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#PhilsDayOff Assignment Description & Open Online Learner Invite


Guiding Questions brainstormed by thematic groups.

Our encounter with metaphysics this week has neatly lined up with a long weekend provided by both a school-based professional development day, and the Monday holiday of Canadian Thanksgiving, affording our for-credit learners the opportunity to engage in a solo ‘field study’ of sorts. Guided by the questions at the heart of their chosen metaphysician’s quest to understand “What is?” and framed loosely within the context of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off#Philosophy12 participants are taking time this weekend to devote an uninterrupted period of time engaging with a significant question at the heart of their own emerging metaphysics.

The requirements are spare:

    • Time must be spent consciously and deliberately engaged with a selected question of metaphysics;
    • This engagement can include activities, reflection, discussion, or other modes of inquiry, reflection and understanding; but it should not be time spent doing something participant’s ‘usually’ do;
    • Participants must create, discover, or record a meaningful artifact they think represents their metaphysical thinking, reflection, or understanding on Phil’s Day Off.

On Tuesday, we will be sharing the journeys of our #PhilsDayOff ‘field studies,’ and the stories, artifacts and understandings created will become part of the constructed knowledge we plan to undertake in creating the class’ “Discussable Object.”

Something I have been wondering about as this week has progressed, and the nature of our shared task has crystalized, is how we might involve our Open Online Learners in an enterprise that is largely focused on understanding created between the networked nodes in our physical classroom. I’m grateful for Jesse Stommel‘s thoughts on the Ethical Online Course, and how:

“We must consider how we’ll create pathways between the learning that happens in a room and the learning that happens on the web.”

Which is where this post finds you – assuming you’re not one of the for-credit Philosophers refreshing your memory about just what it is you’re supposed to do this weekend – dear Open Online Philosopher!

As #PhilsDayOut is an individual pursuit, and yet a collective ‘happening,’ there are many ways in which your participation could enrich our classroom learning (and visa versa).

If you’re interested in some background reading, the class’ Metaphysician Introductions have been collecting under the unit category this week, and should be a hive of conversation and dialogue over the weekend. Your comments, questions, and engagement is always appreciated here!

Though that might seem a touch academic, and maybe you would rather tap into your inner Matthew Broderick and just take the day… off. To philosophize. To think about what is. About what makes you you. 

And to have that conversation with others involved in a similar enterprise.

In which case consider this an invitation to engage in #PhilsDayOff with us: take some time this weekend to engage in the Big Questions, and share your findings with us by posting questions, thoughts, pictures, Vine videos, or other digital artifacts to the #Philosophy12 hashtag. In keeping with our unit goal:

“…to create a collective representation of our individual journeys of understanding metaphysics.”

Your thoughts, and your journey, are a part of this collective representation.


About bryanjack

HS Gifted program teacher interested in the world out there, the world in here, and blending the two at every opportunity.

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