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May 6, 2007 at 1:14 am #143959Chris-Tien JinnParticipant
Pyro, I’ll put up a link to my past syllabi here:
It is an odd program because I don’t want people to specialize in one subject (or even 3) at a time. Most formal schooling puts topics in silos so that students focus on a few things at a time and do not have the opportunity to integrate between them. However, that is really the way we ideally learn – in context and through making connections between pieces of information. Ideally, with something like those presented at the Jedi Temple, students would start bridging and scaffolding one idea based on another one presented the week before or so.
This would still need a lot of work. I’m never entirely happy with a class even if I’ve taught it repeatedly for years. Always tweaking something.
Ideally, IDEALLY, this would not be confined to being online but would make use of face-to-face for many lessons and online for convenience of communication. I’ve learned and taught in these hybrid situations, and I think they provide the best of both worlds. So, for instance, martial arts would be taught face-to-face. But discussions on philosophy or even meditation could be done online.
Proficiency tests? Possibly. There can be value in returning to a basic lesson and reviewing and reflecting. Even helping others bridge to understanding or proficiency. But that can also be a frustrating waste of time. Best to consider it by topic.
One thing we struggle with but haven’t really wrestled with in the many years we’ve been doing this Jedi training is the factor of apprenticeship. What we really aim for often is not to convey knowledge or skill alone but to create a community and integrate new people into it. That process is a mix of structure and freedom. Think of boot camp, to use a poor example. We want to teach people how to BE Jedi – as we see that role/vocation/profession/philosophy. There is freedom in there to be who we are but also the need to get people to adapt that identity to fit the community’s expectations. Hard to do, but it does require some sort of structured process.
My best students have gotten a mix of the structured course (see above) and lots and lots of individual attention – taking struggles in their lives as the opportunity to think and read and practice. Mentoring individuals is time-consuming but is the ideal way for them to learn and integrate that learning into practice. For some skills, we may need to create practice situations – that could also be used for assessment. That’s one reason I’ve been looking at virtual worlds and online games – for practice arenas.May 6, 2007 at 6:41 am #143962JaxKeymaster
I think part of the problem also is that people come in with vastly different levels of experience. Going with one syllabus like the blue group makes it difficult to balance all of those needs at once. That’s why I prefer to still have classes, but make them much more interrelated. This allows flexibility for where people are starting from. Though yes, it is valuable to go over the basics. It’s also useful to work on new things to maintain growth in that direction too.
Right now, it seems possible to give students one on one interaction because there aren’t so many. But once there are more and more, the ability to provide one on one interaction is difficult. Though I think it’s ideal to have, because we all know how useful it is to have someone helping us see the lessons in our life. It’s helpful to have someone who knows us well enough to know when we’re only looking at the surface issue, or when we’re ignoring the same message over and over again.
Perhaps we can balance that need with some of the other ideas like a rotating roster for the chat, or through more instant messaging. Or to have instructors meeting with students occasionally while they take a class so there is that one on one interaction for a short time. It’s something I’ll have to think about.May 6, 2007 at 7:48 pm #143969AngelusModeratorQuote:Perhaps we can balance that need with some of the other ideas like a rotating roster for the chat, or through more instant messaging. Or to have instructors meeting with students occasionally while they take a class so there is that one on one interaction for a short time. It’s something I’ll have to think about.
That sounds a lot like people having “office hours.” I could certainly set aside time to speak with students, regardless of whether they are in my class or not.May 6, 2007 at 9:02 pm #143970JaxKeymaster
That could be very useful. If faculty could find one or two hours a week to say “I’ll be here” that could go a long way towards that more individual attention that many students need. Of course, in my experience that is under utilized, but it seems like something that can be offered.May 7, 2007 at 11:32 am #143971Chris-Tien JinnParticipant
Some students use them a lot and others do not. Its the same when I hold office hours on campus physically.
We can also now make use of voice chat/VoIP – and in some cases could use that wonderful new technology, the phone.
Stagger coverage so that we have times available for people around the glove and distribute the load among faculty, senior students, and serving Jedi who hang around the Academy. You’ll probably get requests to set up appointments instead. Accomodate that as much as you can, since that is often a good way to make deep connections.July 18, 2007 at 6:07 am #144938Ares1982Participant
I think the first level of the classes should be separated from each other, only because those just starting out will not have the knowledge base to do the cross discipline course style at that time. After the basics have been learned, then we can have the cross discipline style course.
AresJuly 18, 2007 at 6:33 am #144941Ares1982Participant
I just had I thought, and this just off the top of my head. What if we were to structure the training the same way the US Navy seals do in BUDS training. Most people want to become seals ( and the same can be said for Jedi) the unfortunate fact is that not everyone can be. This would be (some how) a good way to determine peoples commitment to endeavors of that organization. I know this sounds harsh, and it will upset A LOT of people, however sometimes the only way to move forward is to test the commitment of everyone and cut those who don’t meet the standards and then move on.
AresSeptember 5, 2007 at 2:00 am #146010Chris-Tien JinnParticipant
Can you say more about the BUDS training?September 5, 2007 at 2:39 am #146011JaxKeymaster
You’re assuming everyone who completes the training here will become a knight. That isn’t the case. Some people simply will not be able to make the appropriate changes to their life. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try. Even if a person trains as a Jedi for a year and decides it isn’t for them at that time, they will have learned a lot about themselves, other people, and their lives. If they apply any of this they’ll find their life improve in many aspects.
This academy will train whoever is willing, irregardless of their ability to become a Jedi Knight in the future. What if it takes one person 10 years what it took another person 4 years to learn. Does that mean they should be turned away simply because they learn at a slower pace? I don’t believe so.
There are always those who want the Jedi to be an elite club so they themselves can feel special for being a part of it. This is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to get people to agree to any sort of standard or training regimen. Those that want it to be only for the most talented will never be happy allowing those they deem inferior to them. I’m not saying that you are suggesting this Ares. But I feel it’s important to say here and make clear. Anyone who is willing to put in the work will always be welcome here. We do not guarantee to make everyone a knight. But we’ll give you as many tools as we can to help you on your path. How far it takes you is up to you.September 5, 2007 at 7:50 pm #146022AslynParticipant
In addition to what Jackie said, I would also like to point out that, simply because you are studying the Jedi Way, this is not to say that it will be completely right for you. Indeed, we have an extremely high drop-out rate when it comes to students within the Community – usually, we expect maybe 2 out of every 10 students to continue their progression after a year of training, and of those two, usually but one remains after another year thereafter. It is not because those that dropped out would have made terrible Jedi, or simply did not have the necessary skills or dedication (although this is sometimes the case). Rather, they simply come to understand that the path they have tried is not one appropriate to them.
Loathe though I ever am to discourage potential practitioners, you should always be prepared to keep your options open – don’t feel the need to keep going purely out of obligation to your instructors or fellow students. If the right decision for you is to walk a different path, then it is only right that you should do so.
I also have a slight issue with people believing that Knighthood should be the goal of their training. This is really not the reality of the situation. When you look at conferring Knighthood, you have to consider what exactly offering that to a practitioner entails. You’ll often find a singular thing at the top of that list: Knighthood confers upon you the opportunity to teach less experienced practitioners to the same level. You can be a perfectly expert practitioner at the student level, but choose never to progress beyond that, simply because you do not feel able, willing or prepared to offer your knowledge to others for training purposes.
And, realistically, when you study the Jedi disciplines, the notion of rank or academic status should become irrelevant – what matters is the progress you make as an individual. As Jackie said, it doesn’t matter if you take 10 to 20 years engaged in the learning process – frankly, if you did, I think I’d be more impressed than someone who did it in half the time. As long as you’re persistent, willing and determined, it really doesn’t matter at all: all that does matter is that the path is right for you, and you’re willing to go the distance.
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