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Foundations of Education

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  1. Foundations of Education Knowledge and the History of Ideas in the West

  2. Main Traditions of Knowledge

  3. Acquisition of Knowledge in History Acquiring knowledge vas very difficult because: • Only few people had the leisure to do so • There were very few resources • Communication was poor • One could easily be persecuted for one’s knowledge, ideas, or convictions

  4. “History is more or less bunk” (Henry Ford, 1916) “What experience and history teach us is this: that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it” (Hegel, 1770-1831)

  5. Outline • Hebrew Education • Greek Education • The Middle Ages • The Renaissance/Reformation • The Enlightenment • From the 19th Century to the Modern Period

  6. Hebrew Education • Religious instruction • Literacy and numeracy • Memorization • Survival Talmud: “One must have as much respect for the teacher as for God”

  7. Greek Education • Sparta education = military training • Athens intellectual curiosity, art

  8. Greek Education Protagoras (481-411 BC) • Sophist = teacher of excellence (consultant) • Rhetoric = correct use of language • Agnosticism and relativism “Man is the measure of all things”

  9. Greek Education The Socratic Method: • Induction • Deduction • Aporia • Dialectic Socrates (469-399 BC)

  10. Greek Education • Visible world as illusion • World of ideas as reality • Truth is absolute • Rulers must have knowledge “philosopher-kings” Plato (428-348 BC)

  11. Greek Education • Logic as main tool in the search for knowledge • Natural science • Rhetoric as the art of persuasion • Writing becomes as important as speech Aristotle (384-322 BC)

  12. Greek Education Spread of Greek culture Spread of Hellenistic culture (circa 400 BC) (circa 250 BC)

  13. Greek Education • Museum and library • Emphasis on the written word • Beginnings of modern scholarship • Foundations of modern grammar Alexandria

  14. From the Hellenistic World to the Roman World

  15. The Dark Ages (500-1000) Irish monasticism Charlemagne (742-814) Alfred the Great (849-899)

  16. The Middle Ages (1000-1500) • Education in the hands of the Church • Transmission of written knowledge • By 1400 there were about 400 grammar schools in England and Wales for a population of 2.5 million (i.e. 1 school per 6,000) • Scholasticism = education of Christian thinkers A mediaeval scriptorium

  17. The Middle Ages (1000-1500) • Birth of the University • Disputation instead of passive learning

  18. The Middle Ages (1000-1500) • Latin as language of education • The seven liberal arts: triviumquadrivium grammararithmetic rhetoricgeometry logicastronomy music • Wandering scholars and goliards

  19. The Middle Ages (1000-1500) By 1500 there were 79 universities in Europe

  20. The Middle Ages (1000-1500) Powerful influence of the Muslim world and its universities • Mathematics: Arabic numerals, the cipher (0), algebra, algorithms, etc • Geography: measurement of the Earth, which the Arabs decided was round • Chemistry: alcohol, sulphuric acid, etc • Medicine: dissections, sophisticated surgery, etc Illustration: Anatomy of the Eye (1200 AD), by al-Mutadibih

  21. The Republic of Letters (RespublicaLiteraria) from 1500 to 1800 • An informal, international community of scholars • Communication through letters, pamphlets, exchange of books and documents • Publication of the first learned journals: essays and book reviews • Creation of academies (outside of universities), which legitimized the Republic of Letters; e.g.: • AcadémieFrançaise, Paris, 1635 • Royal Society for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, London, 1660 • American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1743

  22. The Renaissance (16th century) • Powerful monarchs Henry VIII Francis I Charles V (England) (France) (Habsburg Empire) • Rise of nationalism • Colonialism

  23. The Renaissance (16th century) Humanism: “Nihilhumani a me alienumputo” Pico dellaMirandola Erasmus Juan Luis Vives (1463-1494) (1466-1536) (1493-1540)

  24. The Reformation (16th century) • Martin Luther (1483-1546) and mass literacy • Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560) a Protestant humanist

  25. The 17th Century John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) -the first professional educator- • Pansophia (=universal knowledge): broad factual knowledge + flexibility of mind needed to visualize processes and connections • Author of several pioneering textbooks, including OrbisSensualiumPictus, the first illustrated book for children • Frontiers of knowledge are felt to be beyond a lifetime’s work

  26. The Enlightenment Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) • Emile, or: On Education: education must enable “natural man” to survive in a corrupt society • His political philosophy influenced the American Revolution (1775-1783) and the French Revolution (1789-1799) • Condorcet (1743-1794) • Equality of opportunity • Development of individual potential • Permanent progress based on education • Respect of intellectual freedom

  27. The Enlightenment Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) • Greatly inspired by Rousseau • Considerable practical experience • Perception must be sharpened by education • Motivation must be awakened • Importance of physical education

  28. The Enlightenment Among the first feminists… Mary Wollstonecraft Olympe de Gouges (1759-1797) (1748-1793) Militated for educational Fought for women’s and social equality for rights; ended up at women the guillotine

  29. The 19th Century Albertine Necker de Saussure (1766-1841) • Children have an innate propensity for mischief • They should be guided through religious instruction • Female education should not be subordinated to male education • Girls too need a liberal education to become responsible citizens

  30. The 19th Century • Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) Linguist and architect of the Prussian education system, he emphasized learning as constant interaction between the individual and nature • Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) Naturalist and explorer, he advocated the conjoining of all the physical sciences (holism) and worked with the most up-to-date scientific instruments

  31. The 19th Century Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841) Developed the “philosophy of mind” (now called psychology) and distinguished 5 steps in teaching: • Preparation: relates new material to child’s experience • Presentation: always concrete • Association: of new knowledge with existing one • Generalization: stretching the mind beyond concrete level • Application: the new knowledge becomes functional

  32. The 20th Century John Dewey (1859-1952), educational reformer • Education is a social and interactive process: the school is a social institution which can promote social reform • Students must be allowed to experience and interact with the curriculum: experiential learning • Students must be able to relate new information to previous experience “The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas […] but as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child”

  33. The 20th Century Maria Montessori (1870-1952), founder of the Montessori Method • The child possesses an “absorbent mind” and an enormous capacity for repetition in order to acquire competence • The child should be viewed as a competent being and encouraged to make decisions • Education must create a scale of sensitive periods of development to provide class work that is appropriate and stimulating • Ongoing curricula must be based on ongoing observations of children Education should not only impart knowledge, but also maximize human potentialities

  34. The 20th Century Paulo Freire (1921-1997), advocate of critical pedagogy • Experienced poverty and hunger in Brazil, and witnessed huge rates of illiteracy –- hence turned to Marxism • Education should allow the oppressed to regain their humanity: it is a political act • The dichotomy teacher/student should become a cooperation between “teacher who learns” and “learner who teaches” “Men and women are able to take responsibility for themselves as beings capable of knowing –- of knowing that they know and knowing that they don’t”

  35. Conclusion 1 • Today’s cheap, universal access to knowledge through electronic media does not guarantee the progress of knowledge • A look at history reminds us that we should never take what we know for granted: • Fads come and go • Intolerance and persecution have never quite vanished • There is governmental and corporate censorship • Knowledge can disappear

  36. Conclusion 2 Information is different from knowledge • Information represents data organized to describe a particular situation (we can recall information) • Knowledge represents data and concepts accumulated over time (we cannot recall knowledge)