Friday, August 31, 2007

Knowledge in your Classrooms

What is an example of "knowledge" that you have struggled accepting based on authority in any of your academic courses? Why has it been difficult? What is it about YOU that possible has influenced this?

Please discuss subject matter, NOT teachers or teaching styles.

90 comments:

Beth said...

The immediate knowledge that I have problems based off of authority that it was important would definitely have to be almost every math class I've ever been in. I understand that math is used in everything, but when there aren't relevent examples given, I lose motivation to even attempt to figure it out. I personally am not a very logical person so math is difficult for me anyway, so that combined with the blind faith that math will eventually pull through makes the whole situation kind of hard for me to accept.

kristina said...

I have issue accepting anything I'm taught in history to be factual because I realize that people throughout history has stamped out various events and burned documents and destroyed entire civilizations (take the Roman Empire for example). I find it difficult to trust the facts and the stories because history was always written by the victor and it seems to be a disgustingly biased view of things.
History should be learned, but I think everything ought to be taken with a grain of salt like we do now. Earlier in school facts were facts and it was only until I got into the IB program that I realized what a big lie it was.
Its made me stop blindly accepting things as facts anymore, so I guess there's been a positive side to it.

-Kerry Riley

Sara said...

Kerry, what if IB is a big lie?

Just playing Devil's Advocate:)

J.Malone said...

Sometimes, I really get hung up in my math studies, because I just don't get what the heck the point is! Take "i," for example. This unassuming little vowel used to be simply the linking letter in "ice," "kitty," and "violet," but now it has become the square root of negative one? Is that even possible, EVEN in theory? I have trouble believing this because it's just so...unprecedented. I mean, who would think of a value like that? I really rely on sound logic to guide me (though I'm equal parts CS and AR), and when it just doesn't make the cut, then things fall apart, QUICKLY. It makes me feel a little stupid at times, but I've always pulled through just before (or just after) the test. So, yeah. Math + i = evil incarnate.

J.Malone said...

Sometimes, I really get hung up in my math studies, because I just don't get what the heck the point is! Take "i," for example. This unassuming little vowel used to be simply the linking letter in "ice," "kitty," and "violet," but now it has become the square root of negative one? Is that even possible, EVEN in theory? I have trouble believing this because it's just so...unprecedented. I mean, who would think of a value like that? I really rely on sound logic to guide me (though I'm equal parts CS and AR), and when it just doesn't make the cut, then things fall apart, QUICKLY. It makes me feel a little stupid at times, but I've always pulled through just before (or just after) the test. So, yeah. Math + i = evil incarnate.

~Clem

P.S. Once again, above comment is mine, but I'm spazzy and don't remember to sign my name.

kristina said...

I'm actually pretty convinced math is something humans created with no actual evidence. If we apply "laws" to things and then make up why the ought to work then of course we can call it "logic"
There isn't any actual physical evidence of math in the tangible world. I don't think math really exists (the bell just rang but i'm going to rant more on the later)

Kerry

ZoeW said...

I have trouble accepting some of the things taught in english (no offense Mrs. King). I can understand what a theme is and how it reoccurs throughout the book etc. but I still have trouble believing that the author put every little detail in for a reason. I have trouble accepting the fact that the glass of OJ in Asher Lev or the penny in American Childhood was placed there on purpose to represent some deep connection to a theme. This inability for me to believe authors put everthing in for a reason and that they write every book to portray a theme etc. does probably come from the fact that I am a very logical person (sorry guys but I do get i in math studies) and am way better at getting math and science then I will ever be at english/analyzing.

tsizzinc said...

i struggle with the fact that i need to learn a whole lot of everything and much of these educational values will be wasted. i would prefer to spend time on points of interest and learn something relevant to my life/ future life. Things that wont help me in life are a waste of time, as much as i love wastering my useless time, i prefer to waste it using my own personal ways. i understand that this method of education, where you learn a little of everything, is helping with youths choose their paths, but one has to realize that in this society different careers have different values. I would love to pursue a musical career, who wouldnt?, but facing the facts, i probably wound be able to support myself. Now i have chosen a career choice where i should be able to make average or high amounts of $ but, it does not involve science or (advanced) english, or PE... why must those subjects be required to past high school? why waste my time for an hour a day on something that i will promptly forget the day i graduate? i accept this misfortune and will now stop my whining. Hopefully you understand my point and have similar issues. A solution is pretty obvious so will not be provided.

Mr. Pseudonym said...

I am going to go all 12th grade in here! We are reading the communist manifesto. I remember being told by people in authority positions, as recently as this summer, that the USSR was communist. Recently we have begun to discuss Marx view of it, and I must say that it is so polarly different from what I thought that I had trouble accepting the USSR, China and others as having never been communist states.

riverJordan said...

I also have an issue fully accepting history as presented in a school atmosphere. No matter how experienced or objective a teacher one can have, there will always be a bias when looking at history. It also seems to me that some of the historical events that are now part of the courses, I'll use the Holocaust as an example, are too recent to fully step back from and analyze without becoming emotional involved. At this point, to look into these occurances in the 20th century is to discredit them, to say that they can be explained when in reality, they cannot. Maybe in another few decades, but right now I'll quote Alan Bennett and say that, "There is no period so remote as the recent past."

-Jordan C.

Seanna said...

Authority can be used in both a good and a bad way. In younger children it is very easy to make them believe something simply based on authority. This has become so easy because our world/society is filled with many different authority figures.

As people have touched on before, I have a problem truly believing the authority of my past history teachers. I know that they are experts on the topic and know it much better than I do, but when you look at history you see scandals, bias, etc. I think that you can get some truthful information from history, but most historical knowledge known today is based off of someone's opinion. I have a hard time excepting my teacher's authority because it not only goes through the writer's opinion, but also theirs. Even if something was not influenced by their own opinion they have still been influenced by the time and society that they lived in.

An aspect about myself that has influenced this belief is that for most of my life I have blindly gone along with authority figures, and once I started to think about my believes I realized that I don't believe everything I thought I did. Now when I hear an authority figure I usually question what they are saying to see if I truly believe.

I would like to repeat a question stated earlier as well. What if we are living a lie based off of different authority figures? What if IB is a big lie? Can you truly trust anything you learn from an authority?

Simone S. said...

I agree with Zoë that sometimes its hard to say for sure that the author of a book meant to put in every detail that they did just so that it would support their theme. Do authors think of a theme and then write their novel? But I suppose this is why we analyze the book more than the author's intent becuase other than interviewing them we have no way of saying for certain what they were trying to convey.

I suppose that my problem is that I have gotten into the habit of believing that everything I learned was true when I was in elementary school. It is only now in highschool (and IB) that I have learned to question things such as the unreliability or bias of history. Wow! This has made me think about what I'm learning. I should be more inquisitive and question what I'm being taught.

In response to Seanna's question, perhaps we are living a sort of lie. I mean that when we learn from other people we are influenced by their thoughts and beliefs. But when we learn through experience, we have to draw from our own beliefs to evaluate for ourselves what is true. But then again, an individual's experiece does have limitations. What is the definition of truth again?

susanna.w said...

Before IB, my knowledge of English and literature was fairly simple and straightforward. I mean, sure, there were deeper meanings and literary devices but they were pretty obvious. However, in IB, sometimes I think English goes a little too far in drawing conclusions. I think that sometimes it is a beautiful coincidence to find something that supports the theme but I don't think it was necessarily planned out specifically by the author to stun us all. I understand the IB theory in English that the reader may use all aspects of the text to help prove his or her point but at the same time, some of the word level material used seems to be an example of grasping at straws to help support an idea. One of my friends (who shall remain unnamed) who dropped the IB program, did so due to this reason and the accumulation of other pressures. Of course, I really do value the type of research and study IB students put into their readings so that we can reach a new level of analysis but at times, some material seems doubtful.

Elliot Ross said...

Teachers and students alike in the I.B. program tend to over analyze things; whether if it is English (which it is most of the time) or history. This is where things become hard for me to accept as truth. Sometimes in English class I wonder if the students and teachers alike are reading to far into things and trying to construe ideas that the author did not intend. A great example of this is Shakespeare. Whether if it is his poems or plays, I have a hard time accepting a lot of the symbols’ meanings that the teachers or other students insist are present.

Pumanupes said...

I also find that analyzing some of the books we read is overdone. There are just some points that seem so far fetched when examining books that could have potentially just been written for entertainment. How can we assume that we know what the author intended that Golden Carp to represent? Or the pig's head on a stick? (Was there ANYTHING important in An American Childhood ?

Aside from that, I might suggest that, it's easy to criticize subjects like history and english for their subjectivity and bias. However, I find that it's harder to criticize math and science. Arguing that they don't exist is pointless because the rest of the world acknowledges that they do.
In math specifically, there is no bias. It is a universal set of laws that work together. Math here follows the same rules as math in India. (I know, my dad was born and raised there and his math has the same rules mine does... though we approach how to solve problems differently, the laws that we must follow are the same.)Teachers (as an authority) do not have any ability of changing those laws unless they have it in mind to screw you over for the rest of your math career. It is definitely arguable that teachers can misteach certain aspects of science with bias and thereby ruining one's education on the topic (evolution meaning that we came from apes, for example).

Math makes sense to me because it does follow a strict set of rules. There is a definite answer. I've learned to enjoy not having an answer, but it was a hard lesson to learn. History and english have no answers and are subjective and have so much bias. Science falls inbetween the two extremes.

katrina337 said...

History, as an entire subject. History is written by the winners, right? So the winners can twist things to glorify themselves, and what can we do about it? I'm not saying anything against my history teachers, I've liked a majority of the history teachers I've had (including back in elementary school), but I think what is recollected of history, since it's not all written as it's happening, and even if it is it has a strong bias, we can't really understand it. I think we would actually gain a lot more from it if we were to read a lot of strongly biased primary sources from opposing viewpoints than from a general recollection. But that's hard to come across. But it really makes me question a lot of what I...learn, for lack of a better word, in history.

Alina Kassenbrock said...

Being the sightless and shallow person that I am, I'll back off from the larger topics of Literature and History and chat a bit about comma usage. Some say that there is no comma between the last two concepts in a list (ex: creativity, yogurt, spiders and salmonella), while some say that there is (creativity, yogurt, spiders, and salmonella). Two English teachers of a very influential status in my upbringing held opposing opinions. Which one do I trust? It truly is a difficult decision, and though the placement of a single comma in a list has little significance in 99%of all cases, each time I come to the crucial keystroke I hesitate to judge which of my teachers was the wiser.
Maybe that anecdote was metaphorical and can relate to all types of knowledge, but I doubt it. There you have it.

Rachel said...

I am one among those students who favor English and history over math. Allow me to explain: English and history are largely up to interpretation, so long as you have evidence to back your belief. However, it is quite possible for someone else to reach a different conclusion either from evidence similiar or different to yours. It is all about your personal understanding of the situation, and the synthesis of many different interpretation. No one has the one true answer, but everyone is trying to figure out what it is. In math, however, a strict set of rules leads to a specific conclusion, and this makes me feel very boxed in. The basic stuff makes sense to me - if you have four apples, and Tommy and Sue both take one, clearly, you only have two left. It is the stuff that is not so easy to illustrate that makes me a little doubtful. It makes me uneasy just to take my teacher's word for it that formulas are what they are, and complex problems are undone in a specific order. That's just how it is, and math will be a lot easier for me if I just accept it, no ifs ands or buts.

KellyR. said...

I think that this is just repetative but i totally agree with the people about history. When I was in elementary deep down in my heart I was meant for IB because I didn't enjoy history because none of the losers had a say at all in what was happening in the history and now today I learn that my intuition was right, that it is basicly wrong and how can we learn from the past if the past isn't even true?? That is the quetsion I truely want to know. Because how can history be knowledge if one isn't even sure it is a TRUE belief?
Kelly

katrina337 said...

History isn't even properly justified, really. It's largely based on authority, as we've been pointing out, so we can't really take history as knowledge. Or literature, for that matter.

And I agree with the people who say that more complex math is harder to accept.

KatieA said...

I've always kind of had a hard time accepting the way we do poetry explications in English. I can't believe that great poets actually sit down and think "Hmm, I think I'll put some assonance in this nect line in order to better support my theme." I'm no poet, but I've always thought that poetry was supposed to come from the heart, not a formula.

bway_guy said...

I agree with what Katie said. I really don't think that poetry explication is really a necessary/key ingriedient to what we have to learn in English. Usually when I think about English as a class, I think of things like what Alina wrote and reading famous books like (and yes, I really am going to say it, even if it's hard for me) Crime and Punishment (unnngh...that was hard to type) by Dostoevsky and The Lord of The Flies by...crap...I forgot the authors name. Books like those, and more. But explicating? I think, just through experience and emotion, that I believe that explication is just a waste of my time that I could spend doing other things (such as writing this blog post, or watching my recording of High School Musical 2 that is no longer saved on my Tivo...shoot!). Any comments? Questions? Coupons? No coupons? Thought it might work. Yeah, that's all.

Kenshin_Himura said...

A major problem that I have is acceping that there are multiple interpretations for different pieces of literature.
For example, in the poetry units, there is never one specific manner of interpreting a poem, which causes me great distress...
Because then there is no definite answer, and I am one who NEEDS straight-on logic. I can accept multiple causation, because it fits logically, but multiple interpretations of the same words? That is just confusing.

Oh, and to throw a bit of math out there for the person who is confused about "i."

e to the i(pi)=-1
Therefore:
Squareroot of eî(pi) = i

Interesting

Rebecca said...

Something I’ve had trouble accepting is why we need to use a pen for formal in-class writing assignments. Does it really make that much of a difference? Pen might be a little bit darker than pencil. Does that add to the content of what we’re writing in some way? Pencil might actually look neater because you can erase mistakes. So what if it leaves some smudges? If you mess up with a pen, you either have to cross it out or white it out, both of which seem worse than a few smudges that are barely noticeable. It doesn’t really matter whether a pencil or a pen is used because the handwriting most of us use make the essays look like illegible scribbles anyway, so we should be allowed to chose whichever instrument we prefer.

Rachel said...

In response to that confusing bit of math, the e to the i(pi) =-1 proof, how do you know that? I'm not saying that I think your math is faulty, or that your calculator won't concur, but one of the things that makes math difficult for me is accepting that rules like that are right, even if it doesn't make sense to me how someone figured it out in the first place. Explication of poetry and literature, on the other hand, is easier for me to grasp. Looking back on what Katie said, no, I don't think poets sit down and plan out their literary and sound devices before hand. But I do think good poets and authors consider the effect of their word choice in the context of their message or mood as they go. I'm not saying they go "yes, this use of alliteration promotes my theme because the repetition of the 't' sound creates a feeling of (insert emotion here)," but I think they do consciously use literary and sound devices because they seem to fit with the theme of the poem, even if they don't identify the devices as they go. That's the explicator's job - to figure out why the poem or bit of literature is a good one. And whoever missed out on High School Musical 2, don't worry, it was pretty bad.

Rachel said...

Just adding on to my previous comment, I do think poetic and literary explication can reach the point of overanalysis. It is important to keep the entire work in mind, and not exagerate the significance of that one semicolon.

Adrienne said...

To be completely honest, and not to offend any english teachers out there but... I think that Explication of poetry is absolutely ridiculous. I understand that there may be a theme hidden in the poem somewhere. But picking out every little tiny phrase that COULD be Imagery, consonance, metaphore or whatever is so pointless I can hardly stand myself. I've never been willing to accept that the author put THAT much effort into his/her poem. What if they just WROTE a poem, can IB not accept that? The unfortunate thing, however, is that my opinion doesnt matter at all, and I will of course suck it up when it comes time to write YET another poetry explication in my english class this year.

C1assyMassey said...

English class is something I have struggled with accepting because I strongly feel that looking for "deeper meanings" and all that is strictly opinion-based and it can only be found if you want to find it. I am perfectly content with stories being just stories, and not teaching morals or having something hidden in the words. I have always thought that everything in English is all fake and was made up by the teacher to 'make a point' about something, even if there is no point to make.

mantolin said...

This whole "gravity" thing causes a lot of problems for me. I'm pretty sure its there, or why else would I have all of these scrapes and bruises on my knees and the heels of my hands, and my elbows? Scientists say that the moon just stays near the Earth because of gravity, but I heard that the jury was still out on science. What if the moon just happens to really like the Earth? So much so that it orbits it, kind of like a stalker. But gravity is a good thing sometimes too. One example is when I drop things, I can just say that it was 90% gravity, and it is. If gravity wasn't such a jerk, I wouldn't drop things, or fall so much.

elainarae said...

I have never easily accepted anything as truth. I have always thought (for whatever reason) that all I am learning in a class is the teacher's perception of a topic area, and that they tell us what they think about the topic. Their account of events or theories. Everything seems to be just a theory to me. I am still amazed when I talk to people from other schools who seem to have learned the same things I have. The thought that there is a set, universal knowledge that everyone can access is strange to me.

MadiBee said...

I agree with Zoew. The thing about english and talking about how an author purposely put in a penny or whatever in order to serve some grand universal purpose. It also comes up when we explicate poetry. Do you really think that the author of the poem purposely put in two harsh sounding words in a row in order to enhance a central message? sometimes I think you could argue yes, but at MOST times I think that we're just digging really deep. When a person writes poetry, or a song, or story I think that most times that person is trying to convey a FEELING, not a theme with supporting claims. Which I guess can be argued as the same thing... I speak from personal experience cuz I do like to write stories, songs, poems, etc. so that's just my take on it. but in english class that's not always what it seems like (is anything ever what it seems like? ha ha there's a really good question to consider) Sorry, I had to go there.

rlevy said...

One example of “knowledge” that I have had trouble accepting has been the fact that there are incorrect interpretations to literature. If interepreting literature is up to the reader, how can one interpretation of it be wrong (especially if you have supporting evidence). This has been difficult for me because I am not a huge English lover, so I can’t see why I can be wrong about pieces of literature. In Math and Science, there are concrete reasons for an incorrect answer. Yet, in English if there is no concrete reason for an opinion being wrong, why is it wrong. This is definitely influenced by my strong learning desire towards concrete problems and answers, thus I am constantly perplexed by more open-ended subjects (such as English).

StarD said...

Well... Ok so back in elementary school i actually believed that the world approximately meant the same as exactly. It took me several months to actually believe that it meant about but yeah... I originally remembered reading it from a dictionary and then i believe i took the definition wrong. It has been difficult because i rejected the truth. And thus i believed it till that time. The part of me I Believe that has influenced this the most was the fact that i did not wanted to believe in it. It was just... wierd... I was very tick-headed back then

Jakin said...

I have a difficulty accepting the fact that we can be wrong in subjects that rely most importantly on how we percieve them, or how there is a diffinitive right or wrong when it is all up to perception. For example, when we are analyzing a book, or a piece of text, how can we be right or wrong when it is based on how we interpret and experience the text? There is no way to tell exactly what the purpose was in many texts, or in turn often what the text was about, thus how can we wrong? That's something I have hard accepting, when it's so hard to tell the difference, that we can be wrong because it's not what is normally associated with the text.

SamE said...

Okay, so I see a few people taking stabs at math and I feel I have to defend mathematics a bit.

First of all, "There's no evidence for math in the real world." Math doesn't make claims about the real world, so you don't look in the real world for evidence. But yet, defying logic, math is incredibly useful in the world, as evidenced by its use in physics and to a lesser extent chemistry. I see that as evidence for a rational Creator, but that's an entirely different issue.

Next, various rantings about i. Well, as far as I know, the letter i was chosen because it starts off the word "imaginary". Also, in reality, e^(i pi)+1=0 is really just a convention. The properties of cis x (=cos x+i*sin x) match the properties of e^x, so we write it as e^ix out of convenience and to speed up complex calculations. That's how you get the pi in there, too, from the trig.

BTW, you have to remember that for any number, there are always two square roots, which is especially important in the complex realm. So the square roots of e^(i pi)=-1 are actually i and -i.

Finally, some people struggle with accepting a teacher's word as final in math. I do too. If you have a good teacher, you should never have to do this. You should derive everything in class, and if you don't, it should be read in the textbook. For example, you should only trust the quadratic formula if you've seen it derived. The same can be said of the Law of Cosines, or Power of a Point. Of course, some things like calculus take longer than you have in class to derive, so that's why they have more college classes devoted entirely to building calculus up axiomatically. True math has no authority involved.

On a side note to the last point, I really hate it when people claim something is true "because my calculator said so." That is the ultimate example of an authority. If you rely on a calculator or computer, it should be only to do calculations that you are afraid would take you too long, or that would be too easy to make a mistake. (Which is why I really despise the IB HL Math rubric, giving you a 0 on "Technology" if that's all you use it for.)

shilpa said...

One subject's topics that I have had the most difficult time in accepting is science. For instance, last year in chemistry, when we were studying Ernest Rutherford's theory, I found it really difficult to accept my teacher's word that what he theorized was in fact valid. However, after several years of science, in various levels, I have realized that science is one of those subjects that puts a great deal of emphasis on placing value in authority. For me, it is hard to rely on the experiments of others if I wasn't physically present to witness them. I think that the main reason for why it has taken me some time to accept the experiments of scientists is because I tend to rely on empirical evidence. Even in class, if I ask one of my friends if we have homework, I need to see "no homework" written on the board before I will fully believe someone, that's just how I am. That's probably why I didn't want to beleive Rutherford's theory.
Also, going back to English, I totally agree about the literary analysis argument. I remember that my English teacher was telling me about how we're going to analyze punctuation too this year. Yet, that made me regret my involvement in the course even more. I mean, if I was writing a book, I don't think that I'd pay attention to every little detail. I understand that analyzing the theme of the text is important and I do believe that most texts do have a theme, but I don't think that I'd consider "subtle nuances" and "figurative language" when I was doing that. I write poetry too and I never think about symbolism, I just write what I feel like. It all goes back to science in a way. How do we really know what an author was thinking when they wrote a text? Unfortunately, Shakespeare is long gone and I'm still going to have trouble doing my poetry explications.

SamE said...

In writing up labs, one is usually taught to detail the procedure so that someone could repeat it and get the same results. This is what Rutherford did, and while the fact is generally ignored, many people did reproduce his gold-foil experiment and come to the same conclusions. We can't exactly do this in a high school (with radioactive alpha particle sources and the time it would take), but you're right, ideally every experiment should be repeated.

Instead of authority, I would say that science relies more on consensus, since the repetition is what confirms a principle. If something only happens once, it only rarely is incorporated into the theories of science. An example in chemistry is the discoveries of the largest elements. Usually, less than a dozen or so are created, and they last unimaginably short times. But if an experiment is not confirmed, as happened with Soviet scientists in the 90s (I believe), the element is not listed as "discovered." So consensus (as well as logic, of course) makes more sense as the reasoning behind science.

RickHajost said...

Although hopefully this week we'll get to discuss the problems in the Communist Manifesto, I've had a really hard time accepting any thing written in that book. The fact is communism doesn't work. Theoretically its not even that great. Why would you want to live in a society where your entire future is basically planned out for you and where everyone can make the same amount of money whether talented or not. All through high school I have worked hard so that I can get into a great college and once in there I'll keep working hard for more parts of my future which is what makes a capitalistic society great. Those who want to succeed can succeed while those who want to be mediocre can fail. I understand the idea in studying the communist manifesto because its good to understand new persectives, but why don't we study a theory that can actually work in our world.

shilpa said...

I can see your point on how science is largely based on consensus. However, I think that authority still does play a role in learning science. For instance, sometimes teachers, unfortunately, might not know very much about a certain topic in science. From experience, I've had a lot of teachers(mainly in elementary school) who have told me that they simply don't know much about a theory to explain the scientist's reasoning behind it or how they conducted the experiment and how many people verified it. Therefore, sometimes I just had to rely on authority or just take their word for it because they didn't have a way to explain a scientist's experiment. Now, again, this would be in a classroom. I guess if I really wanted to, I could have gone and researched the experiment myself but when you're in fifth or sixth grade, you don't always feel like doing that. :)

klneff said...

Well, on a downer-note, teachers are real people and they sometimes mess up. I won't reiterate the idea of math vs. Lit./Hist. and how untangible strange formulas that SOMETIMES follow their set patterns are... but sometimes when theres a combination of a hard subject and someone trying to explain it, I get purely frusterated. It's harsh and unfair to refuse to give my trust to teachers immediately, but like I said, they are people too, and therefore are guaranteed to mess-up every once in a while. Like other normal people, they then need to help me to trust them. It sounds awful, but sometimes that is how I am structured. If I cannot trust the laws of chemistry to always apply, it's going to be hard for me to immediately allow myself to trust where it applies in such places as biology etc. Sorry if this seemed unorganized and unproductive, I'm still nursing mistrust of a second grade teacher... (PS DeVol, broccoli does have two c's in it! I told you so!)

klneff said...

Sorry, and I know it was said NOT to talk about teachers vs. teaching styles, but I truly feel that acceptance of a subject and acceptance of a teacher come hand-in-hand. If we are considering authority, don't teachers count?

klneff said...

Ok I'm posting yet again. In case you couldn't gather from from my very fist post, Im not one for math. I like science, well, expect for chemistry. But only because that's more straight-foward mathmatically than biology. Sorry I'm so truly obnoxious and contradictory... I'm actually planning on majoring in env. sciences in college, and we def. use chemistry for that. haha?

katrina337 said...

bway_guy, how can you forget the Lord of the Flies is by William Golding?!?! Just kidding, but I thought it was an immensely fascinating book, as is Crime and Punishment, though I seem to stand somewhat alone. But I loved that book. And while I also highly doubt that poets or authors sit down and plan out which literary devices to use and where, I do believe that studying these things can help us to better understand our language. Whenever I write poetry, I do not plan out what literary devices I use, but when I go back and look through it I find that I do have them, and that they do further my point. And I do spend a good deal of time looking at the specific words I'm using, because if I don't use the exact word, it doesn't sound right. So if the poet put the time in choosing the words, why not look at them? I do agree that sometimes we reach a point of over-analyzation, but really, I do think that explicating poetry can be an important part of understanding our language, because it forces us to actually think about the words we're reading and using, rather than just stringing them together to form phrases.
And to Shilpa (I think it was Shilpa who commented on the punctuation study); do you remember in Johnny Got His Gun how there were only two commas in the entire book? That was purposeful. Why else would there only have been two commas when there were many other places in the book that begged for comma usage (and yes, they did beg). But it kept up the effect of the stream of consciousness, and so the precise punctuation was very important. Wait, did you guys have to read JGHG? Maybe they took it out the year you started...hm...and Rick, I would argue that a communist type of society can be good for the people who want to succeed but lack the resources to do so in a capitalist society. Though I do not agree with most of the Communist Manifesto because I believe Marx wrote it from a very blind view point and I do not believe communism in its true form (or any other, for that matter) could actually work, but I do believe the ideals behind are good for some people.
And that is all, for I've rambled too much in here.

IAmbrooKe said...

I'd have to agree with Kelly and the other people who have mentioned history as a point where I sometimes have my doubts. However, with this whole school thing, I try not to question what I'm being taught, and it's not because I think it's wrong to question authority by any means...definitely not, :). It's just that I'm going to have to make it through school anyway before I will have any authority in the eyes of society to change the rules, if that makes any sense. I guess my point is that at this point, it doesn't even really matter what I think is pointless and why, because if I don't do it, people aren't going to care why. I won't get to the level of authority where I can say, "This really didn't work for me, I think we should change it for the future generation," or whatever. But yeah, history sometimes makes me wonder because I'd rather be learning about the present, current events, and predictions for the future than what happened in the past. I'm not saying we should do away with history alltogether, because there is that whole thing about learning from mistakes, but I don't get how we can learn from our mistakes if we don't necessarily know what's going on and we can't discover the trends between the present and the past.

IAmbrooKe said...

No, we didn't have to read Johney Got His Gun, but I can understand your point about the explicating poetry, and I agree with it. It's important to study what styles of language are used to enhance an author's point, although like you said they may not be intentional and in ost cases we don't even know if the point we're spending hours analyzing is even the author's point at all. But I really think that studying English and analyzing literature has its benefits, because not only does it help us become stronger in supporting our theories and observations, it also helps us look at things through diverging perspectives, not just through literature, but in interacting with others.

penguin said...

To throw out an entirely different card, the knowledge that I have had trouble with accepting so far this year is what we have learned in TOK. TOK has made it so now I am not just able to know something but must back it up with a justification. I was living in a simple world before when if I said I knew something I felt that I understood it completely and I didn't bother realize why it was that I felt that way. I am beginning to accept what we learn in TOK because it is logical but it still is something that I have struggled with. I am a fairly abstract person and by needing to cement what I know down with a justification will take time but is a useful concept to learn.

-Graham P

katiechil said...

An example of "knowledge" that I have had trouble accepting, based on an authority in my academic courses is that various academic programs are superior than others. I attended a Core Knowledge school for seven years before I joined the IB program, and one of the (few) similarities I noticed between the programs were that the teachers who taught them fully believed that their method was the best. Being in both programs for a pretty long time, I've seen the benefits and shortcomings of both; Core Knowledge has a very strong base in learning facts, but lacks in analysis, while IB student's strength is analysis, but the students have less of a common factual base to refer to. Because I've seen both sides of each of these programs, I have a hard time seeing either as academically superior, and therefore have a hard time "knowing" that one is better.

Wyatts. said...

I agree with most who posted above, though math can be helpful, if life allowed it i would never think in numbers again.

SamanthaJo said...

Okay, so this is a really trivial piece of "knowledge" that I just can't wrap my head around. I was doing homework in my psychology class, and I came across this question: "Imagine (or ask someone to imagine) folding a sheet of paper on itself 100 times. Roughly how thick would it then be?" Thinking to myself, "Well, if it was possible, I guess it'd be pretty thick. Probably as thick as the length of paper before it was folded." So I turned the page to find out the answer, and this is what it reads, "Given a 0.1-millimeter-thick sheet, the thickness after 100 folds would be 800 trillion times the distance between the earth and the sun (Gilovich, 1991)." My immediate response was something like, "Wait.. Whatttttttt?" It seems that this is impossible. Can the human mind even grasp the concept of the number 800 trillion? And then multiply it by the distance from the earth to the sun? It's just not fathomable. I am expected to just believe the book because it cites some other book. Is this reasonable? How can I just believe something that is printed on a page when my mind cannot even grasp it? For all I know, the statistic may be justified. But being the skeptical person I am, I just can't accept it. Plus, it is impossible for my mind to comprehend the huge number. I realize this is an insignificant piece of information to have trouble "accepting as knowledge," but it's the first thing that came to my mind.

crista said...

Reading through most of the comments above, I am not sure I really "struggle to accept" anything important. That is why I am in IB, because I agree with the way things are taught and I believe the program offers a very developed and AMAZING education, and I am proud to be involved.

And about what SamanthaJo said, a piece of paper can really only be folded in half about 7 or 8 times, no matter the size of the paper. So, if it were actually possible to fold it 100 times, it seems almost believable to me that it would be quite a large distance.

AnnieP said...

When I was in history class once, the teacher (and I forget which one) mentioned that every single president except Jimmy Carter had an affair while in office. I'm sorry, but Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president, and I can hardly believe that he cheated on his wife (maybe I just don't want to believe, but...I mean he was busy fighting the Civil War his entire presidency). I think that it is easier to question something that you don't like. History is my favorite subject, so I would be much quicker in questioning math and science than history. It is easier to question something you don't like because it justifies you not liking it.

Onnolee said...

Unfortunately I am going to rip on english class. But I am more of a science person, and I prefer to deal with straight facts, and do things in a methodical way with formulas and stuff. But in english class I don't see the point of explicating and analyzing texts, and I have a hard time doing these things because I don't see the point. I can understand where I will need to use science and math in the future, but i don't see why I will need to use explication and text analysis to the extent that we do it in english.

Anna said...

I have to admit that sometimes I have trouble accepting theories or ideas that aren't proven to be hard core facts. Take literature for example, how do we know what message the author is trying to convey to their readers, if any at all? It bothers me to think that I'm searching for some mystical meaning buried in any given text when I may never know if I'm on the right track or not. Along with what Onnolee said, it's often hard to see why one spends so much effort in analyzing literature when they propably won't use those skills in the future.

Kayla said...

I have meny issues with most of the subjects that I take. For one, math one could say that is just because I do not understand it, which is true. But really, like other people have said when you get into the really complicated math like the whole i issue, then I just do not see where they come from, I have a hard time believing that they are one real and two important to anyone other than a mathematician. Like how it would be used in real life. But since my teacher tells me to learn it and know it I usually just do because I don't get it.
Then there is English, which I would say that I also do not see much point to. In literature I read because I like to read, not because I wanted to know the authors view of the world or anything like that. I don't look for sound devices and all that crazyness that teacher say are important. But really overanalyzing something does not help me to understand it better.
And History, well obviously no one can really know the hard facts about somethings, there is bias everywhere and thta makes it hard to believe, basically I agree with what others have said about that.
Overall authority, espacially in school tells us what we need to know to pass through school, one can take this information any way they want, well maybe not math so much. Also, well that's all.

Dani said...

I completely agree with Elliot, sometimes during English when we start explicating or just analyzing, I start to wonder how many people are just making stuff up and then trying to justify it through stretched examples. Why cant anyone consider that maybe an author just wrote what was in his or her head, and didnt go through every word or sentence in order to construct so that the imagery and the juxtaposition all came together to show some ultimate truth?
I also agree with Kristina in that i cant take much in history as true since the victor is usually the one writing history.

Rebecca S. said...

For me, I can never seem to completely get things in English classes. Being a more mathematical person, I like things with definite answers and logic. In English though, it is more subjective and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. When analyzing text, I know to look for metaphors or certain devices, but I can't seem to put it all together to what the author is saying. And then we discuss it in class and I hear multiple interpretations, all of which make sense to me, so I can never decide which is the "right" one. And when the teacher tells the class the most likely interpretation, I struggle accepting it. It's most likely just that I don't have a very strong grasp on the less logical/clear cut answers. However, I must say going through the IB program, I have become better at this :)

Mr. T said...

If I don't understand something in Englsih, it's usually for a different reason than if I don't understand Math. If I don't get math, for instance it's usually because it's explained poorly or worded badly and just require clarification. If I don't understand something in English, it's because I just can't interpret meaning in a text for the life of me. I'm definently not a math-science person but there are times when I'm stuck on a math problem and I know that there's a certain answer that I can get and for some reason, I'm just making a mistake somewhere. In english, if I'm stuck I know it's because I'm not good enough at analysis. Both times the flaws are in me, but in English it's much more personal.

I pity the fool for some reason that I can't think of, but is still reason enough for me to pity them!

~T

AmyLM said...

One of the biggest things that I struggle believing in school is when we analyze literature. Sometimes I just have to sit back and wonder if the author the poem was really thinking about all the hidden symbolism, allusions, etc. when they wrote if. What if they just sat down and strung together a bunch of words that they thought sounded pretty? It is hard for me to trust the authority of my teachers when they say that those handful of words really do translate into the pages of explications we have to write on them. I guess that since I myself write poetry I find myself doubting the ulterior motives of these other poets. When I write a poem I just write from my soul and my emotions.

ethan_is_ninja said...

I must say, I cannot agree with things that have one definite way of knowing or solving and/or set in stone. (e.g math, science). I love abstract thinking which is why TOK is like a haven for me to unscrew my brain and release my real thoughts. I am an abstract learner and like to overanalyze things. I have no idea why I am like this because most others of my race excel at those subjects. Hmm.....

pjuang said...

To be quite honest, I have never really struggled to accept any "knowledge" in my academic courses. I don't think that I have ever REALLY question what has been given to me because then my whole system of beliefs (knowledge?... don't quite know when to use the word anymore) will fall apart. It's not like I have never thought, "would if the pink I see is no the same pink as you see" thing, but my knowledge is much more plastic. I believe that my knowledge is an amalgamation of everything I have ever encountered and my job is to broaden that library. If a truth is meant to be changed, then I will come upon some piece of information that will reform my way of thinking.

Sierra Tamkun said...

In math last year, we learned about truth tables, which I found unnecessary. I can understand learning other mathematical solutions (calculus and geometry, for example), but I couldn't understand truth tables. It seemed so obvious, what the answers were, and it appeared to me that they were nothing more than a complication. I didn't understand how or why we were being taught this, why did it matter? I still can't except that is is necessary. I suppose that if I had the reason behind it explained to me, really explained, with real life examples of the use of truth tables, I might feel differently. But there would have to be strong evidence, and I would need to be able to imagine what it would be like to use them. (I suppose that would be a vicarious experiance, or empathy, right?) Until that time, however, I see no point to the teaching of it. IBO saying "it's necessary" isn't enough for me.

meara said...

as much as i love history, i do question things that have been taught to us. a really obvious example is napoleon and how he was portrayed as an amazing "hero" to us when we were kids. then we found out that he's so much a "hero" as he was said to be. the reason i continue (and forever will) question history is because i think there is really no way to tell exactly what happened in the past. there is always some sort of bias leaning one way or the other and i know the idea is to get as close to the "truth" as possible, but you never know...

Kaci said...

For me accepting that we as humans and the universe came into existence by accident. I have heard this in a lot of science classes. The reason for this is because I am a Christ Follower and believe that God is the creator of the universe.

Julia said...

I have to agree with Kaci. This world and humans are way to complicated to have just sprung from thin air and so on.

Charlie Vest said...

Physics, a subject I find both useful and pleasant, provides an example of how authority has affected my learning style. Last year, I questioned my teacher all the time to prove to me why a solution or equation was true. This year, however, my teacher is an incredibly well-credentialed theoretical physics enthusiast who wrote a dissertation on string theory... Despite my logical mind screaming at me to question something I don't understand, I imagine I will find it difficult to question things I don't understand purely out of the authority that this teacher possesses on the realm of physics.

sgreenlee said...

An example of knowledge that I have struggled with is comprehending the theory that humans have evolved. I have difficulty imagining that a thinking, talking, intellectual human being could evolve from a lesser being. I feel that humans were intelligently designed by a higher power, as seen in God. My religion plays a role in this belief, yet I still cannot fathom this development.

Griff said...

A piece of knowledge I recently struggled with was the molecular structure of any saccharide. Just trying to imagine that something so simple as starch was made up of tons of little glycidic bonds seemed impossible. How can we actually believe this? I need proof..or something.

Paige C. said...

Like many others who posted on this blog, I also believe that the literary analysis we do in Literature class is very subjective. I sometimes have a hard time grasping concepts or understanding how a conclusion was realized. I enjoy questioning the IB “powers that be” and why they prefer a certain method of literary analysis. I do however, find literature class and the conclusions about knowledge we make fascinating, so it doesn’t really bother me.

Kendra said...

I have the hardest time accepting knowledge in english classes. I view texts as interpretive pieces that can be taken to mean a multitude of things and continuously I have been taught what is the correct view of a text and what the author was supposedly trying to portray through the piece. I don't always agree with the idea of what the author was trying to get across and I think it is difficult to label an opinion of the author's ideas as fact. I have an easier time understanding math and science because there is no basis of opinion since it can be proven.

R_Dong said...

I'm going back to the statement made by Katie Chilson. I do find it hard to believe that one academic course of "knowledge" is better or superior to another.

Based upon the authorities or teachers that taught these academic programs, I can see how they believe that their students are recieving a better academic learning track than another, but how can they judge. Obviously, the teachers must be passionate about the academic program or they wouldn't be teaching it, but I wonder if they really have a taste of another academic track.

As for me, I have experienced through my academic career three academic tracks/programs. In elementary school I was taught on the state curriculu, and I was none the wiser when my teachers said I was getting a superior education. Then in Junior High I was taught at a private school, where once again the students and teachers there claimed to have the best academic track. At this point I had two points of view that contradicted each other. However, something that I found interesting was the fact that the private schooled students and sometimes teachers would bash on how the public school curriculum was horrible. I found myself defending the elementary school education that had defined me so much when I decided to attend this private school. At the time, I would be horrified at such an accusation. How could they make that kind of statement when they hadn't even experienced the public education? It turned out public educaton wasn't that bad because the following year I skipped a math level, leaving my peers who had claimed to have the superior academic "training" behind to work on simple arithmetic problems.

From here I transferred to a Charter School where they also were supposed to have the superior academic track/program. In the end, I agree with Katie, every program will have their strengths and weaknesses and no one really has the authority to say that one academic track/program is better than another.

Thanks for reading,
R_Dong

Nick said...

In response to all the people who believe that we over analyze literature in IB, I would argue that you can't really over analyze. Call me a new critic, but it doesn't matter whether or not an author meant for a connection to be made. As long as someone is gaining something from the text, it doesn't matter whether or not the author intended it to happen. Literature has everything to do with what the reader takes away.

asseal_a said...

For me, at least in recent years, I have struggled to "accept" (rather to understand or comprehend) chemistry. It is imperative to our world as it discusses the various functions of chemicals and matter in the world around us. I understand that we need it to survive, to find cures to diseases, and the like but at the same time I have had trouble accepting it because I suppose it's been the first true challenge I've faced academically and mentally. Although chemistry is fairly straightforward science, it's just too much for me to understand, quite possibly because I myself do not want to understand it for its struggling ramifications. Chemistry is tough, understanding and utilizing it is even tougher.

Nick said...

Sometimes for me, especially in biology, I have a hard time accepting knowledge if it isn't sufficiently justified. It isn't that I don't believe or trust what the teacher is saying, but unless I understand the logic behind the details, it can be difficult for me. I don't like learning theories or systems when there are gaps that I can't explain more than to say, "That's just the way it is." I like completely understanding things rather than having a broad understanding.

LL Cool J said...

ALINA~ I hope we never lose contact, because I am sure i will NEVER find ANYONE as AMAZING as you in my entire LIFETIME.

GRIFFIN~ I love you. We were terrible dates and should NEVER plan on going to another dance together again, but I seriously love your response and think you are the BEST.

BACK ON TRACK...
I am quite shocked and surprised that more people didn't discuss the controversial aspects of grading ART. Too bad, because neither am I.

Through IB, I have learned that the best way for me to learn things is to PICK and CHOOSE what I believe can be TRUE and PERTINENT to my life... Calculus... never going to apply that to a single aspect of my life...EVER. That's just me, though because I want to do EVENTS COORDINATION...and if HEIDI the ridiculous dropout blond from THE HILLS can do it, I hope I can too...without calculus. Sam, you shoot for the STARS though.

However, I love literature, art, and occasionally history the most. I find little POCKETS of knowledge that INSPIRE me in every subject I am taking this year, and with that I find it easier to see the point in studying so many DIFFERENT subjects that I would regularly despise.

TEACHERS play such a large role in whether you love or hate a subject, however I always try hard not to allow the teacher to affect the "BEAUTY" of the subject itself. It's oftentimes a fruitless attempt, but though I am terrible at sciences and have not liked very many of my previous science teachers, I believe that CHEMISTRY is a beautiful subject to study. That is only one example, but Mr Lundt's PASSION for the subject and Ms Whitman's PASSION for hers (sorry, never had you as a bio teacher, Mr Malone) has shown me that what is beautiful to me AESTHETICALLY in literature or art, is equally beautiful to scientists, mathematicians, or any other study of another subject.

I think it is important to keep in mind that ANYTHING can be a source of passion for SOMEONE no matter how boring or despicable it is to SOMEONE ELSE.

Janna said...

Some knowledge that I have had a hard time accepting is in art when we were going through examples of how to do a gallery review and the piece was judged as a good piece of art. The way this was presented made it seem like this was knowledge that this piece of art was good, and I personally didn't think it was that great. This is an example of when I think it is necessary for the teachers to simply present the information and tools needed and then leave them to make their own decision, because isn't knowledge is a properly justified true belief?

Mandie said...

I definitely agree with beth in that one would have to be a very logical (and patient) person in order to enjoy math, or be a math teacher (as an authority). My being the concrete random person that i am, I find it difficult to do math because it, in my opinion, does not really reflect much purpose for use in the real world. Constantly asking myself "why?" when something in math does not make sense is evidence that my brain just not accept complex things like math.

wwJacobi said...

While some people may say that our public school system is “brainwashing” us and bring up connections to Nazi schools that manipulated their students, I seem to think that the motives behind our public school system are not so sinister(These ideas were discussed in King’s 3rd Period). Call me gullible, but I have faith that the head honchos of the school board are not planning a second Holocaust or intentionally giving us false and bias information for reasons unknown to us. I do however, have trouble accepting a few things that I have been taught, for the simple reason that they seem contrived and too generalized to have any validity. One example of this is the analysis of the use of sound devices in poetry for the purpose of explication. Literary devices like metaphor, allegory, and symbolism make sense to me, and I could see how a writer could consciously use these techniques to better their piece of work and prove a point. Sound devices, however, seem to do nothing more than make a poem more or less aesthetically pleasing (can you even use that phrase when it applies only to sound?) depending on the author’s intent. Any connections I make to the overall theme are quite forced and not at all genuine

KatiZ said...

One thing that I have been recently having more and more issues believing is that the AIM class is going to make me a more emotionally intelligent person. This is mostly because I feel that we are doing the same exact activities as we have the last few years which I feel have not helped me become more emotionally intelligent. I also have a hard time believing this because I think of myself as a pretty observant person, I can almost tell immediately if someone is having a bad day and feel comfortable talking to people to help them with their problems. I don't feel like any of the exercises that we are doing in class are going to help me become better at doing that. Another reason that I probably have issues believing that AIM will make me emotionally intelligent is that I disagree with the subject matter "taught" in AIM, so I am probably more likely to be cynical towards it.

LizaM said...

I think the most trouble I've had accepting course material was while taking Calc BC last year. At a certain point in the year the math began to get so complicated that I simply began to question when it would ever apply to my life. Something about me is that I dont want to go into a math based career even though I dont mind math but it just gets to the point where the shell and disc method just dont seem to apply to real life

Kacey said...

Even after a year, I still have trouble accepting this “new critic” approach to analyzing literature. New criticism emphasizes that any meaning that is pulled from the text and properly justified is valid. The author’s intent is unimportant. It has been difficult for me to analyze literature in this way because I believe that a craft is nothing without its artist and visa versa. In my opinion, the inspiration behind a piece of writing is the most important concept to grasp.

Mary said...

Everyone here has offered a valid point...personally, the hardest knowledge in school for me to accept is math. No matter how useful math is in the real world (and it is), the fact remains that someone, somewhere, sometime came up with the concept of math. Perhaps one person came up with one concept, later added to by another. Basically, a select group of people came up with what we learn as mathematics today. I say a select group because not everyone has added to the concept of math. The number of people who have contributed to it pales in comparison to the number of people there are in the world. Thus, math has been taught to the majority of the population - the majority of people to know math are basically obeying someone else's rules. Personally, I am not much for sitting back and taking what someone else throws at me. I have a hard time believing in something that I personally have had a hand in concluding. Topics such as English are easier for me to accept because, although someone came up with language in the first place, I am inclined to believe that language was the result of centuries of different people from all different lifestyles adding to it (hence different languages, colloquial speak, etc.)....something that developed originally from a common ancestor for all of us. Moreover, English class is more about the meaning of language and language use. The meaning a reader gains from a piece of written literature is unrefutably individual to them; what one takes away from a piece of work is something that they have reached and discussed and debated. I think someone mentioned that they had a hard time with English class because they didn't think authors actually employed all the devices that they did, and hence explication was looking for something that was not there. To that I would reply that very few authors do not use devices and language form for a purpose, and many of these authors probably do it deliberately, so it actually does have a purpose anyway.... From my own personal experience with writing, I know that, while the reader may not notice these things at all, sometimes the choice between a dash and a colon can change the entire personality of a piece.

kyle said...

litterary analsis makes no sense to me. People should read books because they enjoy them and take something from them. The whole thing seems like a hoax to fill up theyears after we learn how to read. A lot of kids (not me) don't even read the damn things and still get A's.

jeewonk said...

Hmm..I guess i'd have to go with poetry explication on that question. The poets probably don't sit down and think about every single word before they write their poems. We learn what the tiniest part of a poem means and we are supposed to interpret them, but why if the poets didn't put any particular meaning into the literary and sound devices? It just looks like we're supposed to make some grandiloquence over a poem with 6 lines.

Lauren said...

Well i dont know that is a hard question. I guess reflection back a "knowledge" claim that i have had trouble believing woudl propbibly be in math. Dont get me wrong math is great but i seriously dont think in our future jobs we will be writing pages of formulas and figuring out really complex mathmatical equations, minus a few jobs such as a mathmatician, math teacher etc.. But you get my point now i know math is used every day in jobs but not complex ideas, so are we just learning it to learn it or is there a logical reason for all our hard work?

katrina337 said...

Nick, I'm going to argue that we can overanalyze. I mean, if you can still analyze and come up with new points, then all is good. But I think we've all been in those classes where we're having a socratic seminar/class discussion and the same thing gets said over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and we have to analyze that little bit over and over and over and over, and that gets to a point of overanalyzing. If you can find a good analysis and continue to find new support, I'm all for analyzing it for forever. But with some topics...it just needs to end.

Todd said...

I have struggled with some analysis of passages in poetry as well, but more specifically, in the realm of religious meanings. There have been several instances where the main points of analysis required a religious background wether to match the authors intent or not. In many situations last year, I was presented information in the realm of religion where I have no authority. Therefore I struggled to accept the knowledge and only did so because of a consensus and other's explanations who had authority. Nonetheless, it was hard to accept something I couldn't justify.

Stitches said...

I've always had trouble accepting that authors and poets meant for all of their literary devices to occur within their works. I've always just felt that they decided to write about something that they felt strongly about, and imagery and symbolism just happened along the way.

Sara said...

One of my favorite classes is English, but I find literary analysis to be limiting at times. I understand that in order to have an entire class discuss a piece of literature, having a set of guidelines and rules in place is a help, but some books that I originally appreciated seem cheapened to me after having gigantic units where we all assume we know what the author means... Why can't we all just take different things from these pieces and all be right?

Max Dean said...

When we learned about the proper MYP formats for writing esays in history and literature, I originaly resisted using the essay formats because I thought some parts were illogical and the structure of the essays was too rigid.Over time, I came to realize that following the essay formats was essential to getting a good grade, making the format pragmaticly true: if I didn't follow it, I would suffer the horrible consequence of failing out of IB. Therefore, the MYP essay format was knowledge justified by necessity. When I realized that I couldn't challenge authority or violate the guidelines, I gained the knowledge of how to write an essay that could get an A based on MYP criteria. Since I had never experianced any MYP material before entering PUoudre in freshman year, and had learnt a compleatly different way of writing essays at St. Joe's, my inexperiance and previous knowledge caused me to become automaticly biased against the comparitivly forign MYP essay format. This bias diminished over time, as I gained knowledge, but as we've found in the IB program, the MYP format isn't nessesary to getting a good grade when writing an IB essay, so now I must begin to gain new knowledge. Experiance with the MYP format though, has taught me to be more acceptingh of new academic guidelines because I've had to change my academic knowledge based on the necessity of following authority.

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