Tag Archives: education

Philosophy: A dead field of study?

philosophyAs time passes I find myself more and more captivated by the core values seemingly promoted by philosophy — the way of thinking about complex issues in relation to one’s self, one’s knowledge and how one conducts his/her life.  Being someone who considers themselves in relation to others a relatively deep thinker, I enjoy the act of metacognating (thinking about one’s thoughts).  Philosophy has many different branches — metaphysics, epistemology, etc.  Broaching topics from existence, the process of thought, knowledge etc., philosophy is generally thought to be a large field of science with many sub-topics.

Why is philosophy so broad in comparison to other sciences? Well, the simple answer is, it’s not. However, the longer answer is due to the fact that figuring out how to best logically reason out one’s own rationality requires a lot of different elements in order to do so.  Now, why is it that nowadays people speak of philosophy as a “dead” field?  How can a field that involves critical thinking, self-awareness and determining the important questions surrounding one’s existence be pronounced dead?  Unbeknownst to me until recently this seems to be the common notion surrounding this study of thought as well as other humanity-related subjects and liberal arts. Continue reading

A Surprise Education

Nathan HaleI went to an after-school meeting, knowing only that it had to do with late start Tuesdays and education.  I went in expecting there to be lots of other students there, I thought this would be a huge group of students protesting the apparent end to late start Tuesdays.  It wasn’t. 

After tracking down the friends who had invited me, we went to the classroom this “meeting” was said to take place.  Given my previous conceptions of what this meeting would have in store, you can imagine my surprise and confusion when upon entering I was not greeted by the sight of other class members but instead, three history teachers whom I knew by reputation only (we were later joined by two Language Arts teachers whom I also didn’t know).  I also quickly caught on that this meeting was not just about the proposed cancellation of late start Tuesdays.  This meeting was about re-thinking the education system.

Almost every Tuesday at Nathan Hale High School, school starts at 10:00am.  From 8:00 until school starts students are given the opportunity to come in early and get homework done, retake tests, get help from teachers, work on group projects or sleep in.  Teachers will meet with one another and organize their curriculum so that their classes are in sync and complement each other.  These meetings allow for Integrated Studies, homework mediation, and a chance for teachers to collaborate on how best to structure their curriculum and plan projects and lessons that they think will be beneficial to all students not just the ones in their classes.  However because the school board has required all schools to meet a higher minimum amount of classroom hours, effective next year, these late start Tuesdays are slated for cancellation. Continue reading

School Your Parents @ Delridge

School Your ParentsSchool Your Parents!

Today, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Teach your parents about how the Library can help you succeed in school and have a great school year.

At the School Your Parents night, you’ll discover a wealth of Library resources for parents, caregivers and students.

Come to the Delridge Branch to:
– Explore Library resources that will help with school assignments
– Meet our super Homework Help volunteers
– Take part in a fun scavenger hunt
– Enjoy refreshments and prizes!

Want more info?  Call Delridge @ 206-733-9125 or Ask a Librarian!


Taking Online Community College Classes as a HS Student

virtual learning

Click for more info about Running Start…

This month I’m experiencing my first online classes at North Seattle Community College. The two that I am taking are Intro to Accounting and American Government.  Mainly, I like online classes for two reasons; sleep and understanding. Waking up for physical classes at 8 a.m. is one of my least favorite activites. Now that they are virtual I can do them whenever, which is usually in the evening.  It also gives me more time in my shedule because there’s less time spent on Metro and much more spent on sleep. 🙂

I also like the different way of learning these classes require.  Succeeding in online classes means having to read all the things the teacher tells you during the lecture, and there’s a lot of information.  The advantage of this is that I actually pay more attention to what I’m learning instead of daydreaming while the teacher talks.  In classroom settings I can ask clarifying questions if I missed something, which is easier than going back through the pages to read what I skimmed.  There’s definitely a disadvantage in not being able to get as many examples or asking a question in person with an immediate answer. You also can’t mooch off of other ideas of classmates to better understand the material.

This is only the first week, so I have a long way to go! I’m finding that it’s managable and hope to adapt to it better as time goes on. 

Jesslyn, Northeast Teen Adviser


Teen editorial: There's nothing wrong with digital resources

This database has a ton of great journal articles - all available through the library's website.I cringe every time it happens. Teachers treat it like it’s expected, normal even, but they never quite seem to get it. Expecting us to do all or most of our research in books or other print sources is unrealistic and does not reflect the post-internet environment. Particularly important, and rarely respected by educators, is the distinction between print-origin and print-format sources. Many teachers differentiate between the two, and only count print-origin sources, at the expense of online databases of print-origin pieces, like digitized journal articles. This is detrimental to the research process because it restricts research to items available in print, which, let’s face it, are not exactly widespread. Sure, the library has a lot of books, but having lots of books doesn’t help a research project on a high school time budget. We just don’t have the time to read four books in order to write a paper.

The modern research climate is not suited to the use of print materials for research. Most sources are digitized, and search features makes research must faster. However, very few books have a searchable index that doesn’t need a trip to the library, which, while fun, takes time we don’t have.

Another great database with statistics, opinion essays, research studies and more on lots of controversial issuesFurthermore, requiring the use of print sources increases the temptation to plagiarize. Students know that teachers won’t take the time to read all of the books they cite, so it’s easy enough, and very tempting, to claim that a book says something, somewhere in the middle, that supports your argument and seems like the kind of thing it might say. Lack of accountability and increasing labor costs leads to decrease in scholarly standards.

The library has an excellent database system available through its website. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to use this source, which is just as reliable as books? The library database system searches a large number of scholarly databases, including the Encyclopædia Britannica and ProQuest. Close to 100 databases can be accessed individually. Independent of this system is the online journal search, which connects users to several hundred peer reviewed and scholarly journals.

So I ask you: What really is so wrong with citing internet sources?

–Aidan, Teen Center Advisor

Teen Editorial: Students of Washington for Change

 As a Garfield student, I wholeheartedly support the efforts of my classmates in protesting state budget cuts to education, and on the topic of the November 30th protest at City Hall, I respectfully disagree with the opinion that the walk-out was simply a waste of class time. I have seen how passionate and thoughtful my peers have been on this issue, and I believe that their message is worth missing a couple hours of school. Continue reading