9/17/06

Is it pertinent?

Pertinent is a very powerful vocabulary word. How does it pertain to your life? Do you live with children, or work with them? If so, pertinent is the word for you.

Don't interrupt me now, unless you have something relevant to contribute to this discussion!

per-ti-nent adj. Of, relating to, or connected with a specific matter; apposite: a pertinent fact. See Synonyms at relevant

per-tain intr. v. -tained, -taining, -tains. 1. To have reference; relate: evidence pertaining to the accident. 2. To belong as an adjunct or accessory: the farm and all the lands which pertain to it. 3. To be fitting or suitable.

rel-e-vant adj. 1 Related to the matter at hand; to the point; pertinent ... Synonyms: relevant, pertinent, germane, material, apt, apposite, apropos

ap-po-site adj. Fitting; suitable; appropriate

"Relevancy" was a major higher education buzzword in the student activism of the Sixties and early Seventies. As an elementary student in the Civil Rights era, and a secondary student in the Viet Nam era, it was difficult telling the good guys from the bad guys. "Relevance" got a slightly muddied connotation.

Education at every level from preschool to grad school is on my mind today. What is the purpose of education? Is it to create philosophers, or to ensure employment for every graduate? Is it to warehouse kids so their parents can go to work? Is it about life skills and self-sufficiency, or about Ivy League admissions? Should it be about carrots and sticks, or about curiosity and self-motivation? Should education give students tools for appreciating the human experience, for expressing their ideas, for documenting their histories, for testing their theories, for challenging the status quo? I don't know, but I lean toward SSLL--self-sufficient lifelong learners.

If you have something pertinent to add, please comment! If you want to tell me about your band-aid or your super-hero powers, please don't interrupt.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I like the lifelong-learner goal up through the end of high school. After that, education leans toward specialties, as it should.

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