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Re: Order of the Pearl and Teaching

Poster: Suzanne Metzler <0002152178@mcimail.com>

In a message dated 97-06-12 15:51:33 EDT, Dame Teleri Talgellawg writes:

<< I beg to differ here. I consider both teaching and research to be arts in
 themselves (not everyone who does a "craft" well can teach well) , and when
 sufficiently good, should be recognized with a Pearl. Think of it this way,
 what a good teacher/researcher who presents his/her research produces are
 educated people. Since the SCA is an historical and educational society, I
 think these are two of the most appropriate "arts" we can recognize.

In a message date June 12, 1997 Baroness Morgaine de la Flamme responded

<<...my further thoughts after this
<<posting being along the lines of  the fact that teaching and research could
<<be considered sufficient unto themselves as arts.  They do, however, tend to
<<be a much more ephemeral thing.... as opposed to actually having the
<<handiwork of a gentle in front of one to peruse at leisure! :::smiling:::

I disagree with you Baroness Morgaine.  You can base your decision on
 a product of research and
teaching:  it is called a research paper.  This paper could show up
in the form of an article for the Complete Anachronist, The TI, the
Oak, the local Baronial special A&S newsletter (e.g. the Barony of
Ponte Alto has the "Gustti et Fatti" [sp?] which is a once a year special
A&S only edition of their newsletter)or regular newsletter,
a handout at a University/Collegium, or documentation at an A&S display/competition.
I assure you it is clear who is a good researcher and who has a firm
grasp of their intellectual product by reviewing the quality of 
their sources (and the ability to give and distinguish comflicting
points of view), their ability to cite, the organization of the material, and the
persuasiveness of their conclusions.  My experience has been that many
in the "practical end" of the arts and sciences while excellent craftspeople
are not good at research papers of the description I gave above.  Often
at A&S displays/competitoins, I have seen present merely a list of sources without 
a real explanation of what made these good sources, and without citing
what was particularly gleaned from these sources or the impact of these
sources and the techniques they describe on the craft/science under
display.  My personal opinion is that a competent or even excellent
craftsperson who cannot present the story behind their work, is not
Laurel quality and may not be Pearl quality either.  (says the chick,
me, who does not even pretend to be merely competent in the majority of

<<Thus, it would be a more difficult thing (although not impossible by any
<<means) to truly base one's decision on the product of teaching (i.e., the
<<educated people you refer to).  While it is relatively easy to look at a
<<tangible product such as fine spinning, or well-make arrows, and recognize
<<the talent and skill that went into their making, it is not so easy with an
<<intangible product such as knowledge.  

Granted it is easier to examine in a few minutes an item, while it
takes concentration and more time to review someone's research product,
but that does not make it a less valid and important part of what we
as a Society do.

<<An educated person may have become
<<that way because of the benefit derived from a particular person's
<<instruction, 'tis true. An educated person may also be the product of a
<<number of other factors, none of which may have anything to do with the
<<teaching of a particular person (college classes, individual research, that
<<sort of thing). How does one know for sure?

My personal definition of an "educated person" has less to do with
their ability to be a competent/excellent craftsmen, then their ability to understand the
difference between why someone is a novice, journeyman or mastercraftsmen
in terms of the hows and whys involved in the craft.  By this I mean,
can that person recognize the difference between a good sewing job
and an excellent sewing job, what went in to making those differences,
why a particular fabric or dye or style of stitchery was chosen, what
differences occured even in the same country over a several hundred
year period (let alone in various locales throughout Europe) and what caused those differences.  
I also believe an "educated person" has an ability to critically evaluate in multiple arts and sciences
(giving these areas their broadest definintion: including language,
literature, social history, etc.) areas and is not merely focused on
only one area of research/craft.

<<Along with this, I also agree that those who do "crafts" well do not
<<necessarily teach well (and, the term "crafts" being loosely applied to
<<include many, many more talents other than merely needlework, for
<<example!)... however, it has been my experience as well that those who teach
<<well do not necessarily do "crafts" well.  

I agree since it is a different skills each of which need honing.  

<<What I particularly look for is a
<<combination of  excellence in one or more particular art or science AND the
<<ability and willingness to impart that knowledge. Nor does that teaching have
<<to be done in a formal setting: I am just as interested in a person who is
<<willing to share his or her knowledge in a one-on-one informal setting as I
<<am in someone who makes a point of teaching at collegiums or University.
<< Nevertheless, I agree one hundred percent with something else you said:   

     <<<<People who put in a great deal of time and energy into enriching the
     <<<Society in these ways [by teaching]  should also be recognized. >>>>

I agree.  I think these areas (research as research papers/teaching
as skills in themselves) are downgraded in favor of the ability to
be an excellent craftsperson, however unintentionally,
by many in the Laruelate and COP.  

Tehair MacDiarmada

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