Both Hegel and Freud venture to explain the consciousness and how we interpret our surroundings. In Freud’s piece, An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, he explains how we interact with internal and external events in terms of the id, ego, and super ego, while Hegel explains his ideas in Sense Certainty using the all-excompassing ‘I’. Continue reading →
Posted in Contemporary Philosophy, Experience, Knowledge
Tagged Alexia, Consciousness, ego, freud, hegel, I, id, sense certainty, super ego
The classic argument on learning/experience: what has a bigger influence over an individual’s life, his genetics, or his up-bringing? In Sigmund Freud’s “Outline of Psychoanalysis”, he seems to favor the latter.
Within one’s brain, Freud feels that there is different “psychical agencies” that control ourselves. This includes the id, a primal desire that drives us to achieve basic urges; the super-ego, a sort of moral compass; and the ego, a development from the id that analyzes the simultaneous needs of the id, superego, and the stimuli of reality in order to synthesis choices.
In Chapter 1, Continue reading →
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?
Michel Foucault focuses on the concepts of discourse and power. His ideas can be seen in various political practices and conflicts, which I will discuss after I summarize his ideas below.
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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 →
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 →
How much of our identity is actually related to our bloodline? For example, we always hear (or at least I do) “that part is just like your mother/father” from not only my family, but also relatives and acquaintances. Speaking from a biological standpoint, the answer can be varied; much of who we are is dependent on our genes, our so called “blood.” However, much of who we are is also dependent on the environment. Therefore, is it alright to identify someone by their family? And how much of what we decided is decided before we even recognize it?
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In Discipline and Punish: The Birth of a Prison, Foucault analyzes the oppressive classroom dynamic that resembles that of a military infrastructure in which the authoritarian leaders “discipline” the young. This dynamic proposed in Foucault’s piece is similar to that of Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continue reading →
In John Dewey’s Experience and Education, he mainly discusses his ideas regarding progressive versus traditional education and how they both relate to experience. One section I found interesting was on page 76, and I thought it might be interesting to compare this example to standardized testing or AP classes.
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“Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” (Freire, Pedagogy)
I am in complete agreement with this statement. In Pedagogy, Freire talks about the flaws in our system of education. He says that humans/students are “containers” and “receptacles” to be filled by the teacher. In other words, he is saying that we are just memorizing whatever the teacher is teaching us, and the better that teachers help us memorize certain material, the better the teacher is. Humans really develop intellectually if they are not just memorizing material, but actually experiencing and researching what the material really is and why it is important. This helps the student retain information and enables him/her to take full advantage of their cognitive ability. I cannot tell you how many times I have been taught something by a teacher and studied and been tested on certain material, and not even a month later, I couldn’t remember anything important about what I had learned. However, the things that I have done research and experiments on myself and then been taught about afterwards are the things that I remember even today. For example, I remember almost everything that I learned from a sheep brain experiment/analysis that I did in FOCUS in second grade. This was because the teacher let us make our own observations about the brain and then clarified what we were thinking by giving us technical lingo instead of just telling us everything about the brain without giving us a chance to explore it.
Freire’s thoughts on how education/teaching should be presented to students can be compared to Rousseau’s thoughts that he expressed in Emile. He, too, believes that people should be taught through experience rather than just being told and forced to remember . Freire also reminds me of Dewey when he says that “the teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable.” Dewey says that in education, we should learn things that will be useful in the future, and that we should also incorporate past subject matter in these teachings. He also says that subject matter should relate to real world experiences, and that subject matter in general should be based on experience rather than theory.
It is really interesting to see how these philosophers all have the same kind of thinking towards education and how people should be taught. What do you guys think?