EDU 6120 “All Things Considered”

“All Things Considered”

In the lectures for this week we learn about Horace Mann and his thoughts on a universal education.  I also enjoyed the provided reading by Horace Mann.  Mann writes about class distinction and distribution of wealth in his age.  He reaches the conclusion that the best way that the class distinction can be abolished is through education.  The education will provide the means for the lower class to be able to rise up out of the lower class. “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of the conditions of Men” (Horace Mann). I think that what Mann was saying back then is still very relevant today.  Education is becoming more accessible to all.  Unfortunately, area codes and education still share a troubling correlation.

Included in this week’s readings was a portion of Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Address’.  I found this selection to be an interesting choice.  Mann on the one hand is talking about getting rid of any sort of class system and Washington is talking about making the working class be seen as more of a respectable place to be in society. “Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life” (Washington).  It is my understanding that during this time period W.E.B. Du Bois was also an influential figure of the time with a very different idea of education.  Du Bois wanted to see black people educated to have occupations that went beyond the labor class and would be considered to be upper class occupations.  I also believe that Mann, writing from Massachusetts, the North, would think that his idea of universal education would also apply to black people.

Readings

“On Achieving Social Equity” selections from Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address (1895)

“On Education and National Welfare”1848 Twelfth Annual Report of Horace Mann as

Secretary of Massachusetts State Board of Education (1848)

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EDU 6120 “Key Idea Identification”

“Key Idea Identification”

For week 5, I enjoyed the writing of Martin Luther (1483-1546) in “Letter in Behalf of Christian Schools”.  I found the following to quote to be very powerful:  “But the highest welfare, safety, and power of a city consists in able, learned, wise, upright, cultivated citizens, who can secure, preserve, and utilize every treasure and advantage”.   Martin Luther follows this with some very strong words directed towards leaders and their role in ensuring that education is a major priority.  Education is always been a major topic among the larger political elections that I have been around for.  However, it always seems to take a back seat to the economy.  As was mentioned in the lecture, everyone always will have an opinion on Education regardless of their experience working within the field.  Unfortunately, frequently these opinions will gain a voice in media outlets.

I also really enjoyed reading portions of the The Great Didactic (1633-38, sel.) by Johann Comenius.  I found his views in relation to nature to be very interesting as well as the positive environment that should be created: “4. Education should be carried out not with beating, severity and any kind of coercion, but easily, pleasantly, and, so to speak, by its own momentum”.  I particularly like the words selected for the end, own momentum.  I think that if we are able to create a climate that is pleasant and enjoyable for our students the desire for students intrinsic growth to occur is more likely.   I am also very interested in working with struggling readers.  I found the ninth postulate to be advice that is similar that I am encountering with some of the current suggestions for teaching reading.  “1. That the pupils have only such books which are fitting for their grade.  2. That these books be of such a kind that they can be called funnels of wisdom, virtue, and piety.”

Lastly, I am still developing my philosophy of education.  I found the readings by Arthur Ellis to be very interesting.  Ellis breaks down the educational philosophies into traditional and contemporary.  In reading about these different philosophies, there were aspects of each that were appealing to me.  I like to try and look on the bright side of things.  It was mentioned in this reading, that our philosophies on life might be similar to those that we will apply towards education.  I think looking on the bright side, will help me to keep an open mind, collaborate with all of my colleagues, reflect, and incorporate strategies into my instructional practice for the benefit of my students.

 

“Letter in Behalf of Christian Schools” by Martin Luther (1483-1546)

The Great Didactic (1633-38, sel.) by Johann Comenius,

Philosophical Perspectives by Arthur Ellis

EDU 6120 Learning Illustrated

“Learning Illustrated”

For the fourth week in EDU 6120, we are asked to write on the following prompt learning illustrated.  This week’s learning covered some of the major thinkers of the Roman era and included readings by the historic figures Plutarch, and Quintillion.  We also had a reading, Educational Reform, by Arthur Ellis.  After completing the readings and listening to the online podcast, the terms classroom management, building relationships, and school climate were brought to mind.

From the Plutarch reading, The Education of Children, I enjoyed reading about his thoughts on the treatment of children.  Plutarch suggest that we should encourage children in a positive manner, yet this encouragement should be based on reality of their skills.  He also mentions that it is best to lift a student up when they are down and make sure to bring them down or utilize this time to correct them if they are too high.  Interacting with students in this manner will assist us in trying to create the Plutarch ideal of a student that might be able to be a “master of his passions”.  I want to make sure my interactions with students are overwhelmingly positive in nature.  I want to do this by building up their skills and enabling them to have success in the classroom by providing instruction that is at their current level.  I would like to celebrate success with them as well but also let them know that there is more to accomplish.  I also really like the thoughts of remaining balanced to the high’s and low’s that we all face, not just in the classroom, but in life.

From the The Institutes of Oratory (sel.), by Quintilion, I also found some of his comments related well in regards to classroom management and building relationships.  Quintilion suggest that teachers should have a “parental attitude towards pupils” and the majority of our talk should be “discourse on what is good and honorable” (Book II).  This also aligns well with my desire to be focused on what students strengths are and building them up accordingly.  Finding out my students’ strengths, and interest, and utilizing these in instruction will allow me create the positive environment that students will enjoy being a part of and put forth good effort.  The relationship will also be firm yet caring with high expectations.

The Arthur Ellis reading, Educational Reform, highlights the importance of creating learning environments that have good order and control of discipline problems.  The overall school climate can be a gauge in the level of success of the students.  Establishing rules and procedures with the students and being consistent with enforcing these rules will be at the forefront of my interactions with students.  When presented with challenging disruptive behavior, I will need to be able to quickly deal with this behavior in a positive manner.  I can do this by making sure that I am commenting on the good behaviors of students, yet, I must ensure that I am also making corrections that will allow my students to know that I am doing so based on the high expectations that I have for them.  I will make sure to build strong connections with students that are struggling and encourage and support them by sharing my belief in their abilities.

References

The Education of Children” by Plutarch (46-120 AD)

The Institutes of Oratory (sel.), byQuintilion (35-95 AD)

Educational Reform, by Arthur Ellis