“Shakespeare for those in love“, “Nietzsche for the people under stress“ are just newer and more known examples of something which could be called “reading at an angle“, i.e. looking for the messages which are not so obvious, the meaning which is hidden but very present. Students were reading “Tom Sawyer“ by Twain and “A Little Encyclopedia of Insects“. The list of references is endless – you can search for ethics in Marvel's comics or astronomy in the songs of Miroslav Antić. One of good examples, done in the form of a witty reference book, is the search for the messages about upbringing, school, childhood, knowledge, learning, teaching... in the opus of Dik Browne's comic “Hägar the Horrible“.
RULE 1: ASSESSMENT
PROBLEM: the assessment is adapted to the average abilities of students. A problem appears when we adapt our assessment to the averageness, because not only the motivation of above-average students disappears but the below-average students get a fake good image about their knowledge. Assessment is a kind of “The Bed of Procrustes“ from a Greek myth – someone who is bigger than a bed will be shortened and someone who is shorter will be stretched.
POSSIBLE ANSWER: Either broaden the scale of assessment (in France grades range from 1 to 20) or abolish the grades (as in Finland where the knowledge is tested on the final exam). We should not waste our words on the assessment and evaluation of teachers. If you agree to be measured, you have agreed to the measurement of your dreams in grams and to the evaluation of a nightingale's beautiful singing by the mixed board composed of a raven, donkey and a fish.
RULE 2: THE KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRED AT SCHOOL IS OFTEN INAPPLICABLE IN LIFE
The learning of information but not their connection. The accumulation of facts but not their application.
Repeatition and copying instead of creation and correspondence.
Teaching should not be viewed as “chopped” by school subjects but in a problem-oriented way and thematically. For example, the topics such as: FOOD, WATER, HAPPINESS, HOUSE and the like can be viewed from the point of view of different school subjects.
Learning and knowledge are a matter of a salon, make-up, parade, strutting, degree but not of life.
RULE 3: ASK FREELY BUT DO NOT FORGET – THE TRUE QUESTION REVEALS THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW THE MAJOR PART OF THE ANSWER AND THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE ANSWER.
Ask questions, especially the one most important – WHY? (although the most common answer is “Oh my God, why have I asked it at all?”)
Curiosity killed the cat and even everyone in teaching because the most frequent answer is “When you grow up, it will be shown to you” (the version for younger) and “Why are you asking me when you already know it?” (the version for older). There are no stupid questions, just the answers which someone will not give or does not want to give.
Why do people order a double cheeseburger, a large serving of chips and a Coca-Cola Light???
What was trying man to do the moment he discovered that a cow gives milk?
Why do the shops which are open 24 hours a day have locks and padlocks?
Why is there no money for higher salaries?
On the visit to Petnica, my student, then in Year 5, asked if we could touch the sky. After the laughter of all the present at the lecture, the lecturer just said: “An excellent question. Let’s see what it is what we consider to be the sky”.
RULE 4: THE NEED FOR A MORAL AND THE IMPOSITION OF ONE IDEA
PROBLEM: One should draw a lesson from everything, but bringing down all dilemmas to proverbs and slogans turns into frivolous moralization over time. No one, neither students nor teachers, likes being exposed to only one model of behaviour no matter how it is desirable in society (including these lines):
POSSIBLE ANSWER: the intertwinement of opinions, even the moral ones. To watch all models of behaviour from another point of view. There is no rule so sacred that could not be broken in a certain situation. The only rule by which you should be guided is to respect the right of other person until the boundary of not threatening the right of the first person. For example – the right to a knightly honour is considered at school to be a conflict and not forgiving.
RULE 5: DO NOT LAUGHT AT THINGS TO WHICH YOU DID NOT DEVOTE ENOUGH TIME OR AT THE ACTION WHICH IS DIFFERENT. THE RESULT IS IMPORTANT AND ONE CAN ACHIEVE IT IN DIFFERENT WAYS.
RULE 6: ALL THINGS “WERE BETTER” in the old days. Greek philosopher Socrates said 2,500 years ago: “Children are completely unrestrained. They behave rudely and do not respect authority. They clash with their parents, chat before guests, eat gluttonously and mistreat their teachers”.
RULE 7: THE MUTUAL COOPERATION OF PARENTS IN RELATION TO CHILDREN IS OF KEY IMPORTANCE AND THEIR OWN PERSONALITY. Or, as said by Duško Radović, it would be good that children have just ears and not eyes.
RULE 8: WE SOMETIMES DISCARD THE MOST OBVIOUS ANSWERS BECAUSE WE DO NOT SEE A WIDER PICTURE OF THE PROBLEM.
RULE 9: THERE IS NEITHER SUCH A USELESS THING FROM WHICH ONE CANNOT BENEFIT, NOR SUCH A SIGNIFICANT THING WHICH IS COMPLETELY INCORRECTLY USED OR IS NOT USED WELL ENOUGH.
(also including this text, useless for some people and very significant for some people)