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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Athenian vs. Hellenistic Education
    #24496353 - 07/20/17 03:30 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

There seems to be a fundamental dichotomy in the educational practices of Classical Athenian vs. Hellenistic Greece -- a dichotomy that comes down to us today. In Classical education, one attended an academy in which grades were not given and in which philosophical mastery was considered the ideal. In Hellenistic education, one attended a gymnasium, which was primarily engaged in physical pursuits but was also a place for engaging in intellectual pursuits. They key feature of the gymnasium was competition. The Athenian academies were primarily interested in learning for the sake of knowledge and philosophical sophistication; the Hellenistic, in competitiveness and marks. This is a relevant spectrum today; many feel grades and grade-based examinations and competition serve to trivialize education in practice. However, an argument in favor of the Hellenistic model is that it may be the only practicable approach for the modern education system. To me, the Classical Athenian model is more appealing.


Which approach do you favor? Do you think something like an Athenian style could be workable today? Do you feel that competition and the objective of good grades trivialize education, or are they necessary?


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Athenian vs. Hellenistic Education [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #24496453 - 07/20/17 04:13 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

I like Zorba, can we not have a Cretan School, maybe fishing (mining, farming, or whatever), drinking (etc.), dancing, literature (incl philosophy) and love making?


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: Athenian vs. Hellenistic Education [Re: redgreenvines]
    #24496469 - 07/20/17 04:20 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)



Sorry to thread :heart:


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Invisiblequinn
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Re: Athenian vs. Hellenistic Education [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #24502146 - 07/23/17 07:33 AM (4 years, 4 months ago)

i am not clear on the difference.  what does 'philosophical mastery as the ideal' mean and how is it not some form of competition?

one of the great redeeming features of academic competition is that at least in theory, it is egalitarian and merit based and should in theory, determine which doors are opened to you regardless of background or socio-economic status etc.

we know in practice it is far from the reality but it's at least some form of regulation...

i wish education was more open and holistic.. i was thinking the other day, math should be taught with history! trigonometry is meaningless if you dont know how it was used by ancient greeks to calculate the distance of the moon.. and of course history should be taught with science.. and so on..

also imo, it should not be imposed.. you should be able to pick up an area of interest when you like


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Athenian vs. Hellenistic Education [Re: quinn]
    #24502198 - 07/23/17 08:32 AM (4 years, 4 months ago)

hey, the greeks did measure the distance to the moon
cool
http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~derkal/files/public_talks/ancient_greek_astronomy.pdf
Hipparchus was pretty close, but not so good with the sun.


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: Athenian vs. Hellenistic Education [Re: quinn]
    #24502443 - 07/23/17 11:26 AM (4 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

quinn said:
i am not clear on the difference.  what does 'philosophical mastery as the ideal' mean and how is it not some form of competition?





Well, in classical education, grades were not given. So no one is competing to have the best grade, or competing against the system not to fail.


Quote:

one of the great redeeming features of academic competition is that at least in theory, it is egalitarian and merit based and should in theory, determine which doors are opened to you regardless of background or socio-economic status etc.





That's true ideally, but in practice it can be fiercely competitive, rather than cooperative.


Quote:

i wish education was more open and holistic.. i was thinking the other day, math should be taught with history! trigonometry is meaningless if you dont know how it was used by ancient greeks to calculate the distance of the moon.. and of course history should be taught with science.. and so on..

also imo, it should not be imposed.. you should be able to pick up an area of interest when you like





Agree completely. The science curricula, in the U.S. at least, should be revolutionized to include more historical, philosophical and theoretical material as part of the program. All science really is in modern academia, in practice, is problem solving -- for the most part. It could really be a lot more fun and have more depth. I also agree that people should be able to learn what they want when they want. What fun that would be.


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OfflineXUL
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Re: Athenian vs. Hellenistic Education [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #24508874 - 07/26/17 08:47 AM (4 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
This is a relevant spectrum today; many feel grades and grade-based examinations and competition serve to trivialize education in practice.


Which approach do you favor? Do you think something like an Athenian style could be workable today? Do you feel that competition and the objective of good grades trivialize education, or are they necessary?





I think that the objectification of course work is essential to creating a competitive atmosphere throughout the modern classroom. Moreover, I think the process of quantifying course work must be given the utmost attention. The quantities should take into account the population's average g.p.a.; well established psychometrics; and evaluation methods which seek to improve each semester. By establishing well quantified course work, students can work within competitive groups, as well as compete between groups. Letting students view the overall class averages is fun as well.

It seems as though multiple choice tests mixed with essays are popular in high school and early college. In my experiences, it is near the end of the bachelor's program that one begins to experiment, expound, and become writing attentive -- especially with attention to a.p.a. like formats. In grad school my classes have been very exciting. Now, the multiple choice tests are very few, if any. I am running into regular mathematics and statistics, deep research/literature reviews, and the ability to synthesize large ideas through writing with "pristine" grammar and format. Further, the work load begins to become your own personal interest and a thesis is eventually born. I imagine that near the end of a Ph.D one will be culminating in research and theory -- the front line of research.


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TRUMP 2020


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