Monday, 4 June 2007

continuing the debate...This is just great!

“the history of educational theory is marked by opposition between the idea that education is development from within and that it is formation from without.” John Dewey, Experience and Education (New York: Macmillan Company, 1951) 1.

If experiential teaching works well in some cases, and not in others, it seems plausible that any curriculum should utilize aspects of both.

so...It should be an "and" rather than an "or"

Carl Rogers is more unequivocable

Teaching, in my estimation is a vastly overrated function.

the goal of education, if we are to survive, is the facilitation of change and learning.

Having made such a statement, I scurry to the dictionary to see if I really mean what I say. Teaching means “to instruct.” Personally I am not much interested in instructing another. “To impart knowledge or skill.” My reaction is, why not be more efficient, using a book or programmed learning? “To make to know.” Here my hackles rise. I have no wish to make anyone know something. “To show, guide, direct.” As I see it, too many people have been shown, guided, directed. So I come to the conclusion that I do mean what I said. Teaching is, for me, a relatively unimportant and vastly overvalued activity.

Teaching and the imparting of knowledge make sense in an unchanging environment. This is why it has been an unquestioned function for centuries. But if there is one truth about modern man, it is that he [end of page 57] lives in an environment which is continually changing. The one thing I can be sure of is that the physics which is taught to the present day student will be outdated in a decade. The teaching in psychology will certainly be out of date in 20 years. The so-called “facts of history” depends very largely upon the current mood and temper of the culture. Chemistry, biology, genetics, sociology, are in such flux that a firm statement made today will almost certainly be modified by the time the student gets around to using the knowledge.

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