Friday, February 22, 2008

AWNM: Meaning Period 2

Fishbowl with Live Blogging
February 22, 2008
8:25-9:24 am
Julie Lindsay:
Julie is the head of Information Technology at Qatar Academy in Doha.

Will Richardson:
Will is “Learner in Chief” at Connective Learning and the author of the recently released Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms published by Corwin Press. His blog Weblogg-ed.com is dedicated to discussions and reflections on the use of Weblogs, wikis, RSS, audiocasts and other Read/Write Web related technologies in the K-12 realm, technologies that are transforming classrooms around the world. He is a national advisory board member of the George Lucas Foundation. Will lives in New Jersey.

Stephanie Sandifer:
Stephanie describes herself as “an educator with a background in visual art and design.” She is currently employed at a Houston, Texas area high school in an administrative position focused on school improvement, and her personal interest areas related to that include: school size and structure, leadership (including distributed and teacher-leadership), technology integration, experiential learning, and the elimination (or radical revision) of No Child Left Behind.

Kristin Hokanson:
Kristin is a blogger who also happens to be a Classrooms for the Future Coach as well as Teachnology Leader. She is working in King of Prussia, PA where she is committing her time and efforts to creating a constructivist learning experience for her students.



339 comments:

1 – 200 of 339   Newer›   Newest»
Karl Fisch said...

We'll start in a minute everyone.

Julie Lindsay said...

Hi Karl and Anne and students from Julie in Qatar

Karl Fisch said...

Are audio and video okay?

aweber said...

woah... qatars cool.

Will said...

It takes a long time to find the meaning of your life. I think it's taken me until I was 40 (or so) before really connecting to my passion.

maddief said...

Okay, so a question that I have is, is Meaning the same thing as religion? Is Meaning something that only comes from having a religion?

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Hello Karl and students! I'll be blogging live from Houston, Texas :)

aweber said...

maddie- to some people, yes. to others, no.

markg said...

maddie- Many times i think the only reason why people practice a religion is to find a meaning and fulfil their life

chelseas said...

Question-
Are you born with meaning capability, or is it a learned characteristic that grows as you mature?

amyw said...

I agree with phoebef in the inner circle. I think meaning is an individual thing, and it's really broad. If everyone found the same meaning, then it wouldn't be very meaningful. Some people find meaning in religion, some people find meaning in something they do...so it's totally individual.

Julie Lindsay said...

Sound coming and going a little

maddief said...

I think that a lot of Meaning can come from religion, but I think that it can come from anything that is important to a person, such as their family, friends, and loved ones. I think that Meaning is essential because without it, people would feel like they wouldn't have a reason to live. All we would do is sit around all day and stare off into space.

lizc said...

will- Pheobe said something in the inner cirle about finding meaning in something that you love. Is your passion, and meaning in life, something that you love and finally found. I am curious how you found it.

Will said...

I think the meaning you have in your life is all about what your passions are. What do you love to do?

kristenw said...

maddie - I don't think so because does that mean that people who don't have a religeon have no meaning

amandah said...

Maddie
I think that religion is a part of meaning but I think that you can find meaning in something else other than religion.

Julie Lindsay said...

Do you think people you interact with in your lives help to create that meaning?

clarao said...

Maddie-
Meaning is very different than religion. Meaning is how you feel about life and what you think is important in life, but religion seems like it is somehow a little different. They still seem very similar, though it's hard to explain the difference.

SerenaL said...

maddief-
Meaning is as much and as little as you make it. I think meaning is everything and is not only religion. There are tons of different religions, and others aren't religious at all. But everyone has meaning, so I don't think it only applie to religion.

markg said...

chelsea- I think that as you grow up you learn so much more about the world. I mean, when you are a baby everything is handed to you. As you grow up your thinking begins to change and you learn more about the world. But to answer you question; Yes, i think you are born with meaning capabilities you just have to understand things as you get older.

aweber said...

amanda- such as...?

Javonm said...

I think that meaning isn't to have to do with religion at all. I think that religion is a part of meaning and pa part of fidnign out who you are and what you mean but I think that religion is not truely understanding your role in life by going to church and pursuing your religion

lizc said...

maddief- you and I both know that a lot of our meaning comes from our religion. It is important for me even though I struggle with my faith sometimes. However, some people find meaning in things that don't have to do with religion, such as sports.

Lukez said...

maddief - I think that meaning is one of the things that can help a person find religion. I don't think that it is the only way to fnd meaning in life though.

Kristin Hokanson said...

true Clarao but some folks say that religion is what helps to shape their meaning

chelseas said...

Maddie-
I think that Meaning is emphasized and encouraged in religion, but that it is seen in many other aspects of life, too.

maddief said...

Mark, you said that a lot of people take up religion to find Meaning. So does that mean that religion and Meaning are separate; that religion causes Meaning, but they're not exactly the same thing?

josed said...

Well.... My question about meaning is: do you think that your meaning changes as you grow older?


And is meaning using what you're best at to help a grander cause, whether it be humanity or God?

Or is meaning just the generic "meaning of life,"

amyw said...

maddief---I think that some people find meaning in religion, and for some people religion IS meaning. And I don't think that meaning only comes from religion at all. Religion doesn't work for everybody, but it does work for some people.

Will said...

To me, a meaningful life is one that is lived to its fullest, spent in the moment, living in the moment.

kristenw said...

maddie - I agree like I do think that meaning comes from religeon but I don't think that religeon can only come from religeon

kristenw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nilec said...

Chealsea-
I think as a person grows and goes through trouble in their lives they find meaning in different ways. I think meaning and a need for meaning grows as you get older.

Will said...

Right...meaning at schools revolves around what you are passionate about.

Lukez said...

chelseas - I think that the quote that stephania said in the inner circle really showed that people are spiritual beings and that they are born with the capacity for meaning.

stefo said...

Maddief: I don't think that meaning is necessarily the same as religion. Meaning is searching for a purpose for life. Everyone is on a path to search for spirituality. My question is this... does opening the idea to allowing spirituality in schools and business place a good idea? Or should students and employees should keep to themselves as to not to offended

Will said...

Not to sound like a broken record, but wouldn't school be more meaningful if we allowed students to learn in the context of their passions?

aweber said...

kristen- that doesn't make sense...

clarao said...

Serena- I agree that meaning is a little more broad than religion. Religion can be a dispute between people, but I think meaning is accepted everywhere.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

helsea -- I think it comes with maturity as you grow up, but it also changes over time... What you find meaningful in youth or in young adulthood changes in throughout your life

Will said...

Are the students seeing this?

alexd said...

Meaning can hopefully be found in education some time in the future. Right now I think that schools are lacking meaning.

lizc said...

Will- One of my passions is Softball. During the fall, I have to go to practice every day after school. I have meaning, because I have something to work for and something to do every day. It becomes me. I think that meaning is what you are and what you are made of a lot of the time.

amyw said...

maddief---Another thing: some people "try" religion, so to speak, and it just isn't for them, and they find no meaning in it. So, like meaning, it's different for everyone.

stefo said...

I disagree with what caitlin said in the inner circle. Meaning cannot be pushed

markg said...

Does anyone agree with me when i say that the public schooling system does not want you to understand what their meaning?

kristenw said...

To feed into the inner circle I think that meaning in school is learning and being able to have an education as well as learning life lessons

Lukez said...

Question: Is finding your passion the same as finding meaning in your life?

Kristin Hokanson said...

Will--
Not a broken record at all, but I think kids need to be exposed to a LOT of different things in order to find out what they are passionate about

maddief said...

Chelsea, I definitely think that people can increase Meaning in their lives. If someone sat in their room all day doing nothing, then they would probably have a lot less Meaning than someone who goes out and joins in activities that are important to them.

chelseas said...

I agree with Caitlin about how meaning cannot be forced. Also, by thinking deeper, I think that you can really find deeper meaning, and that if you take time, you will get a greater meaning out of it.

SerenaL said...

javonm-

I agree. Meaning is the difference that you make in this world, and the path on which you go to find yourself. Who you are, what you like to do. Passions and loves, the things that inspire you.

Oh and a Question--
How do meaning and passion relate? If at all..

Will said...

lizc And you can learn a lot in the context of softball...physics, biology, history etc. May not exactly replicate the traditional curriculum, but it can teach the principles of those disciplines.

Karl Fisch said...

Inner circle can see the blog, but are more focused on the direct conversation.

amyw said...

Will---I do think that if even public schools let students learn in the context of their passions, they would be able to figure out their passions easier. Sometimes I think schools don't do enough for this.

BrianC said...

Will, don't schools already do that? Especially in High School, you can choose your classes and choose the ones that you enjoy. Also, there's so many after-school clubs that you can join or even start your own.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Choice for students in assignments can help make th work more meaningful, but my question to all of the students is:

How might you go about making something meaningful if you DON'T have choice in the assignment?

Will said...

Kristin...totally agree. And that's the hardest and most important job that I feel I have as a parent.

caitlina said...

Kristin- I agree with you that kids need to be exposed to alot of different things, and through those experiences, kids can find meaning.

Kristin Hokanson said...

Lukez that is a great question. I think that meaning comes when you are able to fulfill what you are passionate about

markg said...

luke- Yes, i think that your passion is the meaning of your life. If you were put here by a higher being than your passion is what the higher being wants you to find and do.

nilec said...

Will-
I Definitely think that when a person knows what they are inerested in, studying that topic in school would add to there motivation and drive to do well.

Julie Lindsay said...

Does our curriculum structure provide scope for finding our own meaning?

Javonm said...

Meaning is truely something you can't earn in school yet at least because I think that at this point in time schools aren't realizing how much they are holding us back from meaning. Finding meaning, and that true passion of ours and finding a meanign or purpose for why we have been placed on this earth, isn't happening. We are still required in school to take all the courses required to get into college and do we have to wait that long in college to finally follow our passion.

Will said...

And most people don't end up doing what they major in in college...

lizc said...

I agree that meaning comes as you grow older. Young children aren't living their life for meaning. They are pretty much living for the sake of living. When kids get older they start to think about things more and they want meaning. That is why you never hear stories of young kids commiting suicide. They are first of all, too young, and second of all they aren't searching for any meaning. If they aren't searching for meaning then they don't have to worry about their meaning and they will be happy. We want meaning so much in our lives.

lizc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
josed said...

Meaning in schools is nonexistent. Meaning is in yourself.
Learning is just a means to an end.

Do you think that it is right to give a Kindergardener the meaning of his life? Because at that point the only thing he has to do is learn. If you learned all your life, when is the time for action?


Giving people meaning so early is dangerous, I think. That's why people don't come out of the womb content with life. They shouldn't, or they become complacent. Meaning should only come after a person has given his all, throughout his lifetime, and finds what all that sweat, blood, and tears was for. For high school students, who have only seen about a sixth of their lives, do you think we can grasp the meaning of our lifes in just fifteen short years?

kristenw said...

will - I definitely think school would be more meaningful to me if I were able to focus on your passions but I think we should learn all the basic things in elementary schools and middle schools to help us decide what we want to focus on

amyw said...

I have a question for everyone: how do we incorporate more meaning into our lives? What are some ways to do this?

clarao said...

Stephanie-
I think that no matter what class you have, there is a way to make it more personal. Everyone learns a different way anyway.

Will said...

nilec--and studying other subjects in that context as well...

Julie Lindsay said...

How much choice should be given to students pre-college? ...I believe in a holistic approach...do you?

stefo said...

chelseas: I think that all human beings are born with that innate desire to find meaning. Think all the millions of people who are part of a religion. Whether they worship many gods or just life itself. I agree with the quote we are spiritual beings on a human path. We were made to find meaning in life.

Kristin Hokanson said...

I was really struck in the book when he wrote about Seligman's research
part = biology...we are all born with a natural range of well being in our genes some tilt toward gloomy others cheery but we can all learn to reach towards the upper end

amyw said...

kristenw---I totally agree. In order to find more meaning, it helps for people to be exposed to many different situations and perspectives. This will help mold who you are, and, thus, what meaning you find for yourself.

lizc said...

amy- We incorporate meaning through the things that we love and enjoy. Most of us always want to be happy and so we will always search for things to make us happy.

Will said...

kristenw -- you're right...there are basic experiences and information that all of us need to be exposed to. But at some point the idea that all of us need to learn the same thing at the same time is a bit unrealistic.

kristenw said...

Does anyone think that there truly is a meaning to all life?

or

Is it purely everyone has there own meaning to living?

Liap said...

Nile-
I think that if they had specific classes for every job, then it would help kids get into their future career, but I think that we should still have other classes, just in case you change your mind in the future.

SerenaL said...

Lukez-
That is an interesting question. I don't think it is the same, but I think that finding your passions leads you to your meaning. You have to find what you like before you find what you are and what you want to do for the rest of your life... Then again almost everything depends on an individuals definition of meaning. Not like literally, but what it means to you.

So there's another question, What do you think meaning is? What does it mean to you?

maddief said...

Stefo, I think that bringing religion into school and the business place is a really tense situation. I practice religion, so I would be fine with that, but for people who don't have a religion, it could be really offensive to them. That's a really good question, and there are a lot of people discussing that right now.

chelseas said...

I agree with Louise and that we need to change the way that we are learning so that we can get a lot more meaning out of what is being learned.

josed said...

Amy, I think that to incorporate more meaning into your life, you have to work a ton at what you're best at, and be patient that meaning will come. That's called faith, and it in itself helps strengthen meaning.

Will said...

The curriculum needs to be rethought.

Lukez said...

josed - I think that meaning is inside of yourself, but school could give students the chance to pursue their passion on a greater level.

clarao said...

It seems like we all want what we don't have.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@clarao
Good observation -- I think that's a key point for all students... find someway to make any class more personally meaningful.

That applies to careers as well -- Following your passion is important, but equally important is finding a way to make any work you do more personally meaningful.

josed said...

Lukez, that's what I said. Learning is a means to an end.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Agree 100% with Will -- curriculum DOES need to be rethought... reinvented...

amyw said...

Does anyone find meaning in music? Like by listening to it, it exposes you to meaning if that makes any sense? Like the lyrics really speak to you and you have an interpretation of them that means a lot to you and has changed the way you think?

Will said...

Question to the adults in the room...how much of what you "learned" that was outside of your passions do you still remember or use?

Liap said...

Kristen-
I think that the meaning of life is whatever we want it to be. I don't think that its the same for everyone, because we all have differevt goals and dreams that we want to achieve.

Javonm said...

Julie- I think that our curriculum structure currently doesn't support our levels of meaning. I think that the easiest way to convert the current curriculum is by allowing students to do creative project-based work that still covers all the material needed during the semester, but that I think that kids should be able to make creative projects and stories to go along with the material though and allow them to learn in the way they are most passionate about.

markg said...

julie- I think you should be able to choose what classes you want to take. I think this mainly because i am never ever going to use Trig in the real world and would rather be taking an art class. Example: I am pretty good in art but i cant take an art class because my schedule is full with classes that i hate. (not this class ofcourse (: )

meganu said...

Amy- I think we incorporate meaning in our lives by going out and finding it. When you find something you like, it means something to you.

nilec said...

Josed-
I think it is impossible to "give" a kindergardener the meaning of his/her life. They have to find it on their own.

clarao said...

I think that part of meaning is to find how to make what we DO have meaningful, because as humans we never seem to be satisfied, and our goal is not to own everything, it's just to be happy.

What does everyone think about that?

Liap said...

An add-on to my last comment-

Is the meaning of life to discover the meaning of life?

Kristin Hokanson said...

I agree with the comments that meaning comes with maturity and changes over time... What you find meaningful in youth or in young adulthood changes in throughout your life. I spent a lot of time thinking about signature strenths and using them to achieve gratification

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@will I have only been able to remember or use the things (outside of my passions) that were useful for some other purpose (financial, life skill, etc.) or because I figured out someway to make it meaningful to me...

Example -- some history concepts became more meaningful to me when I found connections to art history concepts (art being one of my passions)

Will said...

Life is about solving real world problems...

kristenw said...

will - exactly like we do kind of focus more on our passion in college but I think it would help if they started exposing us to focusing on one subject or passion or at least let us bring our passion into our subjects like mr. fisch said.

amyw said...

liap---I had never thought of that before. Maybe the reason why we're here, why we were placed on this Earth, is to discover our individual meaning of life and what life means to us. Like the reason why we're here is to discover why we're here!

chelseas said...

@ John and Liz-
I think that learning and math need to be slowly integrated into everyday life, and that we should find other ways to combine the two subjects.

Will said...

Right...the only math I use right now in my life is algebra.

maddief said...

Julie, I don't think that schools do a very good job of encouraging students to find Meaning in their lives. Although we are encouraged to join activities after school, they really don't care what we join. They don't follow some record to make sure that every student is participating in something that they love. If a student tries out for the school play and doesn't get in, there's no one there encouraging them to try out for something else. I think that the school needs to do more to encourage students to find Meaning in their lives. It's proven that people with Meaning in their lives are less likely to commit suicide than those without Meaning.

josed said...

Music to me is one of the most pure form of human expression. By listening to music, you are listening to the soul, so I think that it can definitely help you find meaning. But if you listen to angry music, don't think you'll find the meaning of the universe. You might find meaning in some kinds of music, but no one song has the full meaning, and some help or hurt you.

Kristin Hokanson said...

@clara o I had thoughts about that as I read too...how are happiness and meaning related?

stefo said...

kristin H:
That part was mildly confusing to me. Are we destined to either be happy or gloomy?

Lukez said...

meganu - I agree with you that people find meaning in their life by going out and finding it. People need to try many different things in order to find something that really fulfils them.

amandah said...

Kristenw-
Thats a good question. I think everyone has their own meaning to living. Many people live differently and to their own meaning.

Julie Lindsay said...

@markg Re your comment about never using Trig in the real world...but Trig stimulates a part of your brain that maybe no other discipline does...so therefore you take trig because it is good for you to do....comments?

Kristin Hokanson said...

Will you are very correct...very little of what you remember or use is outside of that which is real world, or relevant or that which we find meaningful

Karl Fisch said...

@stefo - the research says that we all have a "set point" of happiness, but that you can range from the low end to the high end of that set point.

amyw said...

maddief---Maybe it's good that the school encourages us to get involved but doesn't keep track and make sure that we do. If they're breathing down our necks, then we can't really find meaning for us. Maybe it's good that they're guiding us a little but ultimately leaving us to find our own meaning.

SerenaL said...

liap-

Yes. The meaning of life is to find the meaning. Lately I've been thinking that there is no meaning more then living, adding to the population. The meaning is really right infront of us and we just have some sort of illusion that there is more to it then there is. And that is what keeps us living, searching for the greater meaning that may or may not exist. It all depends on personal beliefs, and mine are usually rather contradictory.

chelseas said...

I like what Mr. Fisch and Nicole are saying about how math needs to be stressed and how we need to integrate more music and math together to find the connections between them.

amyw said...

Has anyone read Man's Search for Meaning?

stefo said...

Will:
What are real world problem? Are we ever not in the real world? Is math just a tool to teach how to problem solve through a real world problem?

clarao said...

Kristin-
I feel like meaning is the strive for happiniess.

Liap said...

Amy-

I've been thinking about that a little bit. My brother was telling me about a book where a group of people made it their mission to discover the Meaning of Life. At the end of the book, they decide thaat thte meaning of life is to find the meaning of life. Then, the world ends and everyone dies. So, does this book make sense? Other then the end, I mean.

Will said...

I found meaning on my own...school didn't do much to support that.

Julie Lindsay said...

@josed, what about playing music yourself rather than listening to it, what extra meaning can that add to your life?
As a musician music has given a completely new meaning to my life...one that is on hold these days as I explore educational technology

Kristin Hokanson said...

@maddief interesting comment about schools not helping kids to find meaning. What then do you see as the purpose for schools? You spend a lot of time there right? Do you find that you learn more that gives life meaning outside of school

caitlina said...

How is meaning rewarding?

maddief said...

Amy, I think that in order to incorporate Meaning into our lives, we need to put down the electronics. Kids spend a lot more time playing video games, using the computer, or drowning out the world in their iPods. When this happens, their Meaning comes from technology. When that technology fails though, they won't have Meaning anymore. True Meaning I think comes from real people, such as loved ones.

amandah said...

I agree with Nicole I have trouble finding meaning in school and I want to but I find It difficult to.

aweber said...

will- me too. i mostly find it through church. i'm farely religious.

Will said...

stefo...I think my point was we should learn things to help us solve problems, not to pass a test.

SerenaL said...

stefo-

There is a study that says when you are born, you are either happy or gloomy and that is your default mood for the rest of your life. I'm not sure if that is accurate though. Just what my science teacher told me last year.

lizc said...

I believe that there is a straight line that divides our feelings. Picture this line in your mind. Then there are waves that go up and down, through the line and they continue on and on. When you are above the line you are happy, and when you are below the line you are sad. The middle of the line is nothing. Meaning is above the line with happiness because the meaning in your life should be something that makes you happy, and when you have meaning, then you are above the line.

maddief said...

Does Meaning only come from people, or can people find Meaning in technology?

stefo said...

caitlina: meaning is rewarding because you can find peace within your soul.

Liap said...

Another question...
Is the Meaning of Life just an excuse? Like, are we just an accident, but we must convince ourselves that we're special?

chelseas said...

I think that since school is so structured, we cannot explore and try to actually learn on our own. I also think that we are strictly learning for the tests, and learning to find greater meaning. I feel that we cannot stop and think about things before we move onto the next chapter.

Will said...

Right...what is the relevance? Other than passing the test? We need to do a better job of thinking about curriculum especially when the answers are now at our fingertips (as are the structures for learning it.)

Javonm said...

I think that true meaning is that you feel happy about your life, where you are in life, and enjoying what you do (work, school, extra curricular activities), true meaning is when you would do your job for very little play and if you knew you were only going to live for 6 more months that maybe you would try something you always wanted to do, but that your daily life would stay the same.

Javonm said...

I think that true meaning is that you feel happy about your life, where you are in life, and enjoying what you do (work, school, extra curricular activities), true meaning is when you would do your job for very little play and if you knew you were only going to live for 6 more months that maybe you would try something you always wanted to do, but that your daily life would stay the same.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@Caitlina For me personally, meaning is rewarding because it makes the "work" of life more bearable... When I know or can find a purpose for everything that I do, then I am better able to do things that I might not have found enjoyable otherwise.

kristenw said...

clara - ya that makes alot op sense because basicaly everything that we choose to do is to make us happy so maybe the meaning to life is happiness hmm


amanda - ya very true but also as clara says maybe the the ful meaning of life for everyone is happiness

kristenw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Javonm said...

got the last Idea from the 20-10 test in the Meaning Portfolio but I thought the idea was really interesting.

amyw said...

maddief, that's true. We can still use technology, but we shouldn't let it take over (or else we'll become like in F 451!). And yes, meaning does come from people. But for me, it does come from music, which happens to be on my iPod. I agree with josed when he says that music expresses the soul. I try to listen to deep, meaningful music that gives answers. So it can sometimes be found in technology, but I agree with you not to use too much technology.

Kristin Hokanson said...

Serena this is true, that may be the "default mood" but according to Seligman's research you can work to achieve higher levels through finding meaning

Will said...

Liap--we have to identify our own meaning for being. But I truly believe that meaning is embedded in what we love to do. And we can carry that passion to others.

lizc said...

stefo- First of all was that Genson or Emmons? Second of all, I completely disagree. We have different feelings all of our life. I just posted a comment before this about a "graph of feelings" kind of thing. We have different emotions and we were definately not born with a default emotion.

amandah said...

Maddie-
I think that meaning comes from people. People made the technology. For example, like on a computer people put the information on there.

caitlina said...

Maddie- I think that meaning can come from technology. Say a person develops some new helpful technology, then that may be rewarding for that person, so they could pull meaning out of that discovery, because of the lessons he/she has learned along the way.

nilec said...

caitlina-
I think that trying to find a reward in meaning isn't at all what meaning is about. We talked about how everything we do is for a reward, but finding meaning has no reward.

Kristin Hokanson said...

Will I am glad you mentioned relevance.. YES we live in the real world, but is everything we are taught relevant to that world

Will said...

Sentence structure is important to know...I agree.

kristenw said...

Do you guys think that the meaning of life is happiness???

clarao said...

Can anyone think of anything that we do that is not because we want to be happy?

Julie Lindsay said...

Being able to solve problems, work on strategies, etc are cross-curricular tasks, you can learn them through Math, Music, language therefore we should study all of these? or specialise...I think a broader exposure stimulates more areas of the brain...

BrianC said...

Caitlina-I think meaning is rewarding in itself. When you find meaning for yourself in something, you enjoy that more and do better in that. For example, if you really like music, then you'll practice a lot and become the best you can because you enjoy doing it and, for you, it gives you a reason to live. Isn't the one things everyone wants the answer to is "why am I alive?" and isn't that why people cling to religion so much? So isn't our whole life just a search for meaning?

aweber said...

will- but is boring...

Will said...

The number one key to good writing, I think, is using a variety of sentence structures. Independent and dependent clauses.

maddief said...

Kristin, yes, I definitely find more Meaning outside of school. To me, Meaning relates to things or people that are important to me. Although education is important to me, it's not there to comfort me when I'm down, or make my life worth living. In schools, the Meaning that I find there are my friends and teachers. I think that Meaning relates to people, not education. Also, it comes from activities that people enjoy, like playing sports, or doing drama. If someone really loved learning, I guess that education would bring them Meaning too.

Will said...

Yes! And love it!

Kristin Hokanson said...

@will and you certainly DO carry that passion...inspire me on a daily basis :)

meganu said...

Lia- That's a really good question. I think people want to believe that they're special. But then again I don't think we're an accident. All I know is that we are here for some reason or another. I think we try to find meaning to enjoy life. When we find meaning in our lives, we find something that means something to us.

Will said...

Meaning and relevance are to different things.

josed said...

Since people in the inner circle moved away from a comment before I could even get up, I'm going to have to transfer it to the blog.

Mr. Fisch said that math is all about problem solving, not about solving one equation. Math in real life is messy. And boy, how it is. In schools, our math textbooks have boring, one answer questions. Engineers are NOT going to solve X+5=11. So we shouldn't teach it. We should teach that, if this equation equals that, and it relates to a bridge's weight resistance, then how can we keep the bridge up? There can be more than one answer. You can save lives by doing the right math versus the wrong math when you're building a city.


Think of how THAT relates to meaning. That's the point of learning all that unfortunately mind-numbing mathematics curriculum of today.

Lukez said...

Javonm - I really think that the 20-10 would be very helpful in kick starting somebody into finding meaning in life. It can even help somebody to find their passion and meaning in life.

NickB said...

Just transfering this to the outer circle, How (and When) should we bring meaning into schools?

Will said...

Oy. The test. Ask this: What would we teach if there were no tests?

amyw said...

kristenw---I think for some people, the meaning of life is happiness. But like all forms of meaning, it's totally individual and personal. Some people want to find the reasons they're here, and some people want happiness. But it's different for everyone.

lizc said...

lia- that is where religion comes in again. Most religios people will say that we are here for a purpose and we are NOT and accident. I have a strong christian family and we agree that fulfilling our meaning in life can only come through Christ. I don't know about you, but that is what it is with me.

Liap said...

Kristen-

I think so. We all are coming up with these deep meanings, but maybe it's just simple happiness.

Kristin Hokanson said...

Jose D
I think your example of keeping up a bridge is a good one... if you are going to teach the "basics" teach them in the context of real things

josed said...

If there were no tests, there would be no pressure. Two things would happen. People motivated to learn would do better, while people who don't like the subject learn less. They can't find theirselves in the class.

josed said...

If there were no tests, there would be no pressure. Two things would happen. People motivated to learn would do better, while people who don't like the subject learn less. They can't find theirselves in the class.

SerenaL said...

I don't think school has really helped me in finding my meaning. I almost feel like it's pulling me away. I don't know what my meaning is, but school is just sort of damaging it I think. Often, it seems like grades are the only thing that anyone cares about. But what about me? I'm more then a letter on a page. Grades don't even mark intelligence, they say whether you are participating during class, whether you bother going to class at all, and test-taking skills. I keep school and meaning apart from each other. I can find my meaning in the other hours of the day.

Plus lately I noticed that I'm only doing well in the classes that I'm passionate about. If something isn't important to me, then I don't really bother putting my time into it. For me to accomplish any thing, first I have to care.

lizc said...

Will- the tests are just ways to make us learn. Grades force us to learn. We want the good grades so we stuff our brain with information that will just slip out over time. You would have to have super motivated kids in order to have a school where there were no tests. We are motivated kids but what about everyone else. They need to learn some of the things that we are learning.

Liap said...

Liz-

I agree. I am also a devoted christian, and I think that life with Christ IS happiness. I think that He wants us to be hapy, rather than to suffer while we're on Earth.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@will I don't think the policy-makers could answer that question...

However, educators who understand the need to reinvent the system could come up with some really creative ways reinvent the curriculum WITHOUT tests -- especially if thy include student voice in the "reinvention"

Will said...

Those types of cross disciplnary classes help to make connections between ideas, however. The way that we separate everything out is problematic. Do we do that in the real world?

maddief said...

Liz, that's a good metaphor about happiness and sadness. But what about the people who are on the line; they're not happy or sad, but they're content? Does that mean that they don't have Meaning? What is there in their lives that makes them content?

amyw said...

Would we be able to find more meaning in school if there were no tests or grades? Like if we were just left to our own devices, to learn things and find our own meaning about why we were learning them, to just learn without having to learn for a grade or a test, would we be able to find meaning in school?

amandah said...

Clara-
Sometimes we look after people even if we aren't happy. You can be there for someone and help them out with their problems but not be happy yourself.

Julie Lindsay said...

I think some people use 'searching for meaning' as an excuse for non-conformity

phoebef said...

will- if tests were no longer in place then i think that we would learn some of the same stuff, but for different reasons. In 7th grade i had a history teacher that said that we learn history the same way we learn from our mistakes. if someone drops a glass on the floor and it shatters, then you learn to carry the glass differently. We learn history to learn from other peoples mistakes, so we wont do them again.

lizc said...

At school my meaning comes in the form of my friends. I have them to live for and them to hang out with and they are often the ones at my back that push me forward.

alexd said...

I think that seperating classes essentially seperates life and school as two completely different things. Combining the classes would make school and life seem more related.

Will said...

lizc--GRADES FORCE YOU TO LEARN? Ok...think about that...

nilec said...

will-
I think we would learn the same things. It would just put more responsibility on the students and they would have to find a reason to learn the information instead of just for the grade and the test.

markg said...

lia- Yes i think that it is all about happieness, but sometimes you have to find happieness. And that is how you find meaning.

Will said...

Does that mean that you don't learn without grades???

Julie Lindsay said...

How important is conformity in the search for meaning?

Lukez said...

Kristin Hokanson - Last year in math, we did start to make our math problems more relative to the real world. We did problems with algea on a lake and buildings. I felt like I really knew why learning these techniques would be helpful in the real world.

Liap said...

Mark-

I totally agree! I think happiness is something that you ave to work for and make for yourself.

BrianC said...

Ok, I have a question. How dooes Meaning tie all the "sences" together?

Will said...

I like Kumbaya...

Kristin Hokanson said...

Serena and Jose
You both raise interesting points about assessment...if you are being assessed on stuff that is not relevant because it is not meaningful or doesn't drive your passion
@StephanieS wow...reinventing without tests ... in a world of high accountability...that IS a struggle isn't it.

TO ALL...in this "system of ideals" how do you motivate those kids that struggle finding meaning

Louiseb said...

Julie Lindsay-
I really agree that the search for meaning is often used for non-conformity. To me it seems like everyone is doing something different and calling it searching or meaning, but in reality I think that they are just doing something because they feel pressured into it and mot because they think that it will lead to finding meaning.

amyw said...

Just to recap---is meaning a right-brain aptitude because it involves emotion? Because it's hard to find meaning without including your emotions in it?

kristenw said...

amy - but those people who want to find the reason there here are probably doing it to make them happy


lia - Ya exactly because basicaly everything we do is done to make us happy. even for like murderers killing people probably makes them happy or whatever that is really sad but ya

lizc said...

maddie- the middle line is nothing, and no feeling what so ever. Content comes above the line. It is not right in between. Content is a form of happiness. The middle line is just the spot where there is no feeling. Kind of like a void of emptiness. Think of the x and y axis in math. Those are just lines that mark numbers but dont necessarily have numbers. They are zeros. There can be a point on them but it doesn't fall anywhere on the plain.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 339   Newer› Newest»