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Focus and Intensity

This Month's Featured Essay:

The Pursuit of Excellence and Democratic Schools
by Daniel Greenberg

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    The View from inside

didn’t really think about getting an education. I didn’t understand the idea of having to artificially ‘get’ an education. I thought that you lived in the world and you got smarter because every day you were learning. I thought that there was no way to get dumber unless you were erasing stuff out of your brain. It seemed to me that one day you were talking to someone about one subject and another day you were talking to someone about another, and that eventually you would get around to all of them.

eople would ask, ‘What classes do you do?’. And you’d think, ‘classes? We don’t do classes, you know. Look around. There are no classrooms here.’ They’d say, ‘What did you learn today?’ And we’d think, ‘What did we learn today? What are you talking about?’ Because it wasn’t as if you went into the library and learned your facts for the day. You had a dozen conversations with people. We weren’t learning subject by subject. We were learning in a much more organic manner. You would be doing a lot of different things and you would learn them in little bits and pieces that would start adding up to much bigger pictures. You wouldn’t really know where it came from a lot of the time. By the time you were done learning about something, information was coming from so many different sources, from books and from people you were talking to, and from a long drawn out experience, that you had no idea how you learned it."

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