Saturday, March 21, 2009

Education as political ideology

Every now and then, I might rant about what I disagree with, what I find distasteful and what I consider absurd. Less frequently, as in now, I actually discover who is behind it. The political ideology that cloaks itself as theory of education and greatly influences the education system has deprived our children of an education and replaced it with a vacuum.
When teachers no longer teach but be "co-learners" we should be worried.
When education becomes construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of meaning, then we should be very worried.

The name Brian Cambourne, associate professor in education at Wollongong University is the culprit.

Finally the APPA (Australian Primary Principles Association) has come out and criticized the agenda of Brian Cambourne. It's about time.

Cambourne has this concept of alternative system of education called KBC or the Knowledge Based Community.

No doubt, I am out of my depth when trying to grasp education theory.
Does this mean that Cambourne is right?
Read it for yourselves and tell me.

KBCs are based on the creation of learning environments that: 1. Support the continuous social construction of knowledge THROUGH 2. The constant construction, de-construction, and reconstruction and sharing of meanings SO THAT 3. The community's knowledge needs are advanced and maintained. In the University of Wollongong's KBC these principles were applied through the creation of a setting that provided opportunities to engage in three modes of learning: 1. Community learning (CL) 2. School–based learning (SBL) 3. Problem-based learning PBL) This mode of learning constitutes a major shift from traditional teacher education models. It necessitates the development of a “community of learners School-based learning (SBL) Part of Wollongong's KBC concept is the strong conviction that schools are more than buildings and people. Rather, they are ecological settings in which individual cultures have evolved in response to the needs and purposes of the individuals who regularly enter them (Barker, 1967). This component of the KBC structure aimed to develop a more than rudimentary understanding of school-based culture. It also aimed to heighten awareness and familiarity of how schools “do business”, to reduce the “reality shock” that beginning teachers experience when they begin their careers and finally, to increase pre-service teachers' understandings of teachers” “real” roles in both classrooms and schools. The motivation to become efficient problem-based learners was created by: • abolishing the traditional lecture, tutorial, exam and the power relationships which typically accompany them • changing the lecturer's role from “expert-who-transmits-facts-to-novices” to that of “co-learner”, that is, one who actively facilitates and participates in the learning and knowledge-building of the community.

...teachers are expected to make learning relevant and interesting to pupils through such means as developing curricula to suit particular needs, individualise teaching, assisting personal development, using affirmative action with disadvantaged minority pupils, involving the community, and in many situations taking responsibility for the provision of basic nutritional and hygiene needs. As a result, pre-service teachers need to learn a great deal more than the traditional, often narrow curriculum that is offered by many universities.

All teacher education is a form of ideology. Each program is related to the educational ideology held by a particular teacher educator or teacher education institution, even though the relationship may not be made explicit. There is no such thing as a value-free teacher education just as there is no such thing as a value-free education for children (Spodek, 1974. pp. 8-9).


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2 comments:

FJ said...

This may be a bad idea when it comes to basic education, but it is becoming the "communication standard" for actual professional "peer" groups in a growing "Knowledge Management" field within the scientific and NASA community. Many engineering and scientific organizations form "Communities of Practice" and share 'problems', ... which become documented and stored for retrieval at a later time.

FJ said...

Your professor seems to be "skipping" the "education" part of an education and jumping right into "professional practice". I'm sure he'll produce great "slave doctor/ educators". They'll know all the latest "remedies" but won't have the slightest clue as to why or how they're likely to work.

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