Topics: Education, John Dewey, Teacher Pages: 6 (1967 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Education has been universally recognized as one of the important elements of the life of an individual. It is widely regarded as the key to human development. the paper will compares and contrasts unstructured education which highlights experience as a major factor of learning and traditional classroom education which is structured and disciplined.

Dewey’s thinking regarding education advocates unstructured progressive education where teachers are not rulers but leaders who have and share deeper knowledge and experience. Further, Dewey views teachers as guides of students in activities that are structured towards optimal learning.

Thus, the paper assumes that past experiences of students should be evaluated and considered by teachers in preparing subject matters which aim to provide the former with new favorable experiences that will, in turn, enable the students to grow personally and substantially contribute to society.

Dead Poets Society
In the 1989 movie, Dead Poets Society, the new teacher John Keating, portrayed by Robin Williams, veers away from traditional methods of teaching. He is liberal, outgoing and nonconformist. For instance, on the first day of class, he took the students out in the hallway and told them that they are powerful individuals. This scene potently shows how different Keating is from other teachers. Most of the teachers will not let the students think that they are powerful because in the traditional, structured and overly ordered classroom setting, the teacher is the ruler and students are like slaves who just obey their ruler (“Thinking in Education” htpp://ilt.columbia.com). In the next class meeting, Keating ordered his students to rip the essay where mathematical criticism describes how to rate the quality of poetry. He also made the students stand on their desks to have a different view of the http://bestresearchpaper.com

world, something that other teachers would not do. In a later scene, Keating once again took the students out of the classroom and instructed them to kick soccer balls while reciting poetry.
The movie features students who are battling parental pressures. One of Keating’s students, Todd, who wants to be a lawyer, was pressured by his parents to attend Welton Academy and become a lawyer just like his brother. Neil, another student, wants to be an actor but is scared to tell his father knowing that the latter will disapprove. One of Keating’s teaching practices is to analyze the characters of his students and to determine their needs. He encourages pupils to follow their passions and to think for themselves. He tells the students that the purpose of education is to equip students so that they can think for themselves. He tries to teach his students to be self-reliant and responsible enough to stand up for what they believe is right. Experiential Education

In Dewey’s Democracy and Education, a chapter was dedicated to tackle his thinking in education. From Dewey’s point of view, schools should develop students’ ability to think and schools can do this by integrating experiential education with conventional forms of learning.

Thinking is considered in philosophy and education as somewhat slashed off from experience. Moreover, Dewey regards experience as a prerequisite stage of thinking. For one to think effectively, he or she must be equipped with experiences which will enable him to cope with complexity (“Thinking in Education” http://ilt.columbia.com). Moreover, Dewey is known for being a proponent of experiential education. He emphasizes in his writing that students’ experience should be balanced with the knowledge that traditional teaching delivers. He also perceives a type – an older type – of education to have the tendency to depict the teacher as a ruler. He then notices another type – a more recent type – of education where teachers are seen as insignificant aspects. Dewey sees teachers as leaders who have wider and more...
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