Human Experience Of Eduation Essay, Research Paper
The Human Experience of Education
Human Experience of Education
Education involves a solid student/teacher relationship, as well as both student and teacher incorporating imagination into the teaching process. Both student and teacher must work together to reach an understanding of education in the classroom; this enables students to grasp full advantage of the material being taught by the teacher. Knowledge in most cases, allows you to see yourself, and to understand what you can produce. The most important aspect of education is change. Change is basically what education is; you are becoming educated and expanding your mind or in other words changing it. The more educated you become, the more able you are to approach the world, and the better off you are to introduce new thoughts to your society.
A key example in demonstrating the teacher/student relationship and education as a whole, is explained by Sheldon Solomon. In Solomon’s lecture on education, he discusses critical thinking and aesthetic awareness. Both, form creativity, and creativity equals change. Change, in the sense of altering ideas or approaching concepts from different angles as you become more educated and mature. Creativity allows you to take your ideas in any direction that you wish. When you start your education in elementary school you learn very easy concepts. As you proceed, you build upon early ideas with more advanced concepts. Your intuition increases through education and you have a broader background of facts and information to use. In addition to critical thinking, aesthetic awareness includes a change of your emotions. Deep visions start forming with all the information you have gathered through the years. Visions, in the sense of what the future will bring to one’s life and what can be accomplished in the years to come. With these visions, students can determine what they want to do with the rest of their life. In addition, Professor Solomon includes a “dynamic interaction between active students and active teachers” (Solomon 9/9/99), as one of the five integral parts of a solid education. Students and teachers should work together to decide what and how they will be taught. The role of the professor is to keep the students interested, while the task of the students is to do what is asked of the professor. When students and teachers work together to find an effective and interesting way to learn material, the students don’t have any excuse but take full advantage of the education that is being presented to them. To ensure student interest, a re-evaluation of the teaching methods should be reviewed every so often to keep the level of enthusiasm.
One of the most important aspects of a person’s education is the direction in which it takes you. The course the student wants to take is up to his or her imagination. As Alfred North Whitehead states, “imagination is not to be divorced from the facts: it is a way of illuminating the facts. It works by eliciting the general principles, which apply to the facts, as they exist, and then by an intellectual survey of alternative possibilities, which are consistent with those principles. In enables men to construct an intellectual vision of a new world, and it preserves the zest of life by the suggestion of satisfying purposes” (Whitehead, 15). Many individuals in my generation have very short attention spans. They can’t be fully interested in school, without the freedom to express their own ideas and imagination. I believe that capturing student’s interests involves acts of incorporating imagination in the classroom and being encouraged by the teacher. If this happens, students will use their talents to their fullest potentials “illuminating the facts.” Standard curriculum in schools can incorporate imagination as the key to students understanding boring information that they think they’ll never use again in their life. An example of this is teaching mathematics, word for word, right out of the textbook in elementary school. The kids do the work mostly because they are required to do so rather than the desire to learn. If math is taught with objects on tables and a group interaction of the specific lesson is incorporated, a better understanding of the material will occur. These objects are the things that get you to imagine concepts and personal ideas. From an idea, imagination can spark the brain to open up to other possibilities and renditions of their original idea. A personal concept of an idea gives forth a creative personalized understanding.
An excellent example of what a teacher should not aspire to is Gradgrind. I disagree with the narrow mind of Gradgrind, in Charles Dickens, “Hard Times for These Times.” Teachers’ should constantly doubt the credibility of the content and teaching methods. The idea of giving students a mass quantity of facts is very appealing because it will act in a way similar to an encyclopedia. However, Gradgrind failed to link these facts in an interesting, imaginative way. He was useless to his students and the students were useless to him. The clever point of this piece is the use of satire incorporated into Dickens’ writing, clearly implying that the students should be incorporated into the teaching process. In no way, should they feel inferior, or feel like prisoners to the teacher. When a teacher dictates to students, they shut their brains and they become irritated by the teaching process. The teacher must provide encouragement plus interest with his or her students. Students want to accomplish work for themselves but also need the respect from their teachers to feel positive about their learning. When the teacher works at the level of the student it makes both feel equal, and better communication occurs, a friendship develops. Both student and teacher work together to reach this understanding of knowledge.
My belief is that both students and teachers absolutely must work together to reach the ideal education. It is my experience that there will always be a disagreement of opinion about what and how students should learn, but in the end, I think that it is the responsibility of the students and their teachers to find this equality. If teachers weren’t viewed as the dictators of life but rather education tools, I believe that students would get a little more out of the average education. Most importantly, teachers would be able to see the enjoyment of teaching, and find their jobs more rewarding.
Dickens, Charles. From “Hard Times for These Times.” Liberal Studies 1: The Human Experience. Ed. David Burrows. 13th ed. Acton, Massachusetts: Copley, 1999.18- 21.
Solomon, Sheldon. “Education.” Liberal Studies 1 Presentation. Skidmore College. Saratoga Springs, 9 September 1999.
Whitehead, Alfred North. “Universities and Their Function.” Liberal Studies 1: The Human Experience. Ed. David Burrows. 13th ed. Acton, Massachusetts: Copley, 1999. 15-16.