It is plausible to say that each of us has once read educational materials which are not aligned with our interest. I recently came across an article about educational technology, classifying this problem as an “emotional” problem. Continue reading
In the reading we were assigned for Monday, John Dewey put a lot of emphasis on the importance of experience in education. His connection between personal experience and education remind me of my first blog post, “To Practice or To Preach?”
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. Continue reading
Throughout the reading, I noticed many similarities in how children should be educated between Dewey and Rousseau. The idea of a child experiencing what he is learning is something that can help in the development of the child’s knowledge. However, Dewey believes that not all experiences are equally educative, and some experiences can even damage the child’s understanding. On page 25, Dewey states that “Any experience is mis-educative that has the effect of arresting or distorting the growth of further experience.”(25) Rousseasu has similar ideas regarding experience. Rousseau gives the example of the ice feeling hot on Emile’s lip and the seemingly broken stick in the water of how experiences that can deceive us. But, experiences can solidify one’s knowledge. When Rousseau takes Emile to observe the sun set and the sun rise, Emile is able to eventually understand the concept. This is a case where experience is beneficial to education.
Dewey believes that without the probable application of education to the real world, students become disinterested in the material. So, I believe that Dewey would appreciate the aspect of Emile’s education where Emile interacts with real objects, and uses prior knowledge to try and deduce a solution. An example of that would be Emile learning about magnetism. Rousseau and Emile would gather stones, some being magnetic, and see which ones stuck. Through this, Emile was able to apply knowledge in a real situation when they were at the fair. Emile became overjoyed about what he learned and was excited about education. Even though this eventually became an embarrassing situation, Rousseau was able to give Emile an engaging education on the topic.
Another similarity in ideals is that, both Rousseau and Dewey do not want students to learn when they have become bored. Dewey asks “How many came to associate the learning process with ennui and boredom?”(27) Rousseau clearly understands this notion, and it is clearly seen in the text that Rousseau gives Emile freedom, and, eventually Emile become interested in learning. Rousseau’s ability to create an enjoyable education process for Emile seems to be one of his curriculums strongest points.
While reading Experience and Education, I couldn’t help but notice how Dewey’s discussion of education directly connects to Rousseau’s discussion of raising a child. This comparison first became clear when Dewey began discussing the negative qualities and the consequences of habit formation when he stated, that some “experience[s]” may “generate” “habits,” which he suggests creates the “inability to control future experiences,” a similar stance to Rousseau (26). Continue reading
Posted in Contemporary Philosophy, Education, Experience, Identity, Knowledge
Tagged children, Dewey, Education, Emile, experience, Experience and Education, habits, Harry, Rousseau, school
Ever since we began our discussions about education, I’ve been nagged by a memory of a video I’d watched in high school. It was a video my psychology teacher showed us in class one day, not because it was particularly relevant to the topic we were discussing, but because he was one of those teachers who liked to make you think and question your values. The video was a spoken word that differentiated education from schooling. After some descriptive Google searches, I found that it was called “Why I Hate School But Love Education.” Continue reading
While looking for an article for this week’s post I stumbled across a piece in The Atlantic that discusses how important one’s thought process is in education. The way Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses his experience of learning French immediately sparked a connection between his experience with French and the slave Plato discusses in Meno. Continue reading
Posted in Ancient Philosophy, Education, Experience, Knowledge
Tagged Education, Effort, Harry, learning, Mentality, Plato, Struggle, The Atlantic
In the movie Forrest Gump, the titular character gets labeled as stupid because he was born with a mental disability. When he goes to register for grade school, his mom has to use her “feminine influence” just so he could get a proper education. Society misunderstands his disability and he gets taken advantage of multiple times throughout the movie. He goes along with his catchphrase “stupid is as stupid does” whenever someone verbally attacks him with a remark reminding him that he has a disability. Even though his book smarts are not very sharp, his street smarts and his friendly personality provide him with what he needs to succeed in life.
Despite the discrimination Forrest faces in the movie, many philosophers would be even more critical towards his mental abilities. In a different historical context, Aristotle would not allow Forrest to live independently in his ideal city. According to Aristotle, Forrest would be considered a “natural slave” who is destined to serve the needs of the intellectuals. He also states that “the citizen should be molded to suit the form of government under which he lives … The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy” (Politics 1337a). In this case, Forrest Gump would only learn how to be a servant and nothing else. Even though Aristotle generally supported education for all the citizens, women and the mentally disabled were not considered worthy to be taught.
Another interesting thought about Forrest Gump is how he was able to learn street smarts and politeness. In Plato’s Meno, Plato exclaims that education was just a recollection of experiences from past lives (Meno 81d). I wonder what Forrest Gump’s past life would have been if Plato’s theory holds true. Would he have also been mentally disabled in his past life? Did his personality carry over from the experiences of his immortal soul? While Plato’s theory has some holes in it, it does ask important question of how knowledge is obtained. If Forrest Gump could learn despite his disability, it gives me hope that people can change their personalities for the better through experience.
Stupid is as stupid does
One thing that has really shaped who I am as an individual was having the opportunity to play an instrument and be part of my school’s band. I started taking lessons at a young age and as I grew older I became more involved with marching band, concert band, and wind ensemble. Personally, I have found that music education has made me a better person, and you can find countless articles out there that explain why learning music is beneficial.
After reading the article about cutting funding to the AP US History program in Oklahoma, I did not know what to think. On the one hand, I was not surprised. As a native Georgian (where education is not a top priority), bills and laws like this seem to come up a lot. On the other, the justification for this law seemed to be particularly flimsy and transparent. Continue reading