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E-Learning in TC Muses TIMSSE: A Passion for Community

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Maxine Greene and Colette Mazzucelli.

Maxine Greene and Colette Mazzucelli.

On December 6, Maxine Greene, William F. Russell Professor Emeritus, spoke to the TC Muses TIMSSE learning community about "the need for mutual understanding and for the creation, in these awful times, of what we call community." TIMSSE, the Transatlantic Internet/Multimedia Seminar Southeastern Europe, with sites at Teachers College, in Paris at the Institute of Political Science, and in Munich at the Center for Applied Policy Research, joined together in four videoconference sessions with four guest speakers, with Greene leading the series.

Citing Nobel Laureate Imre Kertesz, Greene focused attention on groups that represent "forgetfulness, conformism, [and] resignation." Through her discussion of Kertesz's experience living under Hungarian Communists, Greene underlined that for Kertesz, his existence as part of a marching group meant losing his identity. This sense of belonging meant he "had to step out of the line."

Greene explained that she is "most concerned about people stepping out of line, breaking the frames of the…unexamined, the conventional." Asserting that she does not have answers, Greene said that she grapples with philosophy and its unanswerable questions. The search for answers keeps Greene alive "listening to the many voices" she seeks, working along with others to "discover something that holds us together."

Greene acknowledged that as she tries to leave the crowd of conformists, like Kertesz, she emphasizes the "destructive imagination" more-"the imagination which presently anticipates a pre-emptive strike on Iraq." Through the arts, she explained, we can "identify who we are with respect to violence…, indecency…, falsehood." Experiences with the arts are not, for Greene, "on the edges of education." The arts become "a symbol system to confront those things we cannot confront only with the language of fact." We need that language, but Greene advocates the need also for a more elaborative, caring language.

Janet Gerson and Peter Lucas revisited these themes on December 18. Lucas presented visual images to students in Paris and Munich of "The Mural of Pain," a spontaneous wall of photographs depicting Brazilian homicide victims. The mural is part of a national peace manifestation initiated by the human rights community. A "Human Rights Seminar in Rio," taught by Lucas, is a CEO&I offering this summer.

On January 15, Simon Chesterman led a discussion about humanitarian intervention in Kosovo and its significance for U.S. actions in Iraq. TC Muses TIMSSE videoconference presentations contribute to Rebuilding Education for Human Security in the Balkans, an edited volume in progress with a preface by Abiodun Williams, Director, Strategic Planning, Office of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. For more information, please contact Colette Mazzucelli, CEO&I, x3478.previous page