3 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2018
    1. Whenever we have in mind the discussion of a new movement in education, it is especially necessary to take the broader, or social view. Otherwise, changes in the school institution and tradition will be looked at as the arbitrary inventions of particular teachers; at the worst transitory fads, and at the best merely improvements in certain details—and this is the plane upon which it is too customary to consider school changes.

      Dewey's entire work seems current in the 21st century. Has nothing changed? Why not!? Even from my short (6 years) of teaching I have been frustrated by educational fads. I can imagine how 30 year veteran educators feel - numb and resistant to change. Every year it seems administrations in every school building troll for new exercises to increase the learning of students by completely disrupting the progress and work lives of many educators. It's a constant state of working for arbitrary inventions of other educators that detract from everything an educator might be doing right in their classroom. Why can't the focus be finding and reflecting on our own practices in the classroom?

    2. When occupations in the school are conceived in this broad and generous way, I can only stand lost in wonder at the objections so often heard, that such occupations are out of place in the school because they are materialistic, utilitarian, or even menial in their tendency. It sometimes seems to me that those who make these objections must live in quite another world. The world in which most of us live is a world in which everyone has a calling and occupation, something to do. Some are managers and others are subordinates. But the great thing for one as for the other is that each shall have had the education which enables him to see within his daily work all there is in it of large and human significance

      This really makes me reflect upon the maker movement. I am a tinkerer and a builder by nature, yet I've struggled to find value in a makerspace. I always build for purpose; to construct something. I learn in order to do and I do (tinker) in order to learn. Even I can't help but see some tasks as menial and materialistic in a school unless they are tied to an exploration of knowledge or a way to innovate rather than reconstruct and needlessly reinvent. Could constructing a pen holder out of PVC in a makerspace without a plan or greater purpose be more than materialistic and menial? Could instead of making just one, why couldn't we donate these creations to a school in our community that has a need? That would not only bring in purpose, but also community.

    3. While training for the profession of learning is regarded as the type of culture, as a liberal education, that of a mechanic, a musician, a lawyer, a doctor, a farmer, a merchant, or a railroad manager is regarded as purely technical and professional. The result is that which we see about us everywhere—the division into “cultured” people and “workers,” the separation of theory and practice.

      It seems to me that in our current age there is an active effort to bring practice back into the classroom. In STEM education, in particular, the basis of this teaching practice is to solve problems. The problem is there, and real, and students know this. The solution has cultural, personal, and societal indications that can't be ignored. The path to the solution is found through a gain in knowledge. To understand the problem is to gain knowledge about it.