The Biblical nature of humaness.
Treating students justly.
Reflections on Richard Pring, Education as a moral practice.What a refreshing perspective on education. I see a lot of polarization in opinion today and education is no different. The camp in education seem to be back to the basics and let each child find her own way. This really sunk in when he said, "There is the “impersonal” level—the narratives within science or history or literature wherein ideas are preserved, developed, criticised within a public tradition. But there is the “personal” level at which young people try to make sense of the world and the relationships around them and at which they find, or do not find, valuable forms of life to which they can give allegiance. This personal narrative is where young people seek to understand who and what they are, partly, of course, in relation to other people and to the wider society." (page 112) There will be new stuff to learn. If a learners never applies that to her own unique perspective, then really nothing was learned. This speaks really strongly in favor of Christian education where we seek to gain knowledge for the sake of applying it in process of, "To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8) If that knowledge does not translate into better following Gods word, then it will fail you. "I wish to argue that what makes sense of the curriculum, in educational terms, is that it is the forum or the vehicle through which young people are enabled to explore seriously (in the light of evidence and argument) what it is to be human. Such an exploration has no end. That is why teaching should be regarded as a moral practice." (page 112)
Hogan is an Irish academic writing in the context of the British Isles. What evidence do you see in your own context for the ascendancy of performativity?
Hogan suggests that “the dispositions to action that characterise teaching as a way of life” – the “practical virtues” of teaching – include:
an alert appreciation that ‘real knowledge is the property of God’ and a corresponding consciousness of the inherent limitations of even the best of human enquiries; an acknowledgement of both the modesty and the ever-emergent prospects that befit learning as an unfinished and unfinishable undertaking; a realisation that the most promising and most defensible purposes of teaching are to be found in connection with this larger undertaking; the self-critical insight that teaching is itself a form of learning-anew with others, where the teacher acts as listener, questioner, instructor, guide and as a responsible and caring leader; the awareness that differences in capability, in aptitude and in sense of identity complicate but also enrich what is to be understood as equity and appropriateness in educational experience; an appreciation of the point that in a genuine community of learners a distinctive ethos arises in an unforced way; a critical awareness that knowledge as assertive mastery, or as individualist power, or as coercive prowess, works—behind the scenes as it were—to undermine such an ethos. (p. 221)
Would you take issue with Hogan’s admittedly partial list of the “practical virtues” of teaching? Are there other virtues you believe should have greater prominence than those he lists?