dinsdag 28 juni 2011

MSU2011: Stories of Understanding (2)

Today is Jean-Jacques Rousseau's birthday (28 June 1712  – 2 July 1778). One of the Tweets of the MAET students (#MAET) mentioned a quote of this Swiss philosopher which relates to today's topic of understanding: "The noblest work in education is to make a reasoning man, and we expect to train a young child by making him reason! This beginning at the end; this is making an instrument of a result. If children understood how to reason they would not need to be educated.”.

Even though not everyone agrees with this (see the Wikipedia article on Rousseau), the same article argues that the theories of educators such as Rousseau's near contemporaries Pestalozzi, Mme de Genlis, and later, Maria Montessori, and John Dewey, which have directly influenced modern educational practices do have significant points in common with those of Rousseau.

But, following Rousseau's statement that if children understood how to reason they would not need to be educated, does this mean that all we have to do in schools is learn the children how to reason?

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