Last Class we were introduced to and reminded of, not just one philosopher, but 5, and were asked which we identify with, and why. Unfortunately, class was just about over, and I wasn’t able to discuss my thoughts, so I thought this would be an appropriate time to do so.
The five options were John Dewey, Maxine Greene, Cornel West, Foucault, and Freire who all have a social criticism toward education.
I think of myself as an ‘artsy’ person, in terms of art including song, paint, poem, drawing, etc., but especially the song. With music I find that so many lines and boundaries can be crossed; race, disability (mental and physical), self-image and awareness, and so much more. Not only can the lyrics have a powerful message, but so can the actual instrumental parts, as well as the coming together of many people in order to create it. While in our age it is possible to record a song all yourself, often there still needs to be others involved, and its a beautiful process. I’ve also seen music in situations like music therapy for children who have autism, provide a voice for a girl who otherwise was non-verbal. I feel I identify strongly with the arts and therefore Maxine Greene appeals to me as she see’s art as a way to ‘wake us up’; something that is so present it is almost unbearable.
In saying this I also like Friere’s idea of teachers and students engaging in mutual service where the teacher is not dominating, and the students’ aren’t in competition with one another. Competition with my close friend in high school was my incentive and drive to do better and partially the reason for my success, so in some ways I think a healthy competition is good. However, I like the idea of a classroom where there is more harmony among students and teachers.
There are parts of John Dewey I also identify with; the process of meeting students where they are at, and guiding them toward a goal, is a process which has so much potential for students.
So there isn’t necessarily one which I strongly identify with, but a mix between a few. I’ve found through this course that my idea of education is very student centered, though this didn’t come as too much of a surprise.
What/ who did some of you find yourself identifying with? Do you find that your views now are a reflection of your past education?