Reading Philosophy of Education

Today, perhaps for the first time this year, I have been reading from cover to cover Nel Nodding’s Philosophy of Education (2007, Westview Press: Boulder, Colorado). I have sat with it all day, taking moments here and there to answer emails, write them, eat lunch, go for walks to buy food. I have reached page 135 – a huge achievement for one who is so plot driven that my average speed for reading fiction novels is about 100 pages per hour. Taking time to read about philosophical tenets that relate to education is like taking a refreshing dip in a mountain lake. It’s beautiful, the lake is blue, and the water chilly, bracing but invigorating. I’m enjoying another view of epistemology and ontology, given my current social constructivist phase and I’m learning for the first time the place of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Dewey and others in the history of educational thought and practice. Now I know why a particular school works the way it does, and why “discovery learning” has fallen out of favour.

This is what it’s like to “read” at university. I’m enjoying it, and it’s a good way to once again reflect on my own beliefs before I really start to analyse and interpret my study findings. I might confess, however, that I am very happy not doing my transcriptions in favour of reading this work, so I could actually be procrastinating slightly. Nevertheless, a long overdue reading of this work. I wish they had taught us this during my Grad Dip. A history of educational thought and philosophy would have been great and useful. Now I’m grumpy at Melbourne Uni for not including it and instead including some poxy sessions on creating websites that simply doesn’t matter any more.

I had a horrid day yesterday – studied and worked pretty well, but suffering from the effects of miserable hubby, too many children, losing my son to a southern state, and the after effects of too much game play and not enough real life time. So it’s nice to be on track again with my work and to have time to just read. I’ve cleaned up much of my interferences lately and am on the track to more study now: Monday, Tuesday and Friday are clear during the day although I teach in the evenings … Wednesday is reserved for work at Griffith, but may include boring process work such as doing my transcriptions, and Thursday is also a work day. Thursday is a difficult day as I am bounded by morning and afternoon lessons. Therefore, Thursday is a day I might consciously work on other activities such as the ANATS newsletter, or my business, or banking and cleaning the house.

But Monday, Tuesday and Friday are unfettered study days, huzzah.

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