Experience as Knowledge

I always feel like I am shirking some sort of duty when I reblog someone else’s work. However, in this case I could not resist, for this post by Maura Shea is the best diagnosis I have yet read of a tendency to idolize experience, a tendency I have noticed in my students and in American society as a whole (here’s a snarky example: “We have to pass this bill to find out what’s in it”). Please consider giving it a read and following her blog, Mysteries and Manners.

Mysteries and Manners

I just started a new unit with my students on Mythology AND Short Stories. Usually these genres are studied separately, but I thought it would be cool to discover what is most essential about human storytelling by looking at the chronological extremes — the most ancient human stories and the most recent ones. Why do we tell stories, anyway?

Before diving into our first myth as a class — the story of Prometheus — we did a “fishbowl discussion” in which we explored four main ideas. For bell work, my kids had to respond to these ideas (“I agree / disagree and this is why…”) and so they were able to gather their thoughts before the conversation began.

1. The best way to learn is through experience.

2. In the end, virtue is always rewarded.

3. To understand good, one must understand evil.

4. The purpose of the story is…

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One Response to Experience as Knowledge

  1. Maura says:

    Thank you, Alexander! I am honored by your recommendation.

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