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Philosophy of Education: Criticisms on the Role of Education (Essay Sample)

Select ONE of the following topics and discuss it in an essay of 5 pages. 1. John Dewey and Paulo Freire both criticize the notion that the role of the educator is to pass down a body of received knowledge. Compare their reasons for doing so. Does their reasoning have anything in common apart from the conclusion? 2. John Dewey sees genuine education as a way to enrich our experience. What does he mean by this? Do you agree? Suppose that someone claimed that some learning required focus, and thus a limiting of experience in certain contexts? 3. To what extent should an education program be governed by the desires and concerns of the learners involved in it? source..
Comparison between John Dewey`s and Paulo Freire`s Criticisms on the Role of Education
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According to Sutton (1999), educational objectives have not come about as a result of governmental action. However, they have been formulated through the input of private investments by influential foundations. The Memorandum Number Seven: The Orders Objectives for Education have also helped shape the curricula. As a result, the role of education has been put under the microscope by some philosophers.
Criticisms on role of education as transfer of knowledge
John Dewey`s and Paulo Freire`s analysis and criticism on the current roles of education seem to marry in more than one aspects. First, both argue that education is being used as a tool to deliver the desired results for the educator, with little or no consideration of the learner`s interests. In analyzing the concept of education for social change, Dewey wrote in ‘My Pedagogic Creed` (Santon, 1999) that the school is merely a social institution with education being a social process. He further argues that this set up is used as an effective device to ensure that the learner inherits resources of the race which he then uses it in the process of living. As such, the educational system does not prepare the individual for future life but simply shapes him up to fit into the society. It totally disregards the individual`s talents and abilities which are supposed to be honed at school.
In airing the same views, Paulo Freire approaches the education system from a banking perspective. In Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Kalantzis and Cope, 2011), Freire critically analyzes the teacher-student relationship both within and without the confines of the school. He describes it as a transfer affair where the teacher is a narrating subject and the student is a patient, listening object. Therefore, since the student is merely an object, he is supposed to mechanically internalize the contents from the teacher and fill their brains. The students are thus turned into storage units, and the teacher is the one to deposit. Nyarienda (2011) this system of education is seen as oppressive and bourgeois. Just like Dewey, Freire indicates here that the banking education terms the learners as totally uninformed and therefore has to take in whatever the teacher says. Information is seen as a preserve of a few who donate it to the rest as they please. Through this banking act, the spirit of dialogue between the learner and educator is annihilated. By inhibiting the intellectual capacity of students, the system effectively destroys creativity, the investigative eye and curiosity of learners. Instead, it turns them into information storage devices with a passive behavior (Nyarienda, 2011).
Individualism is also fostered by the educators as they try to pass their knowledge to students. The system neglects the freedom of the learne...
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