This week in review 7/6/14

This week in EDU 6120 focused on studying the Greeks and the notion of Paideia.  We had a reading from Arthur Ellis that pointed out the distinction between education and schooling and also writings by Plato and Aristotle. After reading the essay Schooling and Education, by Arthur Ellis, there is further proof of the importance of collaborating and working with all individuals involved in a student’s life in order to promote an education that will extend beyond the duration of the short school year.  Education begins the instant we are born and continues through-out our lives.  The major purpose of school is to promote citizenship (podcast 1).  We need basic skills in order to be good citizens as well as numerous other skills that can’t be measured by a test.  What is meaningful?  This question was posed by Professor Scheuerman at the beginning of the first lecture and served as a guide for this week’s learning.  To answer this question, we looked towards the system the Greeks had in place and some of their best thinkers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.  The Greeks lived their lives in very segregated fashion of a class system that only allowed those of the higher echelon to participate in this process of the “public square”.  We are fortunate to be living in a time period when every child is granted a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).  As a special education teacher, I find myself entering a field that is relatively new and very much still evolving.  Special education teachers are able to set educational goals that can be specific to math, reading, and writing.  However, there can also be goals that will lead students in the direction of becoming meaningful participants in society, or the “public square”.

How will I as an educator try and operationalize teaching students’ skills that will promote citizenship?  I will serve as a model for my students by making sure that I am fully participating in the community that I am involved in.  I will also work very hard to establish classroom rules and procedures, with my students, which will promote a positive supportive learning environment for all.  This type of learning environment will foster growth towards students’ educational goals and even more importantly growth and understanding towards the 5 pillars of responsibilities that we all need to strive for in society: Service, Honesty, Civility, Kindness, Participation, and Commitment (lecture notes week 2).  The classroom is a microcosm of our society where students area able to work on developing these skills.  I will be on the look-out for students that are portraying these qualities and praise students accordingly and in the moment.  I can also write goals in students IEP’s that will promote good citizenship with the long range goal of promoting citizenship in society.



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