Philosophy of Education


The Word Weavers/The World Makers Postman, N. (1995). The End of Education: Redefining the Value of Schools.             NY: Knopf Publishing Group.  Yes, poets use metaphors to help us see and feel. But so do biologists, physicists; historians, linguists, and everyone else who is trying to say something about the world. A metaphor is not an ornament. It is an organ of perception…Do I exaggerate in saying that a student cannot understand what a subject is about without some understanding of the metaphors that are its foundation? I don’t think so. In fact, it has always astonished me that those who write about the subject of education do not pay sufficient attention to the role of metaphor in giving form to the subject  In failing to do so, they deprive those studying the subject of the opportunity to confront those basic assumptions~   Is the human mind, for example, like a dark cavern (needing illumination)? A muscle (needing exercise)? A vessel (needing filling)? A lump of clay (needing shaping)? A garden (needing cultivation)? Or, as so many say today, is it like a computer that processes data?  And what of students? Are they patients to be cared for? Troops to be disciplined? Sons and daughters to be nurtured? Personnel to be trained? Resources to be developed? (p. 134)  Next, compose a brief statement of at least 300 words reflecting your beliefs about teaching and learning. Use the above excerpt from Postman‘s work to inspire your thinking as you employ the following questions to frame your thoughts: What is the role of a teacher? What is the focus of the curriculum- what information is important for children to learn? How do we know what we know- what methods of instruction should be used? What should be valued and how should these values be promoted? What is the purpose of school and what are our goals for our students?

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