Two lengthy posts up on Dewey and Educaiton

I have started to use Hubpages as a way to organize my posts and to also post my lengthier scholastic writings in such a way that they do not bog my blog. Although I noticed that your rating gets hammered when you write political posts because people evaluate your writing on the political opinion expressed rather than on whether it is a well-written piece.

Here are two new scholastic posts with excerpts.

Review of Dewey and Education:

In Experience and Education, John Dewey attempted to lay a foundation explaining what constitutes progressive education. From the time he started to explore progressive education in practice when he established The Laboratory School at the University of Chicago in 1896 to the time of the writing of this book in 1938, John Dewey had seen both good and abysmal attempts at creating new methods of education. Dewey wrote this book in response to the educators behind those misguided attempts at reform and the purveyors of traditional education who used those blunders as a straw man to attack progressive education. It was his hope to develop the principle of education "positively and constructively" rather than just reacting against the traditional education which he viewed as failing the students (20). He wanted people to stop worrying about labels, whether something is "progressive," "new," or "traditional," and focus on whether students are really receiving a good education (90). This book is an attempt to define what a good education looks like by defining the roles of the educator in progressive education.

Another excerpt:

The educator defends the individual from their own impulses by guiding the student's development of a clear purpose and keeping them on course. Dewey described the purpose as the "end-view." Purpose "involves foresight of the consequences which will result from acting on impulse." He further elaborates, "The formation of purposes and the organization of means to execute them are the work of intelligence" (67). It is a dangerous role to play when a educator stifles a student from pursuing their impulses in order to help them achieve their purpose. Dewey provides two ways for an educator to avoid overstepping their boundaries: "The way is, first, for the teacher to be intelligently aware of the capacities, needs, and past experiences of those under instruction, and secondly, to allow the suggestion made to develop into a plan and project by means of the further suggestions contributed and organized into a whole by the members of the group" (71-72). Although difficult and dangerous, the teacher should never lightly shirk their responsibility to keep their student on track for reaching their purpose nor should they stifle learning because it is going in a direction different from their interests.

My Educational Experience in Light of Dewey's Experience and Education

In examining the teachings of John Dewey with my educational past, I am amazed at how little he really impacted most of my teachers. Throughout high school and college, I have always been plagued with the question, "Why? Why must we learn this? What good will it do me?" I remember having this frustration with one of my advanced math classes in high school. My parents had me ask it of one of my uncles the "why" question because he is an engineer, but he did not provide me with a good answer. So I did the work well and received a good grade, but I still have a tough time seeing the relevance of sine, cosine, and all of the theorems we had to learn. They are safely secured in a "water-tight compartment" in my head, except maybe they have finally drowned.

And another excerpt:

Having been raised in a small town of 1,400 people with a school class size of sixty students, which decreased to around thirty after students went to vocational school during their junior year, and following that up with graduating from a small college where I had the same History professor, English professor, etc., for most of my classes, I have seen the advantage in the relationships built with my educators throughout the process. Bringing this process of education which is found successful throughout rural America into the inner cities might just give those teachers a hope of impacting children who have difficult situations outside of school, and it might decrease that extremely high dropout rate in the cities. Our educational system is in need of a drastic overhaul. If Dewey is right in that knowledge of the student is essential for the educator, then our current system of passing students along to another teacher year after year prevents the teacher from genuinely knowing the student.