lunedì 13 novembre 2023

The actuality of Spinoza’s thought


If you want to teach Spinoza’s thought, you can start from his actual passions’ theory because your students could believe that passions are like a monster which beats their minds and their souls or more superficially, they could think that only love and hate are meaningful passions or feelings. But, how about fear or anxiety or joy or the unique wonder which moves your mind into the universe and its enigma in order to discover it and to rebuild its rational structure? Yes, passions for the author are not only natural but they also have a reason to exist and to imbue our existence. The secret is to know them and their effect on us in order to comprehend their damage on our behaviour if they are negative such as hate or anger which can destroy and people around you or their positive affection if they are positive such as love or joy or wonder. If you are joyful, you can infect of it all around you and colour the world of rainbow.

So, speak with your students about joy and you can fill the air of magic. Use music such as a natural drug and look about the effects on them and at the end of the process, put Spinoza’s explanation about passion in their mind and the abstract theory will be clear to all of them.

domenica 15 ottobre 2017

CLIL technique: ww1quiz

Here I am after a long time of silence with a very useful History and Clil game.

You can manage an oral test  about ww1 in your class easily, using some quizes.
Devide your class in balanced groups (among the group you need some students who like History and speak English fluently) and then make them the following questions. Some of them are quite simple and other more difficult in order to help anybody to answer. Make  random  questions to a group. Each group can choose who will answer but any of the students has to answer at least to a question. They can use a jolly: the question they do not like will be questioned to another group who will answer and then this group can return the favor to the questioning group.
With the questions remained you teacher can create a debate: the question is the issue of the debate and two or more students can dialogue about it making and answering questions which become complex and rich of meaning if the students are prapraied and critical minds.

Here are the quetions:

1)      What does it mean Imperialism and Why is it linked to the war?
2)      Why and when does Germany become Nationalistic?
3)      Which are the economic causes of ww1?
4)      Why is industrial revolution (II) Linked to ww1?
5)      Why does Marx connect capitalism to imperialism?
6)      How can you describe the scramble for Africa and why is that a cause of ww1?
7)      Describe the Fashoda incident
8)      Give a definition of the term Nationalism and then tell me why is it linked to ww1
9)      Which are the words of the German Kaiser concerning Germany as a growing power?
10)   Give a definition of militarism and then tell me why is it linked to ww1
11)   Is Nationalism linked to Racism?
12)   Which are the main alliances in the war? Give me some news
13)   What is the treaty of S. Stafano? Why is it linked to ww1?
14)   Bismarck and the Congress of Berlin
15)   Who is Franz Ferdinand?
16)   Why is the black hand involved into the war?
17)   How can you describe the July crisis?
18)   The two wars in the Balkans
19)   What is the Blitz Krieg concept?
20)   Describe the battle of Verdun
21)   Describe the war in the trenches
22)   Describe the battles of the Marne
23)   What is the Schlieffen Plan?
24)   Why Is Italy firstly neutral?
25)   Why does Italy enter the war?
26)   Which are the conditions of the London pact?
27)   Why do we have to face the Caporetto tragedy?
28)   Why does US Government enter the war?
29)   Why is Wilson’s Message rhetorically considered?
30)   Describe the Lusitania affair
31)   Describe the Eastern front
32)   Why does Russia get off the war?
33)   Describe the Treaty of Versailles?
34)   Which is the position if Italy concerning the treaty and the conditions of peace?
35)   Describe Wilson’s 14 points?
36)   Describe the League of Nation and tell the reason why it is a failure
37)   Why do we speak of the Armenians?
38)   Which is the situation in Europe after ww1?
39)   Why do the western forces win this war?
40)   Which is the real aim of USA entering the war and being out of The league of Nations?


sabato 2 gennaio 2016

A good teacher

A good teacher is not a friend, he is a tutor.
A good teacher is not a judge, he is an involver.
A good teacher not always teaches, he always learns.
A good teacher  is not a God, he is a good person.
A good teacher gives bad marks.
A good teacher often gives good marks.
A good teacher loves his work despite everything.
Every morning I have to remember to be and become a good teacher.
These are simple rules but not obvious!

sabato 26 dicembre 2015

Can we play at school?

Yes, we can, of course we can and we will enjoy it. A good play is the role playing: we can simulate a topic, a fact, an history telling and we can play it with the whole class.
How can we do that?
Find a topic or a theme,
Explain it to the students,
Find a role for anyone,
Write the script,
Find your actors and then play!
We can also register your performance and view it with your class, it can be a good means of reflection about the activities and their benefits.
So: play with your class using the role playing technique!

lunedì 26 ottobre 2015


'A pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”.

• A concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by an ancient classical author.' This the definition of the term aphorism, you can find in the Oxford dictionary; but I think it is more particular and specific in Philosophy. I have understood that with my students and Eraclito.
Today, in the morning, I was saying something interesting about him, but you know, Eraclito is said the obscure and for them he and his Philosophy are dark as night is.  Pantha rei? What is Pantha rei'? They were  asking to me.
I told them that it is one  of the most famous and pregnant aphorisms in the History of Philosophy but they could not understand yet. 
So it became into my mind an idea: tell them some other aphorisms.
'Love is a difficult dream, wanted by everyone.' 'Life is a long trip, but you can make it shorter', and some more. Then I said:'Now it is your round, you have the chance to try alone. Write a really personal aphorism and we will read them, any of  yours'. I listened to very good and significant short sentences. They knew how to use this tecnique to express something important and philosophical. 
They were ready to understand the motto 'Pantha rei'. What does it mean? It is the explanation, simple but clear, of the becoming, of the change of things, of the mutuation of nature and man. Science has understood this option only recently. We need Philosophy before.

domenica 25 ottobre 2015

Clil and me

I am a Clil teacher. What does it mean? I do not know. I would find out it and anderstand more. Teaching a subject in L2 is not so easy to do and I need more practice, I realize that but I will try and I will do all my best for a succesful work. My students? They are surprised. They little anderstand what Clil is and what kind of work would be for them. They look at me with their nice but surprised faces and say: 'how must we study? How much have we to study? What more should we study? The answer is that we can learn together and we can also have fun.
After this hopful word I have to comprehend how to do a good work with them; my scaffolding is a great one? Me, who I have always thaught History and Philosophy in Italian, will I be able to use another language to do an excellent job? They deserve an excellent job by me. I am sure about that. How can I do? My School helps me? Government helps me?
My collegues are English teachers or do not speak English. The English teachers only teach English. Few Of them like Clil. Why? They are afraid of me and my work. 'You are a theif', they are saying. They do not comprehend that I need their help and not their employment, I have mine. It is enough. A change is to solve these prejudices about Clil teaching and learning. We have still to do a lot!