Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz / Professor of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology / California State University, Chico
Chico, California 95929-0400
(530-898-6220; 530-898-6192; FAX: 530-898-6824)

18 March 1998 [1]

[This page printed from:]

© [All Rights Reserved.] For the "Master Teacher Brown Bag Lunch" at California State University, Chico, Wednesday March 18, 1998, by Pamela Johnson, Madeline Keaveney, Laura McLachlin, Devon Metzger, and Charlie Urbanowicz

"Work is more fun than fun." Noel Coward (1899-1973)

"Simply said: There is no learning without a learner. And there is no meaning without a meaning maker. In order to survive in a world of rapid change there is nothing more worth knowing, for any of us, than the continuing process of how to make viable meanings." Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, 1969, Teaching As A Subversive Activity (Delacorte Press), page 81.

"To be a teacher is to be many things: a communicator of fact, a coach for skill improvement, an inspirer of creative insight or a thoughtful guide to analytical thought, a professional mentor, and many more. In making lists like this we tend to emphasize the things that happen in the classroom, but if we ask young people about their lives as students, and in particular if we trouble to inquire about the influences that were important to them, they usually tell us about one or a very few special teachers who made a difference in their lives. More often than not these accounts are deeply personal and make reference to terms such as 'role model.' If we ask, in short, about the influence of teachers rather than about what they do, we realize that in many cases they are functioning as moral teachers, making a difference in the way students choose to conduct their lives [stress added]." Donald Kennedy, 1997, Academic Duty (Harvard University Press), page 60. (Donald Kennedy was President of Stanford University, 1981-1993; he is currently Bing Professor of Environmental Sciences and President Emeritus of Stanford University.)

" effective university teacher is one who believes in what he or she does to the point of identifying with it. This view does not simply reflect a quaint historical or etymological curiosity. It continues to represent the most important contribution that teachers at a university can make to the education of their students. Higher education succeeds or fails in terms of motivation, not cognitive transfer of information. It succeeds if it instills in students a willingness to pursue knowledge for its own sake; it fails if students learn simply in order to get a degree. The best way to get students to believe that it makes sense to pursue knowledge it to believe in it oneself. Thus, an effective professor is one who is intrinsically motivated to learn, because it is he or she who will have the next chance to educate others [stress added]." Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1997, "Intrinsic Motivation and Effective Teaching: A Flow Analysis" in Teaching Well and Liking It: Motivating Faculty to Teach Effectively (The Johns Hopkins University Press) edited by James L. Bess, pp. 72-89, page 72.

"Teachers don't work with materials. They work with what they have in their heads and with what their students have in their heads. When the schooling process breaks down--that is, when students drop out--we can almost be sure that the origin of the failure is in the fact that the stuff in the teacher's head bore an inadequate relationship to the stuff in the teacher's head. The student who believes that schooling offers him [or her] an opportunity to achieve material success will become a psychic dropout when there is a lack of congruence between his [or her] stuff and the teacher's stuff. The others just leave. Or make trouble." Frank Miceli, 1969, "Education and Reality" in Teaching As A Subversive Activity by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner (Delacorte Press), pages 171-181, page 171.

"Technological change is neither additive nor subtractive. It is ecological. I mean 'ecological' in the same sense as the word used by environmental scientists. ... A new technology does not add or subtract something. It changes everything." Neil Postman, 1992, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (NY: Vintage), page 18.

"We have modified our environment so radically that we must now modify ourselves in order to exist in this new environment." Norbert Wiener, 1950, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society, page 66.
"The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

"I say my philosophy, not as claiming authorship of ideas which are widely diffused in modern thought, but because the ultimate selection and synthesis must be a personal responsibility." Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944), The Philosophy of Physical Science, 1949, page viii)

"The lecturer should give the audience full reason to believe that all his [or her!] powers have been exerted for their pleasure and instruction." Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

'Remember, Jim [Michener]. Writing a book or a dozen books [or giving a lecture or a dozen lectures] doesn't remake you or create miracles. Next morning, when you wake up, you're the same horse's ass you were yesterday. Writing [or teaching!] is a job. Do it well, it's a great life. Mess around, its disappointments will kill you.'" James A. Michener, 1992, The World is my Home: A Memoir, page 323.

"Education is a social process ... Education is growth. ... Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself." John Dewey (1859-1952)

"The two most engaging powers of an author [or teacher] are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new." Samuel Johnson, The Lives of the English Poets (1779-81).

"The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), 1831 Journal.

"Every small child I know appears to be born curious. Young children experiment with everything they can reach. They usually ask questions from the moment they learn to talk. Unfortunately, the flow of questions often slows down once they start school--unless they get the kind of encouragement that Isaac Rabi had. Personally, I can think of no better head start to healthy use of technology than a well-developed habit of inquiry. For adults, this habit is hard to maintain, for while truly dumb people often live in blissful unawareness of the gaps in their understanding, most intelligent people secretly suspect that their personal gaps are large--far larger than the people around them." Arno Penzias, 1989, Ideas and Information: Managing in a High-Tech World, page 162. [ps} Penzias was the 1978 Nobel Prize winner in Physics; he shared it with Pyotr Kapitsa and Robert Wilson].

"Learning can be seen as the acquisition of information, but before it can take place, there must be interest; interest permeates all endeavors and precedes learning. In order to acquire and remember new knowledge, it must stimulate your curiosity in some way." Richard Saul Wurman, Information Anxiety, 1989, page 138.

"No matter how much I admire our schools, I know that no university exists that can provide an education; what a university can provide is an outline, to give the learner a direction and guidance. The rest one has to do for oneself." Louis L'Amour, 1989, Education of A Wandering Man, page 3.

"It wasn't until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, 'I don't know.'" W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965).

"If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers. ... Ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding. Always feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers; tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lecturers, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After a while, Your Honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind." Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), at The Scopes Trial, Dayton, Ohio, 1925)

"But then arises the doubt: can the mind of man, which has as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?" Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

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Anthropology Department, CSU, Chico
18 March 1998 by CFU