11.0246 visual aids

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Fri, 29 Aug 1997 11:00:29 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 246.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 19:47:19 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: visual aids

First a quotation:

>"It seems to be thought nowadays that understanding of syntax is something
that grows with the flesh. Pupils are pushed on to specialise in various
branches of learning and science, before they have received sufficient
formal training in the use of language to enable them either to learn from
books or to achieve clarity of thought and expression themselves. No
programmes of wireless talks or visual aids will ever compensate for this
neglect. Somehow pupils have to be persuaded that only by command of
language can they give evidence of the possession of mind or make an
individual contribution to the study of whatever other subject they have
>E.C. Woodcock, A New Latin Syntax (London: Methuen, 1959), p. xix

I suppose there is inevitably an old-fogyish flavour about such a complaint,
but at the same time I wonder, increasingly with the approach of the
millennium and millennarian enthusiasms, what we have to take the place of
hic-haec-hoc (each declined form muttered under the breath with each
footstep, while swinging a metal lunch pail, marching to school). How much
of our effort with computer-assisted learning, for example, qualifies as a
distraction from the main event, which we are neglecting because we do not
know what to do? The computer is, after all, very much a hic-haec-hoc sort
of thing. How do we use it to communicate the basis for disciplined learning
and thinking?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801
e-mail: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk

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