Thursday, February 16, 2006

Education, III

The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.
- Jean Piaget


Blogger Ensio Kataja said...

It depends. I get Piaget's point, but I doubt there is not anything really "new" under the sun; simply a repetetion of either lower or higher principles.

Actually I think that if put into practice in the present context, higher/traditional principles might seem "new", or at least "fresh" after years of very low standards in the field of education.

In general, today's education clings to modern political correctness and materialistic and positivistic models. It seems that things will still get much worse before the pendulum swings the other way.

However, I am confident that at least you are one of those, who can make a difference by adhering to higher intellectual and cultural standards, quality over quantity, etc. That gives hope. :-)

1:34 pm  
Blogger Tapio Kotkavuori said...

Dear Ensio,

thanks for your thoughts!

One reason why I put those Piage's words to the blog was that I found them very thought-provoking. And you well digged into the light much of the reason why I found that quote from Piage to be fascinating :-)

Yes, there is also in educational science (and in science and in all sorts of fields of things, of course...) swings in the discipline's transformation (sometimes it might even be "development"...). Ideas are trashed, then found again, interpreted anew, etc. (I think of Hegel here).

New for new's itself sake is no good in my point of view. It smells like this utopistic idea of ever growing development and consuming that ideologically goes hand in hand with it.

I personally take Piage's point from an individual student's point of view. It would be awful if a person would not get anything else from education than just to learn all "as they are" in a spoon-fed way. At best, she learns to "find herself" through education, to make own interpretations of things, to learn a meaningful and positively contributing place for herself in a society, and to develop a link to what you called "higher/traditional principles". That's a sort of "new things" in the world that I think are good.

The quote from Piage goes, of course, well in its proper place if considered against a larger context of his ideas on education.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts! I sort of expected you to drop a note here on this one... :-)

2:08 pm  

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