View single post by in media res
 Posted: Fri Aug 3rd, 2007 02:38 pm
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in media res


Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Posts: 1961

Not surprised a bit. That is why I posted the article. I agree about "memorization freaks," which is an admirable skill however. I worked twice with actors who had photographic memroizations skills. Everyone in the cast was totally envious of them!!! It did not make them better actors, but it sure was impressive. And THEY KNEW THE WHOLE SCRIPT!!!!! iThe comfort was if you ever 'went Up" you would have the best of help! But why should the students you mention get an "A?" merely because they can memorize? Is that the way the testing is set up?

And it is not a matter of intelligence or IQ rating. It is a matter of being EXPOSED to the information so one has the tools to continue to build upon their own education; "Learning how to Learn."

The article - written by a History Professor - does not lay it on the backs of students but lays it at the feet of the history teachers several times. He states:

"The lack of knowledge is not their fault. How can students be expected to have heard of any of America's pre-eminent writers, artists, actors, or musicians if their history professors never mention them in class — and perhaps don't know much about them either? We're teaching the subjects we want to teach, and talking about the people...we sympathize with. Never mind if we're also passing on a substantial amount of cultural ignorance from one generation to the next."

My nine year old nephew in Louisiana - one of the poorest states and underfunded school systems in the United States - made a card for his art teacher at the end of this year and inscribed this on it:

"Art is like a bridge to the mind. And teaching art is like giving a map to the bridge."

Not bad for a young man, whose family had to evacuate and spend a year away from his home and school the previous year living in suddenly and unexpectedly cramped quarters with his Uncle (me) and Aunt because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - "Katrita."

Of course the art teacher cried...but was also smart and savvy to make a point of every school administrator getting a copy of it. Hope it did some good. They have not cancelled the art program for this upcoming year- yet!

In my original post I mentioned the actor had an MFA - that is meant to be Master of Fine Arts in Acting. If a graduate with that degree has no comprehension of Brando's effect on the acting world, and every actor subsequently in the modern era, how can we expect our History students to know it?

I would love to hear other comments on this article. I have passed it on to several History professors I know. But they know and teach about art and culture, so it is moot for them. I told them to pass it on.

Of course, the article could be reversed: most of my theatre associates have an abhorringly scary lack of knowledge of history.


in media res

Last edited on Fri Aug 3rd, 2007 04:19 pm by in media res