Thursday, September 29, 2011

John Dewey (1859-1952)

Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform.
He thought that education and democracy are intimately connected. That's why he not only worked to improve education but he also cared about the well-being of the community.
He changed the curriculum center education to a student center education. He thought teachers should help children develop the character, the habits and virtues, that would enable them to achieve self-realization.
He created "The Laboratory School". This was useful as a testing ground for his ideas on education. In this school children learned throught experience and practical work.
What I learned about him is that it is very important to focus on the students and provide them the tools to help them develop as members of society. It is a very difficult task, but as teachers we should try to apply this.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On María Montessori

   There are so many things I have learned from María Montessori... In the first place, she was an extraordinary woman. She was definitely ahead of her time, a true pioneer... She was the first woman physician in Italy! Go figure! She devoted herself to special children, those who were labelled as mentally retarded or handicapped just because they could not adapt to the so called "traditional way of learning"... Having started as a physician, she then turned to psychiatry and finally to education. That encouraged me, because it is never too late to find your own path in life. 
   In the second place, she was also an amazing educator. She never gave up on anyone, concentrating on helping every single child´s development by all means possible. María soon found out that this "impossible cases" only required a different method to acquire knowledge and skills. And she made that happen. She created special material to stimulate kids´ senses in order to facilitate their learning process. Listen to your students, get to know them... Do not give up, there is always a way. You just need to find it. Try to create a friendly and suitable environment for them, and they will react accordingly. They will even surprise you!
   If you ever have a little time to spare, my advise to you is that you learn more about this outstanding pioneer and her fascinating method and remarkable life... You will not regret it!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

John Dewey

John Dewey was a pioneer of education. He tried to change the standardized view of education, which was curriculum-centred, and proposed a different view of education, which was student-centred. He created a special school called "The Laboratory School" in where he tested his own ideas of education. In this school, classes consisted of theoretical work and practice, and activities were based on practical experiences. He believed that the aim of education should be the realization of one's full potential and the ability to use those skills for the greater good. He also believed that democracy and school related to each other. He defined democracy as a way of living. That's why he believed that schools should help students to learn to live and to work cooperatively with others.
I would like to apply his ideas with my students. I believe they are the most important factor in education. I think a good teacher is that one who guides students and shows them the way in order to make them learn by themselves. In addition, they also learn how to learn.