Analyzing Mr. Keating’s Teaching Concept in Dead Poets Society from Progressivism

Topics: Education, History of education, Teacher Pages: 13 (4771 words) Published: September 22, 2013
Ⅰ Introduction
1.1 Brief Introduction of Dead Poets Society
In 1959, Welton Academy is respected by the people for its dignified style at that time. The education mode there is fixed, not only monotonous but ideology shackled. However it all changed in the hands of a new teacher. John Keating’s educational method against tradition brought vitality to this school: in his classroom, he encouraged the students to stand upon the desk, to observe the world around with a different perspective; he introduced thoughtful poetry to students; the free divergent thinking philosophy he advocated caused great repercussions among students. Gradually, some people accepted him, began to bravely face every day and grasp their own life. Charlie is eager to find the real self, renamed Nuwanda. He takes advantage of being one of the proofers, seeks chance of expressing self-independent thought. Knox behaves uncharacteristically, be brave to pursue his love, finally get a gleam of hope. With the help of Mr. Keating and Neil, the autistic Todd breaks out infinite potential, walks out of shadow and becomes confident and gregarious. Under the edification of the Poetry Society, Neil listens to inner voice and found his real ideal. In spite of his father’s opposition, he successfully starred in the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 1.2 Overseas and Domestic Research Status

According to the document literature, there are not many domestic scholars study on education through Dead Poets Society. The articles one-sidedly analyze the teaching methods, teaching concept or teacher-student relationship of this film, which still help the analysis of several aspects in this thesis. For example The Teaching Paradigm Thinking Triggered by ‘Dead Poets Society’ written by Long Qixiang, it has explained the changes in teaching purpose in this film; and Discussion on Mr. Keating’ Teaching Concept in ‘Dead Poets Society’ written by Liu Weixing, it has analyzed teaching concept of Mr.Keating. Western scholars have fully analyzed Progressivism. They have put forward their own views from the meaning, thought and influence of Chinese and western education reform. The writer collates and selects the useful materials, by combining Progressive theory with this film will let readers understand how to reasonably teach in theory, and properly apply theory into practice better. Ⅱ Background Knowledge of Progressivism

Progressive Education is an educational philosophical thought populated in the United States in first half of 20th century. It has a considerable impact on education at American schools. 2.1 Definition

At the end of 19th century and the early 20th century, with the emergency of ‘Progressive Education’ movement in United States, the solid status of Western Absolutism which was completed by Herbart was shaken. Progressive education is an extensive educational trend based on progressive ideas. Its core idea is to promote the transformation of society and the update of human, so as to promote successive progress of human society through education and educational reform. This educational trend originated from 17, 18 century, its influence has continued to present day.

2.2 Theoretical Basis
Progressive Education is the education experiment under the guidance of Dewey’s Pragmatism educational thinking. People strongly criticized the old traditional theories and methods led by Herbart, then its opposite ‘Children Centered’ theory put forward. Brief Introduction of Content about Dewey’s Pragmatism Educational Thought: (1) Education namely is Life, Growth and Experience Transformation Education is the process children are now living but not the preparation of future life. The best education is ‘learn from life’, ‘learn from experience’. Due to personal contact with people in social life, individual influences each other, and then we can gradually expand and improve experience, acquire knowledge and develop moral character. (2) School namely...
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