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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ultimately Brainy Luminaries on "Education" and "Exercising Leadership via Education" - Researched by Andres Agostini - All Rights Reserved -

As of January 27, 2010

Ultimately Brainy Luminaries on "Education" and "Exercising Leadership via Education" - Researched by Andres Agostini - All Rights Reserved -

“…Education, strictly speaking, has several objectives: one needs to learn how to speak and write correctly, which is generally called grammar and belles letters. Each lyceum has provided for this object, and there is no well-educated man who has not learned his rhetoric .... After the need to speak and write correctly comes the ability to count and measure. The lyceums have provided this with classes in MATHEMATICS embracing arithmetical and MECHANICAL KNOWLEDGE IN THEIR DIFFERENT BRANCHES .... The elements of several other fields come next: chronology, geography, and the rudiments of history are also a part of the education of the lyceum …. A young man who leaves the lyceum at sixteen years of age therefore knows not only the mechanics of his language and the classical authors, the divisions of discourse, the different figures of eloquence, the means of employing them either to calm or arouse passions, in short, everything that one learns in a course on belles letters. He also would know the principal epochs of history, the basic geographical divisions, and how to compute and measure. He has some general idea of the most striking natural phenomena and the principles of equilibrium and movement both with regard to solids and fluids .... Whether he desires to follow the career of the barrister, that of the sword, or ENGLISH, or letters; if he is destined to enter into the body of scholars, to be a geographer, engineer, or land surveyor – in all these cases he has received a general education necessary to become equipped to receive the remainder of instruction that his circumstances require, and it is at this moment, when he must make his choice of a profession, that the special studies present themselves .... If he wishes to devote himself to the military art, engineering, or artillery, he enters a special school of MATHEMATICS, the polytechnique (institution, especially college dealing with or devoted to various TECHNICAL subjects). What he learns there is only the corollary of what he has learned in elementary mathematics, but the knowledge acquired in these studies must be developed and applied before he enters the different branches of ABSTRACT MATHEMATICS. NO LONGER IS IT A QUESTION SIMPLY OF EDUCATION, AS IN THE LYCEUM: NOW IT BECOMES A MATTER OF ACQUIRING A SCIENCE …. The total length of the course of the Artillery and ENGINEER school being fixed at two years, we must divide the course into four parts, each comprising six months of study. Students in the first class would learn: 1.- The infantry maneuvers of the platoon and battalion. 2.- The maneuvers of field and siege artillery as well as those of mortars and howitzers. 3.- Mechanical maneuvers, the composition of explosives…4.- The principles of the attack of fortifications. 5.- The entire position of the aide-mémoire pertaining to firing, and finally. 6.- Everything necessary to the gunner and the engineer in the field .... Students will be led to the target range; they will lob bombs into the target barrel, fire blank cartridges, etc., and construct every kind of battery. They will continue their [initial] course of construction. In the third class students would pursue their STUDIES IN HYDRAULIC ARCHITECTURE, CIVIL and military. They would busy themselves with the most complicated part of construction and LEARN EVERYTHING NECESSARY to direct and superintend the construction of a fort. They would take cognizance of the details of foundries, mines, etc .... The fourth class would be dedicated to perfecting the students in the different subjects that they have been studying. They would go over all of the details of arsenals, mines, galleries, etc. – in brief, everything that would complete their instruction as engineers and gunners would belong to the curriculum of this class …. In general, in the establishment of a school for engineers and artillery one should consider the knowledge of the maneuvers of all the guns and the tactics of infantry as the principal object. When a student is admitted to the School of the Battalion, he would be forced to perform the manual of arms and the maneuvers of the battalion at least three times every ten days … It is important for the maneuvers of artillery to keep in mind that nothing is more uncertain than the art of firing. This portion of the military art is classified among the PHYSIO-MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES, yet its results are dubious; those of practice are certain. Students having completed one course in mechanics know nearly everything that they must understand and apply… It is appropriate therefore to strive above everything else, and not as one of the foremost foundations of the instruction, to see that each student executes the manual of arms and all of the maneuvers of artillery better than a veteran soldier, that he is skilled in large practice and HAS PERFECT KNOWLEDGE of the employment of artillery. No one can be considered a good student if, upon graduation, he cannot go immediately to a battery or a siege. It is proper that upon joining his unit he should instruct a class of recruits in the maneuvers of artillery and infantry and in the mechanical maneuvers. How often do you not see officers unable to place a gun carriage, direct a mechanical maneuver, fashion explosives, and forced to take lesson from old sergeants? … When a student can aim a gun better than the soldier, no one will question either his right to advancement or the other advantages of his education. Old sergeants will not be jealous of these young officers when they never have to teach them anything.”

SIR IAN HAMILTON IN 1921 ON NAPOLEON: “It is only progressively that one can form a great army. Certainly no other commander (leader) in his day devoted as much thought and attention to organization as Napoleon, who went into painstaking detail to assure that his forces (team and resources) were disciplined, prepared, and ready to take the field (the marketplace and its competitors). The army marches, works, and has its being by organization and discipline.”

WERNHER VON BRAUN ON EDUCATION, 1912 –1977, (Father of the American Space Program):

“…The average citizen today, of course, has far more scientific information at his disposal than did those greatest of intellects of earlier times. Yet paradoxically, I think that THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A GREATER NEED FOR INCREASED UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF SCIENCE. It has been said that, although the choice of direction for our civilization will be determined through democratic process, it is there that the problem begins. TO MAKE RATIONAL CHOICES, THE AVERAGE CITIZEN MUST UNDERSTAND THE NATURE AND ROLE OF SCIENCE AT A TIME WHEN ITS BREADTH AND COMPLEXITY ARE INCREASING ALMOST EXPONENTIALLY .... Conversely, the scientist, at a time when he can barely keep up to date in his specialty, must not isolate himself in his parochial interest. Instead, he should see his profession as a part of the larger world, to evaluate himself and his work in relation to all forces, especially the humanities, which shape and advance society. THE NEED, THEN, IS FOR AN EDUCATIONAL PROCESS RESULTING IN MORE SCIENTIFIC LITERACY FOR THE LAYMAN, AND MORE LITERACY IN THE HUMANITIES FOR THE SCIENTISTS .... Man in this scientific age is free only to the extent that he has a grasp on himself and his surroundings. FREEDOM – THE ABILITY TO SPEAK, THINK, ACT, AND VOTE INTELLIGENTLY – is based largely on our ability TO MAKE CHOICES growing out of our understanding of the issues involved. With each advance of science, there is an invitation to more understanding. This is the essence of the burden borne by all peoples since the dawn of humanity. There must be widespread understanding of the role of science in modern society, both as to its limits and our dependence on its basic function as a tool for our survival. This is the imperative for scientific literacy .... How do we encourage scientific literacy? I THINK THE PROBLEM IS HOW TO INSTILL IN STUDENTS A PERMANENT DESIRE TO LEARN. All youth is endowed with curiosity from the very beginning. What can education process do, not only to keep this natural curiosity alive, but to make it a permanent part of the individual drive? … Students should be encouraged, beyond learning facts, to be intrigued by objects and events in their environment, as well as to become aware of and responsive in a positive manner to beauty and orderliness in their environment. THEY SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO WILLINGLY SUBJECT THEIR DATA AND IDEAS TO CRITICISM OF THEIR PEERS WHILE ACQUIRING A CRITICAL, QUESTIONING ATTITUDE TOWARD INFERENCES, HYPOTHESES AND THEORIES. Early in education, they should be led to recognize the limitations of scientific modes of inquiry and the need for additional, quite different approaches to the quest for reality … ULTIMATELY, THEY SHOULD BE INSTILLED WITH AN APPRECIATION FOR THE INTERRELATEDNESS OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY .... This is essentially the scientific method. By learning the scientific method, students will understand its role in society and at the same time to think for themselves. LEARNING TO THINK FOR ONESELF, IN TURN, IMPARTS A DEEP SENSE OF FREEDOM. ONCE TESTED, AN APPETITE FOR IT IS FORMED WHICH MAY WELL ENDURE THROUGHOUT LIFE .... But if our young people are going to gain the appetite, our schools, our colleges, our universities, must bear an ever greater responsibility. ALL TOO MANY TIMES IN THE PAST, EDUCATION – PARTICULARLY IN THE SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES – HAS PLACED EXTREMELY HEAVY EMPHASIS ON TRANSMITTING THE ESTABLISHED KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST. THERE HAS BEEN A TENDENCY FOR TEACHERS TO ASSIGN, AND TO ENCOURAGE ROTE LEARNING, INSTEAD OF TAKING THE ADMITTEDLY MORE DIFFICULT PATH OF ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES .... THE MAINSPRING OF SCIENCE IS CURIOSITY. SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL, THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MEN AND WOMEN WHO FELT A BURNING DESIRE TO KNOW WHAT WAS UNDER THE ROCK, BEYOND THE HILLS, ACROSS THE OCEANS. THIS RESTLESS BREED NOW WANT TO KNOW WHAT MAKES AN ATOM WORK, THROUGH WHAT PROCESS LIFE REPRODUCES ITSELF, OR WHAT IS THE GEOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE MOON.

Yes, the Romanic cultures – to an appalling and unfortunate degree (and with the notorious exception of Leonardo Da Vinci) – have this overwhelming counter feeling against Napoleon Bonaparte’ and Wernher von Braun’s Success Prescriptions. When the subject matter is addressed, the respective incumbents take it as a violation to their traditions and not as an opportunity to grow beyond any past historic consideration.

DR. MALCOLM S. KNOWLES, PH.D. AND AMERICAN AUTHOR OF “THE ADULT LEARNER: THE DEFINITIVE CLASSIC IN ADULT EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT” WROTE ON EDUCATION: “The greatest danger for the survival of the present civilization is neither atomic war, nor environmental pollution, nor the exploitation of natural resources, and nor present crises. The underlying cause to all of the above is the acceleration of man’s obsolescence … The only hope seems to be an electroshock program to re-instill to the current adults the competencies required to function adequately under a mode of perpetual change. This is a profound need – the immeasurable challenge – that is presented by the modern society to adult educator.”

By © Copyright 2010 Andres Agostini – All Rights Reserved – At www.linkedin.com/in/andresagostini

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