EDU 6120 – Week 6 “Search for Meaning”

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.

This entry was posted in L1: Learner centered, L3: Family/neighborhood centered, L4: Contextual community centered, P2: Enhanced by reflective, collaborative, professional growth-centered practice, S1 - Content driven, S3: Integrated across content areas, T2: Intentionally planned and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to EDU 6120 – Week 6 “Search for Meaning”

  1. lrottweiler says:

    I very much enjoyed your thoughts on the ultimate goal of education. I’ve been wrestling with this question for years and seem to continually oscillate between several different perspectives. So, I really loved the way you merged the thoughts of several educational thinkers when you wrote:

    “…education leads us from ignorance to virtuous freedom”

    I think that statement does a great job of combining the social goals of education with goals that focus more on personal growth and self-fulfillment.

    Also, “virtuous freedom” is a wonderfully interesting phrase to mull over. I wonder how it compares to freedom that lacks virtue? Are some types of freedom only possible or attainable through knowing or practicing virtue?


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