Hey guys! So we’ve read a lot on education and about how philosophers like Friere, Foucault, and Gatto strongly dislike the educational system that we have today.However, none of these philosophers, except for Friere (kind of), gave any solution to the problems in education. I think that I might have a partial solution to the problems in education; actually, I didn’t really think of this, but the high school I went to did. I’m thinking that every high school can implement these solutions. The first is allowing a student to do independent study-which I will explain a bit more later- and allowing them to attend a technical school while they are in high school.
So independent study was a really cool program at my school for juniors and seniors. If students were on track with their credits, they could decide to study and research and do projects on things that they found interesting and wanted to learn about. For example, if the only thing that really interested you in high school was molecular biology or learning about the civil war, my high school would partner you with a person who was a professional on that information, and you would work with that person and do research projects for the remaining two years of high school (as well as doing your normal school work).This program is a solution, I feel, because it allows students to be trained in something that actually pertains to the goals that they want to achieve in their life and that can actually be useful to them in the real world. This is one of the big issues that the philosophers had with our educational system, and I think that this program provides a partial solution because students at least have some kind of authority over what they are going to be taught and do in life.
The other program that my high school did was allow juniors and seniors go to a technical school for half of a school day, and then spend the rest of the school day taking their regular classes. So, if the student wanted to become a nurse, or a mechanic, or a cosmetologist, or a photographer, they could get more than basic knowledge and experience in the field of their choice before going into the real world. Also, the technical school is great because it gives students the chance to decide if the program that they’re in is really something that they would like to do for the rest of their lives as a career.
Both of these programs, I believe, give students some power when it comes to their education and what, specifically, they are being taught while in a public/private school system. I believe that if we implement these programs in every school, then education would be a better system overall, and people would be more excited to go to school and obtain a degree. What do you guys think?
This is a question I thought about from a while back. During our readings on knowledge, it seemed to me that the ancient philosophers liked to write about how they would educate their citizens in order to reach their ideal worlds, while the Enlightenment philosophers taught about how they believed the process of knowledge works without setting up definitive restrictions of how people should be controlled. For instance, Plato talks about the Myth of the Metals as a means to maintain order in The Republic while Hegel writes about the didactic method of obtaining knowledge. This makes me question as whether knowledge is a means or an ends. Is the use of false knowledge (Myth of Metals) morally corrupt if it accomplishes the goal of a peaceful city? Continue reading
Why are we fulfilling our roles at this moment? Society answers that we are going to be rewarded with money, social status, security, and [input what you want here]. It claims that these things make you happier while performing your tasks. These things are supposed to act as your motivators. Well, you might want to think again.
This will be a short blog compared to others, but it is a tho Continue reading
I found Foucault’s “Docile Bodies” to be fascinating for the connections that can be drawn between the reading and modern society today. In my opinion, society has become much more objective and less emotional than that of the past. It is more focused on material wealth and status, and how to obtain it. It now places a much greater focus on math and science, rather than on the humanities. Classes such as English and History are considered a waste of time, whereas a lab science or a math course is considered as of the utmost importance. Visual literacy has gone up, while communication skills have fallen drastically.
I believe that these trends are mainly due to the rise in objectivity and lack of emotion that now permeates society, and that was described in Foucault’s writing. As stated in “Docile Bodies,” man has become more of a machine than a person. Less people take the time to read, play music, and spend time with their friends and family in order to focus on what they believe will get them ahead, such as social media or more individualistic approaches. The human element of nearly every aspect of life has fallen drastically because people feel like in order to achieve their goal of wealth, status, beauty, social recognition, etc. they have to be one step ahead of everyone else and to never admit to a flaw. They focus on the tasks they set out for themselves, with little thought to how their actions affect others.
I’m sorry for the rant, but I truly felt that much of what Foucault wrote could be applied to our own society today, and that society has become less humanistic and more corporate. I also think its fascinating to consider how although the world today is incredibly technologically advanced and filled with highly intelligent human beings, many people would probably secretly admit that they aren’t especially happy or that they feel like they’re missing something. I believe that many of the reasons why people are not content or satisfied with their lives can be found in Foucault’s writing, and that the rise in unhappiness can be attributed to an increased emphasis in objectivity and lack of emotion.
John Gatto’s Dumping Us Down illustrates the negative aspects compulsory state-controlled schooling. Gatto spent 30 years as a schoolteacher and certainly knew everything there is to know about school. He is certainly a credible source and his account should serve as motivation and reason for change and evolution. He talks about how the educational system teaches the students seven negative lessons calling himself the seven-lesson schoolteacher. After going through a fine explanation of every one of the seven lessons, Gatto asserts that the system produces confused, cruel, passive, violent, and materialistic kids. Continue reading
In 1968, a third grade teacher named Jane Elliott decided to take an unconventional approach to teaching about inequality. She divided her students into brown-eyed and blue-eyed groups. Each day, she told one group they were more superior than the other. The children learned an important, enduring lesson over those two days about the injustice of discrimination, which was documented by PBS Frontline.
This approach allowed the children to learn directly from experience, a type of education our philosophers touted. Continue reading
John Storey’s book on power presents a new way to think about sexuality. We commonly associate the Victorian age with hypocritical views of sexuality that produced draconian laws, but Storey writes that the Victorians did not repress sexuality, they actually invented it (Cultural Theory and Popular Culture 130). Storey expands on his unorthodox view by explaining how suppression causes creation. Even though the Victorian era produced laws that imposed moral disapproval of certain sexual behaviors, this also created a reverse effect of the suppressed behaviors becoming a subculture of society. Continue reading
In order to help us better understand things like Foucault’s encompassing concept of power, John Storey introduces his (or Foucault’s) methodology of “discursive formations” (Storey 129). In adopting his world of discursive formations we are forced break free from our binary mentality where things either “are” or “are not” and accept that there is more than one direction to everything; rather than classifying something as oppressive or enabling we must acknowledge that it can be oppressive in some ways and enabling in others and entirely both things at the same time. Continue reading
In class, we have discussed phrase working adults often say to younger students, “Once you enter the real world…” (see cartoon below). This phrase has made us ponder, are we as students not part of the “real world”? What is the “real world”? What skills are required in the “real world”? In my attempt to understand what the “real world” is, I remembered an idea we studied in Anthropology 101 which was “liminality”. Continue reading