Sticking to Tradition

From the start, Dewey’s philosophy on education somewhat mirrors Rousseau’s in that they both believe that the key to learning is experience. We have discussed in class how this approach differs from the way we learn today since we generally associate our current style of learning with what Dewey calls traditional learning style. The traditional learning style tells students information instead of letting them figure it out for themselves. I believe, however, that educators recognize the need for hands-on learning and incorporate it into the current methods of teaching.

A great example of this is labs. Labs are an opportunity for students to experiment in order to learn directly from experiences. They learn the boiling points of different materials or how light changes when shined through different solutions. Every student at Emory is required to take at least one course with a lab, whether it through a high school AP course, here on campus, or at another college. This mandate ensures that everyone engages in this type of experience-based learning.

Our discussion also revealed that most students would rather continue with the traditional style of learning rather than experience the methods Emile goes through. This leads me to wonder: how many people would choose to take a lab if it was not mandatory?

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