In this week’s readings there is no lack of deep meaning pertaining to education. From the first selection I picked two quotes which I found in Rouseau’s Emile, or a Treatise on Education (1773). First was “(“Man’s worth does not lie in his knowing… but in his willing.”) The former (which can be tested), is nothing without the latter (which cannot).” This strikes me as a testament toward “many-sidedness,” which Herbart refers to in “The Ethical Basis and Aim of Instruction.” Herbart goes on to explain the selfish nature of the one-sided person, which I relate to the “meism” movement that Dr. Sheuerman speaks of with vehement denunciation in our classroom. It is the opposite of a “team player,” which many people in class cited as a major trait of master educators this week.
Another subject that repeatedly surfaced in the different readings was the meaning of education. I reflect on myself and my future students when I read Rosseau’s comment, “We are born weak, we have need of help.” He goes on to tell us without insult how stupid we all start out, and how we need education in all forms. On the other hand Herbart tells us that, “The term virtue expresses the whole purpose of education” and Ellis adds, “The goal of education, then, should be human freedom,” so I deduct from this that education leads us from ignorance to virtuous freedom. I believe that’s a fine goal for us and our students.