agreement. Now obviously if I have people choose from 50 colors ranging from light pink to dark maroon, then we will see it is not EXACTLY universal, but pretty close. Why do we believe people when they point at red, but not believe them when they say they like Transformers more than Hamlet? And if art appreciation involves more than "what people like", then we need to specifically define that and provide justification (and I admit you have been trying provide justification for why Shakespeare or other high art is generally better than the "lower" arts; but I have not seen the definition that brings your justification into context).

    If it is the case that we disagree on this rudimentary issue pertaining to the human mind, I’ll then respectfully bow out of this discussion - primarily because the discussion would enter a completely different ballpark.javra

    Haha, sorry. I can't even make it that easy. I think I partially agreed, but still had plenty of disagreement. I felt like I started saying new stuff, but by the end it probably is just the same tired argument I have been making (with maybe a new example or two).

    As I won't even agree to disagree, haha, you are likely right that we have gone as far as we can with this. I am happy to read and respond to more, but ENTIRELY understand a desire to bow out. Thanks for giving me a few specifics to think about.
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