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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Results of the Experiment
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1372  Tuesday, 21 May 2002

[1]     From:   Laura Blankenship <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 May 2002 11:11:40 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1353 Re: Results of the Experiment

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 May 2002 08:20:37 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1353 Re: Results of the Experiment

[3]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 May 2002 18:44:58 GMT0BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1335 Re: Results of the Experiment

[4]     From:   H. S. Toshack <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 May 2002 07:31:49 +0700
        Subj:   Results of the experiment

[5]     From:   Kristine Batey <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 May 2002 03:06:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1353 Re: Results of the Experiment


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Laura Blankenship <
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Date:           Monday, 20 May 2002 11:11:40 -0400
Subject: 13.1353 Re: Results of the Experiment
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1353 Re: Results of the Experiment

>Laura Blankenship takes issue with Macia's observation that liberal arts
>education is wasted on most students:
>
>> many of the computer scientists I know actually got their
>>degrees in humanities fields, one I know in Renaissance literature who
>>did his thesis on Marvell's "Upon Appleton House."  Would that all
>>scientists had more of a humanities background.
>>
>
>And would that humanities specialists had more understanding of the
>difference between statistical and anecdotal evidence.

I do know the difference and the previous poster provided neither kind
for his assumptions. I would hazard a guess (without access to real
data) that statistical evidence would support that the majority of
scientists possess an undergraduate degree in their current field. I was
simply suggesting that one cannot lump all computer scientists into one
boat and claim that they'd be better off at technical school. I, for
one, wouldn't want to be lumped in with all humanities scholars and have
it suggested that I'd be better off at some kind of humanities school
where my only career track would be to edit and proofread (a view many
have of us English lit types). I have benefited from my science and math
courses. I may not use those skills much now, but I'm glad I have them.
I would want my science and math students to find some benefit in
Shakespeare as well, even if they use that knowledge as infrequently as
I use mine of physics--or statistics.

Laura

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 20 May 2002 08:20:37 -0700
Subject: 13.1353 Re: Results of the Experiment
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1353 Re: Results of the Experiment

I've indicated in the past that I no longer read Mr. Small's posts,
though they still come to my attentions via the responses of others.  I
find three things hilarious about the latest.

1) That he is still flogging his hobby house about withholding the study
of Shakespeare to anyone under 30.  You'd think the ample testimony of
those who have benefited from such instruction would convince
anyone--unless they use their own limitations as an absolute standard
for others.

2) While he feels that Shakespeare should not be taught to the young,
Mr. Small feels Machiavelli should be in every child's curriculum.

3) That anyone bothers to read and respond to his messages when he says
such silly things.  The delete button shall set you free.

Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Monday, 20 May 2002 18:44:58 GMT0BST
Subject: 13.1335 Re: Results of the Experiment
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1335 Re: Results of the Experiment

> I have seen similar pain being expressed on similar posts before and
> wonder why certain teachers insist on such obvious discomfort.  I say
> again that children should not have Shakespeare inflicted upon them -
> not until they are at least 30.

Apart from the fact, eloquently witnessed by many respondents (who
themselves echo earlier responses to Sam Small's frequent expressions of
this view) that many below the age of 30 can and do respond powerfully
to Shakespeare, there is a simple justification for making Shakespeare
available to the young, which is the same as the justification for
exposing them to mathematics, physics, and many other academic subjects
that the majority will declare that they find 'boring'.

Unless we have the courage to suggest to the young that what is
difficult is also worth making the effort to understand, we may as well
shut up shop.  Unless we accept that in so doing we won't reach everyone
- or at least not obviously and not at once - then we consign ourselves
to perpetual disappointment as teachers.

None of us knows whether, and when, a seed planted in adolescence may
actually grow; but I think it's a fair bet that unless we make the
attempt to engender enthusiasm in the young, then we will find that
there is no audience at all for Shakespeare (or any writing of any
complexity from any period) in the future.

Sam Small's position is truly depressing to me because it seems to
suggest that he has bought in to the sad educational practice that
places 'relevance' and 'student satisfaction' above a no doubt
old-fashioned belief that one ought to expose students from the earliest
possible age both to the idea that there are certain things they just
need to know (like their 4 times table), and to the idea that working at
something initially difficult is both a necessary, and ultimately a
pleasurable activity.

But then, I was turned on to Shakespeare at the age of 11 by reading
Lear and Coriolanus with my father, in order to prepare for seeing them
performed at Stratford.

Professor David Lindley
Head, School of English

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           H. S. Toshack <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 May 2002 07:31:49 +0700
Subject:        Results of the experiment

One answer to the problem of engaging student interest has always been
to make connections. That

 

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