Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Throwing Out The Lesson Plans: Classes

Cross-posted from the original blog "Throwing Out The Lesson Plans" by Jen S... you can check that post out here.

Awhile back, the Sego Lily staff were talking before School Meeting. The topic was classes – the fact that there were more of them than usual happening on our campus, as well as the cultural idea that classes are important. We had fun talking about all of the things that happen during a typical Sego day that aren’t a ‘class’ per se, but are definitely learning experiences. Knitting while chatting, the chat itself, the quick math lesson related to the heating instructions on a kids lunch – you know, LIFE. But we did all start to wonder more about classes. Here is a bit of what we discovered (and for the record, I have not included the irrelevant parts of any of these definitions):

class[klas, klahs] noun
2. a group of students meeting regularly to study a subject under the guidance of a teacher:
3. the period during which a group of students meets for instruction.
4. a meeting of a group of students for instruction.
5. a classroom.
OK cool – so basically a class is when people get together for a specific purpose, usually a group of students, and often a teacher. Under the guidance of a teacher. That was an interesting word.
guid·ance [gahyd-ns] noun
1. the act or function of guiding; leadership; direction.
2. advice or counseling, especially that provided for students choosing a course of study orpreparing for a vocation.
OK – so a teacher leading a group of students = a class. Not sure what’s so special about that. The class definition does say ‘to study a subject.’ So let’s see where that goes:
stud·y[stuhd-ee] noun, plural stud·ies, verb, stud·ied, stud·y·ing.
1. application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or reflection: long hours of study.
2. the cultivation of a particular branch of learning, science, or art: the study of law.
3. Often, studies. a personal effort to gain knowledge: to pursue one's studies.
Acquiring or gaining knowledge. That’s a good reason for a class. So how are we defining knowledge?
knowl·edge [nol-ij] noun
1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition: knowledge of many things.
2. familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning: A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
3. acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report: a knowledge of human nature.
4. the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mentalapprehension.
I had to go down one more road from that one:
in·ves·ti·ga·tion [in-ves-ti-gey-shuhhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngn] noun
1. the act or process of investigating or the condition of being investigated.
2. a searching inquiry for ascertaining facts; detailed or careful examination.

So now, based on a new clarification of terms, is my definition of class:
A group of people, often with a with a leader, gathered to acquire familiarity with facts, truths, or principals, through careful examination. Hmm. Sounds like every minute of every day at Sego Lily School.