Tag Archives: education

Congratulations to the Educators of Washington School in Schiller Park School District 81 For a Job Well Done

Little Mermaid Cast Picture—Washington School

It was clearly evident Friday night, February 15, 2013, to all of those who attended the Washington School musical, “The Little Mermaid”, that the entire community should be proud of the staff and students of their schools for the promotion of the arts in their educational experience.   The awesome abilities of the staff of the District in supporting and training the students for the musical were self evident in the quality of the performance by the students.  Clearly, the evening would not have been such a success without the commitment and skill of the educators in preparing the students to perform.

The community should be very thankful and appreciative for the opportunities that have been afforded to the students who attend Schiller Park School District 81.

What is the value of the arts education that the District has made available to our children ?

An “arts education” brings every subject to life and turns abstractions into concrete reality.   Research demonstrates that students who receive their education in an artistically promoted environment:

  • are more prepared for the global workforce as adults
  • increase their academic success
  • have higher self esteem
  • achieve higher test scores
  • develop higher success rates in group collaborations

The District needs to be recognized and thanked for encouraging the students’ creative and artistic expression, and development of interest in visual arts, music, dance and drama.   The Board of Education has done an excellent job of supplying the resources to achieve this significant success.

Finally, the children of the District have truly distinguished themselves in their performance and their commitment to excellence.

Stanley Kubrick on Interest versus Fear

Not much time to post today, but I’ve been meaning to post this excerpt from John Baxter’s biography of Stanley Kubrick:

Kubrick’s three years at [Taft High School in the Bronx], from 1943 to 1945, were the unhappiest of his life. IQ tests rated him above average, but formal learning bored him. Alex Singer recalls, “Stanley and I had boundless curiosity, but not about the things they were teaching.” Kubrick agrees. “I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker. I never learned anything at school and I never read a book for pleasure until I was nineteen years old.”
His school days were dominated less by a search for learning than by fear: “Fear of getting failing grades,” he wrote later, “fear of not staying with your class.” He got Fs by betraying his lack of interest in set books like George Eliot’s Silas Marner and failed English totally one year, forcing him to make up the lost grade during the summer. When he graduated, it was with a mediocre 70.1 average, his only high marks those in Physics.
Grades, however, don’t tell the whole story. Kubrick could and would work if his interest was engaged: this was the man who, despite his disdain for George Eliot, created in Barry Lyndon the cinema’s best adaptation of Thackeray. Once he left school and was no longer required to do so, he read voraciously.

I suppose this is anecdotal evidence of the worst kind. Maybe Kubrick was just an oppositional prima donna, or a unique “genius” from whose experience we shouldn’t generalize. But it’s not as if the world is made up of a lot of people who are basically the same and a few who are different. Isn’t everyone different from everyone else? Who are these standardized students who learn equally well whatever is dished up, regardless of whether they are interested? I’d like to meet them!