Reading and reflection

Reading and reflection from “ Classic and Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Education” by Steven M. Cahn (1997) “ We speak of justice as residing in an individual mind, and as residing also in an entire city, do we not?”p.40
I was inspired not only through the questioning that Socrates is always driving his opinion, but that he touches the progress of his definition by separating with an invisible line a strong wall dividing his listeners mind and building at the same time two different meanings with two different definitions in correlation with the prime goal of …speaking for Justice. He places the listener to a starting point which is cleared and concrete from the very beginning of his approach, and then he builds on either one and to the both with an brilliantly way of a concrete foundation.
“ Well then, I proceeded, the formation of a city is due, as I imagine, to this fact, that we are not individually independent, but we have many wants. Or would you assign any other cause for the founding of cities?” p. 40
Socrates uses the word “as I imagine” which after this he uses the word “fact.” He wants to activate his listener’s imagination and He is building a conscious awareness that he is open to imagination. He is using the word “I imagine” although his opinion it doesn’t stand on imaginary facts. He is using the first person and says “ I imagine” that reflects as a call to his listener to respond in the same way by listening better and deeper. Also he closes his step by step “building stones dialogue” with a closed question in which within is enclosed the topic of their long inductive way in the form of a reminder of what their exploratory goal is. Personally if I use the word “ Imagine” I have seen my students looking at me with a different attention. Also when I use the verb in the first person is a way to include my self in a common way that we both drive our selves to show them the meaning of what I want them to learn. Phrasing my words with an “I” creates an invitation to them to come closer with open ears and greater attention.
“ Again, it is also clear, I imagine, that if a person lets the right moment for any work go by, it never returns” p.41
At this point Socrates again, creates a different feedback to his listener’s understanding in regards with values and commitment. In this way he is building the importance of an individual who needs carry the self-control when timing and talent are met. An important step to make a decision to stay and not to leave this behind or with a promise that will return later.
“Then must we not cut ourselves a slice of our neighbor’s territory, if we are to have land enough, both for pasture and tillage, while they will do the same to ours, if they, like us permit themselves to overstep the limit of necessaries, and plunge into the unbounded acquisition of wealth?” p.44-45
This excerpt carries all meanings and reasons for justice and injustice. Is a meeting point of arguments and excuses, cause and pretext given in justification? It is hidden a taste of war with reasons that is not real reason. Socrates gives the same rights to both sides, and he is using the word “neighbor” and “territory” pure controversy. Also he says “while they will do the same to ours, if…” here is justice and injustice, one is rights were at the same time he can be not right. And ending his thought using such of powerful words “….and plunge into the unbounded acquisition of wealth?”, which stresses all those human thoughts of insatiable and voracious and greedy feelings just to get themselves in a war.
Reading journal: “ Classic and Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Education” by Steven M. Cahn (1997) Jean Jacques Rousseau. Chapter 5, Emile Book I
“Plants are fashioned by cultivation, men by education. We are born feeble and need strength, possessing nothing, we need assistance; beginning without intelligence, we need judgment. All that we lack at birth and when grown up is given us by education” p. 163
Education leads to independence, education builds to awareness, education promotes human development.
…. “the more children can do for themselves the less help they need form other people. Added strength brings with it the sense needed for its direction” p. 166
If parents and caregivers pay attention in the most sensitive years of their child development with a concrete foundation, then children have accomplish an oriented independence for themselves and their goals and not a constant dependency to their parents or caregivers.
“…there are two kinds of dependence, dependence on things, which is natural, and dependence on men, which is social” Book II, p.167
Both interactions are needed to be acting and interacting within an individual. It reminds me of the Aristotelian balance of values, or balance of duality which exists within us in both ways. Within us, for our social surrounding and us and within us in relationship with our character and education we received and promote as intellectuals.

Reading journal: “ Classic and Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Education” by Steven M. Cahn (1997)
“Master he says, congratulate your boy’. He hopes soon to have the honour to be a father. There will be new cares for us and for you. I don’t mean to let you bring up the son as you have brought up the Father….But remain the teacher of the young teachers. Advise and direct us, and we will be ready to learn. I will have need of you as long as I live.” Jean Jacques Rousseau. Chapter 4, Emile Book V, p. 196
The teacher becomes the mentor, and the mentor becomes the provider for a long life feedback. Feedback by the “Giver” who has driven and created an individual’s mental and physical growth, through the steps of autonomy and awareness in independence and responsibilities, and he is always needed.
“…the greatest and the most difficult problem to which man can devote himself is the problem of education” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5 p. 197
Because education cultivates a man’s mind therefore his life, which this will characterize a man’s judgment and decision making not only for his future but the future in which human development will be following; education is critical and challenging due to its importance.
“ The love for Freedom is naturally so strong in man, that when once has growth accustomed to freedom, he will sacrifice everything for its sake” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p.199
Freedom is a form of learning respect for your self and respect of others. The meeting point of individual’s freedom is the beginning point of discipline and tolerance. Learning meaningful understanding and practicing from an early stage of life the value of freedom will influence a positive in all layers of thoughts and behaviors an adult’s actions and expressions in its later years.
“there are many germs lying undeveloped in man. It is for us to make these germs, by developing his natural gifts in their due proportion, and to see that he fulfills his destiny” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p.200
Man and animal do differ, and education will become the form of arts in which a man’s mind will develop the natural gifts towards his destiny as the superior living organism in this world, which his destiny is to be the leader and the superior with respect to himself and to nature.
“These first parents fully developed, and see how they educate their children. These first parents set their children an example, which the children imitate and in this way develop some of their own natural gifts.” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p.200
Parents and education is a continuation with respect to their child’s natural gifts and in which not all will be imitated but via their imitation of examples given by their parents they will have develop a personal judgment for their own destiny. There is a “freedom” in the way in which a child will learn based on the primary concept that children will imitate their parents but parents do have the awareness through their education for a significant respect to their child personal qualities to be allowed to be developed and free in the same environment in which they are exposed and therefore, educated.
“Education is the art which can only become perfect through the practice of many generations….thus advance the whole human race towards destiny.” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p. 200
I strongly believe that this is true, although I would prefer to see the arts of education to be in a parallel continuation and not integrated with religion and culture. If education were clearly independent by both powers of culture and religion human race and its destiny would have develop greater and would suffer less.
“Man must develop his tendency towards good” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p. 201
Is it because of his tendency towards good that religion and culture has great influence on his destiny?
“ … it is of greater importance that they shall learn to think. By learning to think, man comes to act according to fixed principles and not a random” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p.202
Impulsive and spontaneity two different ways of expression, fixed principles can be expressed and related with spontaneity and accurate judgment but impulsivity it is important to be learnt how to be transformed this impulse into a greater thought before action and even earlier, before it has been expressed. Here is where education will artistically create a profound understanding how to regulate the impulse of thinking in a greater aspect.
“With regard to the “free” cultivation of the mental faculties, we must remember that this cultivation is going on constantly. It really deals with the superior faculties. The inferior faculties must be cultivated along with them, but only with the view to the superior…” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p. 207
The learning process of freedom is a parallel in which parents and education will target their view into a greater outcome, which develops within a developing mechanism and must go on repeatedly from within towards the whole. A learning that builds the mind but towards the complete meaning in which is having a mind that builds memory, therefore development.
“ The cultivation of particular mental faculties. – This includes the cultivation of the faculty of cognition, of the senses, the imagination, memory, power of attention, and intelligence – in a word, the inferior powers of the understanding” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p.209
Building the powers of understanding which will be transformed in thoughts which those will be a man’s actions, is part of who we are and an answer to all those questions of which reasons lead an individual to do so. At this point is where education reflects its importance and how memory and understanding (mind and memory) must develop together at an early stage and be handled carefully.
“But distraction is the enemy of all education. Memory depends upon our attention.” Immanuel Kant, Chapter 5, p.210
The environment a child will be exposed must be safe from all distractions, either emotional or physical, either hearing or visual. Distraction can harm more than what it is expected or predicted, and predicting possible distractions it is highly important in a child’s learning and developing years. For example, physical or emotional abuse can be an irreversible distraction therefore a great enemy provoking all those “undeveloped germs.”
“The natural life of an infant should be extinguished as soon as it is born, or the means should be provided to save that life from being a curse to its possessor; and therefore every State is bound to enact a code of laws legalizing and enforcing Infanticide, or a code of laws establishing Free Schools!…” Horace Mann, “The Education of Free Man”, Reading 4.1
A child’s life is as important as is his right to be educated. Both , his life and education must be protected by law and by country. As stated by Socrates “ An unexamined life is not worth living” according to this “Life without education is not worth having,” and education by all means must be unbiased and serve clear messages and meaning. Oriented to build a man with understanding how deal with strong back up based on his education. The higher the education he has, the better he will serve his family and his country.
“Under the Providence of God, our means of educationare the grand machinery by which the “raw material” ofhuman nature can be worked up into inventors and discoverers, into skilled artisans and scientific farmers, into scholars and jurists, into the founders of benevolent institutions,and the great expounders of ethical and theological science.” Horace Mann, “The Education of Free Man”, Reading 4.1
Yes, there is the providence of God, but not the spiritual leaders which in some cultures have turned God’s wish into the church and culture controlling means into a trap for the man’s mind instead of freeing the mind to explore and become the skilled farmers and scholars and jurists.
“If government would recognize and protect the rights of religious freedom, it must abstain from subjugating the capacities of its children to any legal standard of religious faith, with as great fidelity as it abstains from controlling the opinions of men. Horace It must meet the unquestionable fact, that the old spirit of religious domination is adopting new measures to accomplish its work, —measures, which, if successful, will be as fatal to the liberties of mankind, as those which were practiced in by-gone days ofviolence and terror.” Horace Mann, “The Education of Free Man”, Reading 4.1
The lines as powers, between freedom of religion and the rights to be educated, most of the times interfere with each other. For this reason the government by law must state clearly what is the role of religion and how education can be independent when raising and supplying a man’s mind during his school years. Again the measure becomes the golden gate into independence of knowledge and independence of religion. Spirituality and Knowledge can be very close to each other and as neighbored powers they will interfere, not to be guided by others but to be shared as thoughts and beliefs with an abstract concept that doesn’t trap the mind.
“These new measures are aimed at children instead of men. They propose to supersede the necessity of subduing free thought, in the mind of the adult, byforestalling the development of any capacity of freethought, in the mind of the child. They expect to find iteasier to subdue the free agency of children, by bindingthem in fetters of bigotry, than to subdue the free agency ofmen, by binding them in fetters of iron.” Horace Mann, “The Education of Free Man”, Reading 4.1
Those who represent the law and the state must be the iron heart and mind devoted in a profound level to serve for the benefit of the rights a human being has in education. They must have the power within them to fight with the powers sourcing from personal beliefs or political views. It is not the child who knows its rights towards its life and education; it is the “Fathers” of all children who know the power of being educated and understanding the power of knowledge. A child is a child that its knowledge growth will be given by the fathers who lead and create the means for better education, independent from religion but allowing religion to influence may be the child’s character or protect that inner need humans have for the greatest to believe.
“ Let us now ask how in our system of education we are to guard against this mental dryrot. We enunciate two educational commandments, “ Do not teach too many subjects,” and again, “What you teach, teach thoroughly…Let the main ideas which are introduced into a child’s education be few and important….” Alfred North Whitehead, Chapter 7, p.262
How do I decide, but still expose them to new things? This reminds me of Aristotle and the GOLDEN MEASSURE, how to filter that most important as those seeds that will develop on their own time and direction is the importance of how a teacher can expose a child without burning the child.
“… keeping knowledge alive, of preventing it of becoming inert, which is the central problem of all education.” Alfred North Whitehead, Chapter 7, p.264
When knowledge was prevented as a reason of control of the masses we know it was labeled as the years of darkness, “Dark Ages”, what will be the adjective to describe today’s years that technology has conquered every cell of today’s society and has enter every single’s family house and bedroom either parents’ or their child’s?
Would it be known as the contemporary ages of Burning Knowledge?
The Condemned “ Burning Knowledge Ages!”
“… education is the acquisition of the art of the utilization of knowledge” Alfred North Whitehead, Chapter 7, p.264
We need today,more than ever, to keep in mind that education and school must be tuned to the extent of which reasons do we serve and what is the goal and the purpose of educating people? Do we teach them to show them our knowledge in all subjects without being the expertise or we expose them to the most important through simplicity therefore building skills for critical thinking with memory and meaning? Are we mind burners or mind builders? Do what extent we remember the importance of educating people relates with the future of a healthy society and a human race that keeps developing to the better?
“ The best procedure will depend on several factors, none of which can be neglected , namely, the genius of the teacher, the intellectual type of pupils, their prospects in life, the opportunities offered by the immediate surrounding of the school , and the allied factors of this sort” Alfred North Whitehead, Chapter 7, p.264
Not neglected but respectfully directed are the ways of processing of what is needed for a good education.
“ The mind is never passive; it is all perpetual activity, delicate, receptive, responsive to stimulus.” Alfred North Whitehead, Chapter 7, p.265
The mind is an active, extremely alive processing center, which constantly responds in any information given on purpose or not. A transforming and an interpreting center to all stimuli that happens either during the body is awake or on sleep.

“ It is the unfortunate dilemma that initiative and training are both necessary, and that training is apt to kill initiative” Alfred North Whitehead, Chapter 7, p.271
Is it the training guided by teachers more important or a teacher who will train with a deeper understanding and respect on those signs of initiative responses by their students?
“An education which does not begin by evoking initiative and end by encouraging it must be wrong. For its whole aim is the production of active wisdom” Alfred North Whitehead, Chapter 7, p.272
Is it the teachers who represent education or is it the system that trains teachers to represent a certain way of teaching, which lacks of supporting the initiative responses but dictating what is accepted to be encouraged? What defines wisdom in today’s teacher philosophy of education and what is not included into their philosophy? How wrong can a teacher be, therefore education today?

Final Paper: “ Write a paper suggesting the ideal educational philosophy and relevant, practical interpretations of this philosophy for education. Include ideas from at least three specific educational philosophies that have helped formulate your thoughts. Incorporate an analysis of education today, including how technology has made an impact on education, and how your philosophy might be particularly appropriate to our educational needs, at present. Does your philosophy further the concept of lifelong learning? How and Why?”

A philosophical point of view usually stands very close with what an individual’s character qualities are. On the other hand our character qualities can be based on our cultural background and experiences relevant to our cultural exposure. Our personality and the pre-wired trades we carry will get together to a point that they constantly develop those forces which will form who are we as adults, and as professionals which in later life we will function in a society as actors of our actions and receivers in an interactive world.
Those forces are struggling through the most sensitive years of childhood and puberty. Dynamic forces are the determined factor, which shape and cultivate our profile and later on, as individuals characterizes and directs our critical thinking. We become our example in the form of a product as an existence with an active role of the development of a future unshakably connected with what our input was in the most critical period of our life, childhood.
We use to say: “ The Cake is Baked” when we want to come to an instant conclusion that things hardly can change or accept any changes when the project has met its final destination, therefore it is important to know and be careful of our actions before things touch their final destination.
Our thoughts do determine who we are, and do related with our words and decisions. At the point that thoughts do have their creative moment, the moment of absorption and assimilation, that is the moment of great importance of personal awareness to questioning ourselves why do we think this way? Questioning if this specific thought in the form of a voice with words and pictures, meaning spoken words in a meaningful sentence, will this open a healthy and beneficial mechanism to a young learners mind? What is the impact of this input and how this will affect the learner’s critical thinking and in which direction will this lead him as an individual? Language and thought go together, if we take off thought then culture takes place! If language is the reflection of our culture then culture us what builds a child’s thought. At this point my philosophy in education stands in between the powers of knowledge and culture. Which education must evoke the mind in learning and meaning with an independent view of all cultures including your own but with the same respect to all. Education must stand in a higher position other than where religion and culture are. Education must be independent building a mind that is able to distinguish the value of science that is separate of faith and customs.

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