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Author Topic: teaching at Pagan High  (Read 30111 times)
Altair
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« Topic Start: July 08, 2009, 10:28:05 am »

I may have asked this once before, but it was so long ago it's worth asking again:

Let's say there was a pagan high school, sort of a real live Hogwart's; not an online thing, but a physical place, complete with campus.

1) What would you like to teach there?

and/or

2) What do you think should be taught there?

For me, I would teach biology. Not only is it my primary area of scientific interest, but in many ways it's the window on the world that has led me to paganism. For a nature-based pagan like myself, I think it's must-have knowledge, with insights between pagan spirituality and biological understanding running both ways. (Interestingly, my dad was a biology teacher until he retired, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.)

As for what should be taught, I think the following courses could be generally useful, almost regardless of one's pagan path:

--Meditation
--Divination
--Herbalism
--Phys Ed (sorely neglected by way too many pagans)
--Comparative Religion (a required course)
--Critical Thinking (another required course, equipping students to evaluate claims and seek out primary sources...the kind of thing we prize so greatly here at TC)

...and maybe a required Ethics class, although ethical values should be incorporated into every class, IMHO, so maybe a separate class wouldn't be necessary. Similarly, I think teaching tolerance would be part of the very fiber of the place--with so many different pagans running around, it would have to be.
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« Reply #1: July 08, 2009, 11:16:14 am »

2) What do you think should be taught there?

Mythology and Folklore. I don't think I'm the one to teach it (Catja?  Wink ) but considering that it is the power of words and stories that forms the core of what I believe, this would probably be pretty important to a lot of teachings.

Speaking of stories, Creative Writing would be a great class too: writing your own stories, poetry, ritual, songs, whatever, is a major part of many religions.
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« Reply #2: July 08, 2009, 11:19:47 am »

I may have asked this once before, but it was so long ago it's worth asking again:

Let's say there was a pagan high school, sort of a real live Hogwart's; not an online thing, but a physical place, complete with campus.

1) What would you like to teach there?

and/or

2) What do you think should be taught there?

For me, I would teach biology. Not only is it my primary area of scientific interest, but in many ways it's the window on the world that has led me to paganism. For a nature-based pagan like myself, I think it's must-have knowledge, with insights between pagan spirituality and biological understanding running both ways. (Interestingly, my dad was a biology teacher until he retired, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.)

As for what should be taught, I think the following courses could be generally useful, almost regardless of one's pagan path:

--Meditation
--Divination
--Herbalism
--Phys Ed (sorely neglected by way too many pagans)
--Comparative Religion (a required course)
--Critical Thinking (another required course, equipping students to evaluate claims and seek out primary sources...the kind of thing we prize so greatly here at TC)

...and maybe a required Ethics class, although ethical values should be incorporated into every class, IMHO, so maybe a separate class wouldn't be necessary. Similarly, I think teaching tolerance would be part of the very fiber of the place--with so many different pagans running around, it would have to be.

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Altair
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« Reply #3: July 08, 2009, 11:26:10 am »

Mythology and Folklore. I don't think I'm the one to teach it (Catja?  Wink ) but considering that it is the power of words and stories that forms the core of what I believe, this would probably be pretty important to a lot of teachings.

How could I have left that off the list? Major oversight. Thanks, Finn.

Speaking of stories, Creative Writing would be a great class too: writing your own stories, poetry, ritual, songs, whatever, is a major part of many religions.

Agreed.
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« Reply #4: July 08, 2009, 12:25:12 pm »


Comparative Magic - course sets involving different systems of magical theory and thought, with crossovers to Comparative Religion for those systems of magic which involve deity.  Each system taught as a separate section, with advanced classes on mix'n'match and history of the subject.

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« Reply #5: July 08, 2009, 03:14:01 pm »



As an elective, it could have a music class for using music in ritual and meditation.
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« Reply #6: July 08, 2009, 07:09:11 pm »



History
Philosophy
Logic
Rhetoric/Oratory
Practical life skills (cooking/cleaning/home accounting)
Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology
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« Reply #7: July 08, 2009, 08:34:47 pm »


History.  I will even have a sign on my classroom door saying:  If you believe in a universal, matriarchal  witch religion that existed before the big bad patriarchal societies invaded them; that six thousand Wiccans were burnt at the stake in the Middle Ages, or that Wicca is a Pre-Christian religion and practiced in secret after the Christians came into power -- turn back now or be prepared to be torn to shreads by the teacher.  Either that or a poster of Elmer Fudd that says "It's Wabbit Season!"

Besides that, I could teach Greek Mythology/Religion or an Ancient Literature class (which would not cover just the Greek stuff but also things like The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Bible, The Aeneid, the various Eddas and so on).
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« Reply #8: July 08, 2009, 08:46:47 pm »

History
<snip>

History.  I will even have a sign on my classroom door saying:  If you believe in a universal, matriarchal  witch religion that existed before the big bad patriarchal societies invaded them; that six thousand Wiccans were burnt at the stake in the Middle Ages, or that Wicca is a Pre-Christian religion and practiced in secret after the Christians came into power -- turn back now or be prepared to be torn to shreads by the teacher.  Either that or a poster of Elmer Fudd that says "It's Wabbit Season!"
I was beginning to feel a bit disturbed about that conspicuous absence, until I got to these last two posts.

I'll teach history too, specializing in the development of modern paganism (surprise, surprise).  I'm not as overtly bloodthirsty as Mel, so the sign on my classroom door would just say, "If you don't know where you came from, how can you tell where you are or where you're going?"

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« Reply #9: July 08, 2009, 09:25:34 pm »

I was beginning to feel a bit disturbed about that conspicuous absence, until I got to these last two posts.

I'll teach history too, specializing in the development of modern paganism (surprise, surprise).  I'm not as overtly bloodthirsty as Mel, so the sign on my classroom door would just say, "If you don't know where you came from, how can you tell where you are or where you're going?"

May I also teach history too? And Sunflower perhaps we should share a classroom, as that is exactly the sign that I would want on my classroom door  Wink

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« Reply #10: July 08, 2009, 09:49:52 pm »

I'll teach history too, specializing in the development of modern paganism (surprise, surprise).  I'm not as overtly bloodthirsty as Mel, so the sign on my classroom door would just say, "If you don't know where you came from, how can you tell where you are or where you're going?"

May I also teach history too? And Sunflower perhaps we should share a classroom, as that is exactly the sign that I would want on my classroom door  Wink

Why do I get the distinct feeling that your history classes will be more popular than mine Cheesy

I do think though that there should be general history classes as well as ones for pagan history.  Or these classes will be combined when applicable.  I imagine it would be easy to include ancient pagan beliefs in world history classes (modern pagan religions would be covered around the time they were formed.  F/x: Wicca will be mentioned after the WWII portion of the class).  This probably wouldn't work well for U.S. History, though, unless you include the beliefs of the Native Americans but that would probably take up a class of its own (unless we only cover the most prominent groups like the Aztecs, Algonquin, Cherokee, etc.).
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« Reply #11: July 08, 2009, 10:08:08 pm »

Why do I get the distinct feeling that your history classes will be more popular than mine Cheesy

Well, if you promised not to tear your students 'into shreads' then I think your classes would be popular  Cheesy

I do think though that there should be general history classes as well as ones for pagan history.  Or these classes will be combined when applicable.  I imagine it would be easy to include ancient pagan beliefs in world history classes (modern pagan religions would be covered around the time they were formed.  F/x: Wicca will be mentioned after the WWII portion of the class).  This probably wouldn't work well for U.S. History, though, unless you include the beliefs of the Native Americans but that would probably take up a class of its own (unless we only cover the most prominent groups like the Aztecs, Algonquin, Cherokee, etc.).

I could tackle the general history classes and leave the pagan history to the experts  Wink
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« Reply #12: July 08, 2009, 10:31:16 pm »

History
Philosophy
Logic
Rhetoric/Oratory
Practical life skills (cooking/cleaning/home accounting)
Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology

Excellent suggestions, Marc, Mel, Sunflower, Juniper, Mithril, Absent, and Owl (and anyone I might have missed); these disciplines, as has already been pointed out about history, can be taught with a particular eye towards paganism.

Other courses that probably should be included:

--Information Technologies (again, with a particular eye towards how it facilitates pagan efforts...though the youngsters could probably teach us more senior folks far more on this score than we could teach them!)

--Mathematics (not just because it should be part of any high schooler's education, but because it is the universal language and can offer tremendous insights into the world around us, with plenty of pagan application)

2 Mandatory Language Requirements

--Ancient Languages: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, or Sanskrit
--a modern language

I'd subsume Marc's logic in the Critical Thinking course; I'm not sure about Life Skills...it sounds too much like Home Ec when I was in junior high, which always made me cringe...!

Being utterly bored at the office today, my imagination ran wild: It could be called Arcanum Academy, Pagan School for Secondary Education and Higher Learning, with the motto "Plures Semita" ("Many Paths"...or so the online Latin translation program says).

Now we just need a major donor to endow the whole thing, and we can have the groundbreaking ceremony...
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« Reply #13: July 08, 2009, 10:34:42 pm »


Mel's not being bloodthirsty, he's got plenty of babies in the freezer don't ya mel? No need to be thirsty, he just is intolerant of the great matriarchy, what with his evil doom penis. I know I have one too but I've been enlightened.


Ok, can I teach sarcasm 101? Tongue
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« Reply #14: July 08, 2009, 10:38:41 pm »


--Mathematics (not just because it should be part of any high schooler's education, but because it is the universal language and can offer tremendous insights into the world around us, with plenty of pagan application)

If you're clever enough to recognize these insights. I was always so terrible at mathematics. The only way I passed my GSCE math exam was by learning the answer without ever understanding how I got the answer.


I'd subsume Marc's logic in the Critical Thinking course; I'm not sure about Life Skills...it sounds too much like Home Ec when I was in junior high, which always made me cringe...!

'Life Skills' was something we had that basically taught taxes, money management, and sex ed. I suppose there'd have to be a sex ed class at our pagan school?
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