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Saturday, 28 May 2011

How Does Education Happen?

This is a continuation of the previous installment.  There we discussed the principles of education.  Now we will examine how education happens.  First of all, education happens naturally.  All creatures learn in order to survive.  But if we want to just stick to human beings and we want to consider education beyond merely eating and moving, we must deal with more advanced education.  Education happens any time there is something new introduced to a person's world.  Immediately the person, or student, for we are all students, tries to understand and categorize the new phenomenon.  In order to do that, he or she examines it.  We could say, they "learn" it. 

If you transfer this to a classroom, students are constantly introduced to new things - ideas, histories, methods of communication, and representations.  If the students are permitted to explore the new concept, to understand it in a way which is meaningful to themselves, then they will have learned it.  That is the basis of education.  This requires a flexible system since the understanding of the teacher may be quite different from the understanding of the student.  They have different frameworks.  Teachers should guide and be there to correct misinterpretations - when something is assumed that is not true or might be distorted.  They are a repository of knowledge to answer questions about the new concept.  This is how education happens.  

Is this how schools function?  I will leave that up to the reader to judge. 

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