Re: the right to pursue excellence (Seduction)

Coby Smolens (
Tue, 13 May 1997 01:30:58 -0700

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Amen to the very last line of (Charlie's) body text below... ...Yet if I
were doing the legislating it bloody well =1B_would_ be a crime to go
all sweet and smarmy and seductive in order to convince children that
the natural drives which guide them toward fulfillment are less valuable
than the times-tables by this or that age... Furthermore, I wonder how
much of this kind of activity is doomed to failure. Seems to me it has
been rather successful -- hence the great, flowing, immutable mass of
Perl's river.

Coby Smolens
Marin Sudbury School

(apologies for the extraneous matter below -- WebTV has no provision for
cut-and-paste of sent mail)

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From: Charlie Wilkinson <>
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Subject: Re: the right to pursue excellence (Seduction)
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 13:36:08 -0400 (EDT)
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I believe it was who once said:
> In a message dated 5/11/97 12:52:51 PM, you wrote:
> <<In a message dated 97-05-11 02:55:47 EDT, Coby wrote:
> << Regarding Mimsy's "seduction" (not hers personally, you understand):
> As I read it, seduction refers to the sugar-coating of curriculum
> components (by making learning "fun", for example) in order to get them
> down the throats of otherwise unwilling recipients. >>
> >>
> Most adults in the U.S. are continually subjected to Seduction Models which
> are rampantly used to get adults to "learn" and produce in many diverse
> institutions and work environments. This too shall pass...

Yes, and in it's place is the good old fashioned "Do ___ or you're fired."
(aka "Do ___ or you fail.")

Glad we're rid of that tired, failed molly-coddling stuff that those
whacky liberals dreamed up. I know _I_ for one feel *much* better. ;-)

Rampant sarcasm... What I mean is, there is no crime in trying to make
something enjoyable, but if it is overly contrived or inappropriate for
the situation, it's doomed to failure before it begins.

One of it's bigger flaws (IMHO) is the assumption that one persons "fun"
is another's. This _does_ present the previously mentioned quandary of
"What's wrong with me? This is supposed to be fun, but I'm not having

Yet another argument for student-centered learning...


                Charlie Wilkinson -
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