Last week Junior Unit C and D students experienced the first of a weekly series of activities called “Agora Time” (their unit theme this year is ancient Greece). After watching a short cartoon about Plato’s "Allegory of the Cave," teachers divided the students into their own “caves,” each of which had building materials of some kind. The oldest student in each cave became the “philosopher,” who went into another room to see a built model (the ideal). The philosophers then returned to their caves to tell (without touching the building materials) the other people in the cave about the ideal object and explain how to create it. The activity was frustrating on both sides, with varying levels of success, but it served as a great analogy. The philosophers were unable to tell the cave dwellers about the world, and the cave dwellers were frustrated that the philosophers did not understand them anymore.
In future weeks, we’ll examine the two sides of the Elgin Marbles/Parthenon Frieze debate. We hope to help the students understand that there are often two valid points of view in discussions.