Do Diane Ravitch and I agree?

On her Bridging Differences blogsite (the one shared with Deborah Meier), Diane Ravitch wrote:

I am reminded that at the end of Experience and Education, John Dewey said that we need to think less about “progressive education” and “traditional education,” and think instead about good education. Who today even talks about “good” education? Instead, we are entrapped in empty discourse about meaningless data, and more and more children go through their schooling without any real engagement in the arts, science, history, projects, activities, or anything else that does not raise their scores in reading and math. (November 2, 2010)

Are Diane and I devoted to the same thing? Certainly she does not think it possible to talk about “good” education without first defining what it means to be educated. But I should not put words in her mouth/keyboard. My education colleagues believe it is unnecessary to define “educated;” she may believe that, too. Besides, she is a historian, not a philosopher.

I will let her think about this, while I ask readers:

Can we talk about “good education,” without first defining what it means to be educated? What would that conversation sound like? Where would it start? Where would it end?

When educators agree that defining “educated” is a prerequisite to a conversation about “good education,” the need for the conversation goes away. The ideal of the educated person inspires good teaching, good learning, “good education.” No conversation needed, just a meaningful, useful definition of what it means to be educated.

Which of the six virtues do you not want your child to develop:

Understanding? Imagination?
Strong Character? Courage?
Humility? Generosity?

Which virtues would you teach, instead?

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Jenna Ramsey on 12.01.10 at 4:47 pm

Dr. Hurley –
Thanks for getting me thinking!!!!

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