Education Message Board

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Education Message Board

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1kukkurovaca
heinäkuu 27, 2006, 10:31 am

I'm actively interested in progressive educational theory. I'm probably identifiable as a Deweyan, although more as regards theoretical underpinning than as regards practical application. Democracy and Education : an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (Touchstones don't like the short titles, apparently) is basically the canon, as far as I'm concerned.

I think Paulo Freire is a rather unoriginal thinker, and I regard some of his arguments as shaky. I actually like Hirsch's concept of cultural literacy, although I think his application of it and many of his arguments for it are stunningly stupid.

The piece of writing I'm most scared by is probably Arendt's essay on education in Between Past and Future, in which she (quite compellingly) argues against any attempt to bring philosophy to primary and secondary education.

2Bakari
heinäkuu 27, 2006, 6:15 pm

Thanks for developing this group. I'm no longer a teacher, but I would highly recommend Henry Giroux's Teachers As Intellectuals as very important for progressive education.

So much of contemporary education, as in the past, is not student and learner process-centered. It's system and teacher-centered.

Education is so very hard behind because it's heavily influenced by backwards traditions and a conservative infrastructure that for the large part sees most students as nothing potential workers--not real critical thinking citizens.

Anyway, 'nuf said. Look forward to additional input.

3tole_lege
heinäkuu 28, 2006, 11:43 am

Excellent start :)

I should come clean - I'm one of those educational researcher things - but I'm also a teacher (of adults) so hopefully that's not too bad. :}

And one reason I am a researcher is that in the reading I've done on adult education, I'm constantly screaming, "When was the last time you were in a primary classroom??" because so often what is depicted just ain't so.

As for being system oriented - I agree, unfortunately. Or perhaps not too unfortunately because I don't mind the idea of a system, I mind the system taking precdence over the learner. But I haven't got a solution about how a state-wide (as in UK) system can prevent that....

4jnyrose Ensimmäinen viesti
heinäkuu 31, 2006, 10:52 am

I'm a teacher, and I became addicted to teacher-research and educational theory while getting my masters. The addiction has only become worse as my teaching career goes on--so much of what I see makes me long to pass out Education and the Cult of Efficiency or any one of the six editions of Frank Smith's Understand Reading just so my fellow teachers can have somewhere from which to start their planning and thinking. Never mind what books I'd like to throw at my government and school district!
I look forward to see what other's have read, and their thoughts on current and past research.

5paperkingdoms
elokuu 2, 2006, 1:51 pm

I'm a grad student teaching (mostly) calculus to college students, so I spend a lot of my "education thoughts" on pondering the hows and whys of how we teach math at lower levels... because by the time we see people as college students, it's pretty clear that the system doesn't work for awhole lot of the the students who are being pushed through it.

I haven't read nearly as much theory as I'd like to (though I have bits and pieces... I started my under graduate degree thinking I wanted to teach high school), so I'm looking forward to seeing what people are reading.

6jaimelesmaths
elokuu 6, 2006, 12:49 am

I completely agree with paperkingdoms (and was in basically the same situation last year). The problem that most of my students had wasn't with the Calculus, it was either with "basic" algebra (e.g. (a + b)^2 is not equal to a^2 + b^2 (OK, unless we're in a field of characteristic 2, but it's Calculus, so we're not)) or math "phobia" in general. They were predisposed to thinking that math problems were hard (and, granted, some are), so my goal was to recondition them to try to work through things logically rather than memorizing procedures for any given situation (though there was a bit of that, too).

I've worked with amazing math teachers, and I've worked with crappy math teachers. The difference really had a lot to do with how much the teachers cared about teaching MATH, not just about teaching in general. There's a great book called The Passionate Teacher that makes this point explicitly, and really shows teachers how to get their students excited about what they're learning (without pandering). I think that it's a tough situation sometimes, and I think that a lot of teachers might say that his suggestions aren't practical in a "real" troubled school, but I disagree. Last year, I worked with an 8th grade math teacher who just trudged through the curriculum. (She actually did not have a math background, which I think is partially to blame for this.) The kids were disengaged and disruptive. I was able to plan a few lessons that fit into what was being taught, but were also more engaging than the given worksheets. I had very few problems during those lessons, and I was able to show the students that math could be interesting and useful.