Wednesday, November 15, 2006

John Dewey

There are many features of Dewey's ideas that are quite interesting... First of all, the fact that what he most expected from schools was to form citizens. When I was at school it was usual to see children looking down on other students because they were "different". I remember one of my teachers used to encourage us to listen to each other and respect our differences (e.g. we used to have problems in the classroom regarding the clothes we wore...). I would like to apply this idea of "no discrimation" starting in the classroom, so that my students can apply them in their lives both inside and out of school. I would really like to foster communication among my students to break the differences between them.
However, I believe that Dewey's idea that "the fewer hours children spend at school, the better (just enough to acquire just the minimum concepts)" is quite an exaggeration. I believe that the bases of education are both values and knowledge... so if we leave knowledge out of school... what do we want it for?

Contributed by Alejandra de Antoni


mmvcentro said...

Dear Alejandra:

I like the way you think, you will be a warm and caring teacher. I congratulate you and your future students.

Recieve a big hug from Mexico.
Love: Maru

Berta said...

Hello Alejandra, this is Berta, an EFL teacher from venezuela who is a colleague and friend of Gladys Baya.
Dewey´s ideas were certainly very progressive although some rather extreme, as you mentioned. He was in favor of developing critical thinking as well as problem solving skills in students while taking into account the previous knowledge and experience students brought from their lives. If we put these together with your concern about social difference between your students, I guess Dewey will inspire us to pair students from different backgrounds to work on solving problems using their past experiences in life, from their families, prior schooling, etc. What do you think?
Warm regards, Berta

Anonymous said...

Dear Alejandra,
I do agree with you about the interaction of values and knowledge as the esence of education, they coexist and one is nothing without the other.

María Elena

mujtaba said...

I Mujtaba one teacher pupils Hala Gap pop Hi Anke heard a lot of the teacher has been impressed by the halo of very beautiful topics, and I wish you luck and I hope I Tzorna in adulthood or inclined subjecting them to visit you each / pw greetings ....... pop

alez_avrill said...

Thank you very much people for your comments!
I know it's definitely too late to thank you but somehow I completely lost track of this blog.
I'm really happy that you can identify with what I wrote so many years ago when I was just starting my training as an English teacher.
Berta, I loved your idea of pairing students from different backgrounds for them to share past experiences in life. It'll definitely help them get to know each other better and will help empathise with and respect each other (:
Thank you Maru for your warm comment. It's great for me to see that someone so far away con understand and share what I believe in. Thank you a lot!
María Elena I loved what you said about knowledge and values! That was exactly what I wanted to say in the last lines of my post (:
And last but not least, thank you a lot Mujtaba for your comment!