Category: Education

Education in the Future

Education is very important for social progress.  Whether our civilization will flourish or not is dependent on the quality of education we offer children.  As it stands, the education system today has a few obvious flaws.  The foremost is the emphasis on competition and grades, which turns students into machines that cram up data before an examination.  But such a method is unlikely to produce original and critical thinkers for the future. So, in order to have a bright future for education as well as for society a revision in education methods, curriculum and goals is called for.

One of the ways in which to secure the future of education is to embrace bold and experimental systems of education.  The Pragmatist education model that was inspired by philosopher John Dewey is a case in point.  In this system there are no grades for individual performance.  What matters is creativity, community participation and collective problem-solving.  The curriculum is also not . . . Read More

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New perspectives on Education & Philosophy: Realism

Realism: Summary

Students are encouraged to think critically and creatively. Teachers, instead of spoon-feeding all concepts and course content, give a fair degree of liberty for students to find their own individualized style of learning. They prompt students to find equilibrium in the interaction between the organism and the environment. There is a focus on student experience and taking social action for solving real problems.

Realism: Synthesis & Response

Realism is a relevant philosophy of schooling even today. The prevalent system of education does not mould students into well-rounded and socially-conscious individuals. The emphasis is too much on grades and individual excellence. Being part of the current education system I can clearly see what Realism offers. Under this system of education student co-operation is given more importance compared to student competition. This is not the case in the current system where . . . Read More

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New perspectives on Education & Philosophy: Social Reconstruction

Social Reconstruction: Summary

This system treats education as an instrument for addressing social problems. Education is seen as the means to creating a harmonious social order.  It adopts an open ended syllabi intended to meet practical problems with socially conscious solutions.  Progressive education is embraced as against conservative models. Some of the leading thinkers include Theodore Brameld, George Counts and Paulo Freire.  One of the core beliefs of its pioneers is that systems must be changed to overcome social and individual oppression. The system encourages students to find creative solutions for problems such as violence, hunger, economic inflation, terrorism, etc. There is a strong belief in literacy as a vehicle for social change.

Social Reconstruction: Synthesis & Response

It should be lauded that social reconstruction attempts to create constructive dialogue and . . . Read More

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New perspectives on Education & Philosophy: Idealism

Idealism: Summary

This model of education focuses on value education and student character development. One of the goals is to gear learning toward understanding objective truth.  The teacher plays an important role in imparting knowledge.  Conceptual methodology that uses logic and rationality is employed as an instructive tool.  The education method is so designed to stimulate the student’s intellect.  This school of education is based on the assumption that that which is ultimately real is spiritual or ideational.

Idealism: Synthesis & Response

Although Idealism is the preferred system of education in the 19th century, its relevance has continued to decline in the 20th century.  This is due to its old-fashioned core goals such as value education and student character development. In other words, it is not very compatible with the labor market orientated structuring of curriculum and goals that . . . Read More

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New Perspectives on Philosophy and Education: Pragmatism

Pragmatism: Summary

Philosophers such as John Dewey, Charles Peirce and William James are the founding fathers of Pragmatism in education.  These influential thinkers rejected Idealistic education model and instead conceived of schools as institutions for practical goals. The curriculum is based on performing activities, history and geography, and scientific problem solving. Progressive politics is also taught to students. Students are encouraged to take a pragmatic approach to problem solving.  The curriculum is not rigidly set.  In contrast only the broad outline is provided within which a variety of course content could be accommodated. The teachers play the role of a mentor to students.  There is no standardized evaluation of learning. Moreover, the process involves experimentation and learning through experience rather through concepts.  Pragmatism also rejects Metaphysical Absolutes and Metaphysical Dualisms.

Pragmatism: Synthesis . . . Read More

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Literature Review: Why do International Students Choose Australia to Study?

There are numerous favourable reasons why international students opt to study in Australia. A review of the literature pertaining to the topic published over the last 5 years throws light on these reasons. Some of the major reasons include cost-effectiveness, multi-racial academic environment, prospects for employment after graduation, precedent of successful immigrant integration into society, government support for overseas students, etc. But the review also revealed how there are some issues of racism and political conservatism that discourage international student enrolment. Nevertheless, on balance, the favourable reasons outnumber and outweigh the drawbacks. The rest of this paper will highlight the array of reasons why international students choose to study in Australia, while also indicating the negative factors gleaned from the research.
It is a reflection of the attractiveness of Australia as a centre for higher studies that it ranks third among a dozen competing . . . Read More

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An outline of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche’s key ideas and their contribution to the development of social thought.

Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche are two important intellectuals whose thoughts are integral to the development of social thought in Europe and North America.

Immanuel Kant’s thoughts have enriched a wide variety of disciplines within humanities, including theology, political science and sociology. But Kant’s work does not fit easily into any particular disciplinary paradigm.  Of late, Kant’s thoughts have regained eminence in the study of international politics.  Contemporary proponents of Kant’s relevance to international politics espouse the view that democracy leads to peace. But this position contradicts the philosophic foundations of Kant’s works.  Hence there is not straightforward account of how Kant’s works have influenced subsequent social thought.  The infiltration of Kant’s ideas into later scholarship is at places overt and at others subtle.  Neither is the influence uniform and unidirectional for contradictions abound. (Rossi, 2010, . . . Read More

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How does Freudian Theory help to explain social formation?

Freudian Theory has been criticized by feminists for espousing a patriarchal social formation. The most vocal critique among Second Wave feminists is Betty Friedan, whose cornerstone work Feminine Mystique (published in 1963) took issue with Freudian psychoanalysts. She perceived Freudian Theory to comply with a subordinate role for women in and outside the household. The 1950s was a time when working-class and middle-class women were “suffering from suburban domesticity”. (Rorty, 2008, p.56) Second Wave feminists fought against this view of social formation. They found a natural ally in the cause of black Americans for their civil rights. Hence the 1960s witnessed a strong social movement along the twin axis of race and gender. In the beginning feminists were sceptical – if not antagonistic – to psychoanalysis. They marked it as spawning patriarchy and with it the earlier quiescence of women. But by 1973,

“women psychoanalysts, psychologists, and . . . Read More

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Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models

Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S.A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.

Aggression is all around modern society. We witness it in television, video games, news, cinema, etc. The research article by Bandura, Ross & Ross makes it near conclusive that children learn and replicate the behaviours of their models (meaning adults). The two main classes of adult behaviour exposed to children in the experiments are ‘aggressive’ and ‘non-aggressive’. And depending on the type of exposure the children imbibe and replicate the same type of behaviour when placed in a similar setting. So, witnessing parents perform violent actions (even if against toys) leads to children internalizing that behaviour as acceptable. Likewise witnessing parents conduct themselves in a non-violent manner leads to reinforcement of this type of behaviour. There is also a correlate on gender . . . Read More

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The dramatic differences found by Piaget in the development of preschoolers and elementary-age children

A child undergoes rapid physiological and cognitive developments in the first few years.  Preschoolers or toddlers slowly shed their ‘ego-centric’ view.  This means that a newborn baby does not have the capacity to think of and for others.  This ability to understand that there are others in the world is slowly gained during the years 0-3.  After a year and half the toddler begins to verbally express its likes and dislikes.  This is an important cognitive milestone, for the language ability has significant ramifications for psychosocial and later academic performance.  The preschool stage is when most of the gross and fine motor ability is acquired and exercised.  So the graduation from moving limbs to crawling to walking signify the baby’s growing capacity for self-expression in physical space.  During the elementary school age, the child understands that the world is comprised of people like itself with similar motivations and needs.  During this stage crucial . . . Read More

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