P.S. Prior to completing the discussion assignment for this week, consider this:
In previous groups who have discussed this, I have been very inspired by their beliefs, findings, and philosophies. Their students are very fortunate to have such dedicated teachers. I also appreciate positive support for each other and encouragement as they participated in the discussion forum. Having said that, of course, I will throw a fly in the ointment (so to speak ;-). As you discuss beliefs, findings, and philosophies, this week, in addition to being a positive influence on each other (telling each other that you agree with their thoughts or choices), part of the learning process is the honing of critical thinking skills. I don't mean 'critical' in the sense that we usually think of. I mean it in the sense used as a conductor would. For example, when you direct one of your groups, you don't 'criticize' them in a manner that makes them feel badly about themselves, but you do point out areas for improvement. Even if it sounds pretty good, there is always room for improvement. Your responsibility as their teacher is to reinforce that which is good, but always to lead them to the next level. In the same way, you are teaching each other. Criticism used correctly is the greatest gift you can give to each other, and one that every excellent teacher learns to use well. In this assignment, you are asked to analyze the lists and give your opinion as to whether they were correctly categorized. Be sure to analyze the categorization. The purpose of that discussion assignment is to see if you can 1) tell the difference between the 3 thought processes of your own lists (beliefs, findings, and philosophies), and 2) recognize whether others were separating them according to definition. Apply the following to the lists and then make your own judgments as to whether the items stand up to the criteria:
Beliefs are assumptions that we take for granted. They are either answers to questions that cannot be answered or are answers to questions that we choose regardless of other possible answers.
Examples: Is music a gift from God? You may wholeheartedly believe that, but it cannot be answered except through belief.
Music is the best subject in school. You may choose to believe that, regardless of all of the other choices and regardless of the fact that many may disagree with you.
Findings can be observed AND measured. The observation that children are inspired by music is not a finding. How are you going to measure that? How do you define inspiration? What exactly are you observing? Animation? Enthusiasm? Enjoyment? How do you define those?
Philosophies are explanations that cannot be empirically supported, (in other words are not based upon concrete data from direct observation that can be measured) but are based upon rational and systematic inquiry. In other words, you canít leap over assumptions in developing philosophies.
And remember, "I agree" answers are encouraging to others, but they do not count toward your discussion grade because they have not added any new information to the discussion. Definitely encourage others, but also give them collegial assistance in the form of suggestions in order to improve.
Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson