EDUC 5020
January 29, 2013
Plans for this Class
• Discuss and feedback on how things went during the
online class; your suggestions about how to make the
discussions even better (from the perspective of
organization, timing, questions, etc.).
• Review of course so far: Dewey, Armstrong, movie
• Watch and discuss the short documentary film
“Anything can Happen” (
• Compare the young boy’s thoughts and hopes in this
movie with what we learned about Ugna’s life in the
Weeping Camel film.
Online Class
• Did you get the 2 emails I sent?
• I liked that you each posted a longer answer
more carefully.
• The more informal “dialogue” was great! I
would like to encourage more of this!
• Grading: refer to the rubric in course outline
Louis Hu, January 21
• “Furthermore, when Ugna visits the school in
the Aimak Center, he spends a lot of time in
the music lessons. I would like to relate it to
Dewey’s saying ‘education, therefore, must
begin with a psychological insight into the
child's capacities, interests, and habits.’ I
believe Ugna will be a famous musician in
future.” (Louis)
Gader Bindeajem, January 22
• Great post, thank you for your insight. Unga
isn't taught directly; however, he learns from
his observation. We could have the same
example in our own lives. For example, when
a telephone rings in the classroom, students
can learn indirectly that this is bad. Some
instructors may give "harsh" looks to show
disapproval. The student learns from this
indrect way of "teaching" that it is not allowed
or bad to have phones in class. (Gader)
James Shawana, January 23
• I think that Ugna was taught but using a
different pedagogy that we might be used to
in Canada. As we are used to being in a
classroom between a set time period during
the day. With desks in neat rows and subjects
learned at precise times of the day. When we
learn about a river, we read about in a book.
Rebecca Li, January 21
• John Dewey believes that the true center of
correlation of …school subjects is the child’s own
social activities. From this point of view, the
teaching methods in Ugna’s family are successful.
After returning home, Ugna could tell his
grandfather his experience in his way to travel for
miles across the desert and the journey to the
village. As mentioned in Armstrong article,
practices play an important role in indigenous
group to make [sure] it functions well within its
own cultural definition.
John Dewey: 1859 –1952
Progressivism: human are good, and
this will be realized in the future
• Learning that is: hands-on, social,
experiential, project-based, by
doing, politically liberal
Pragmatism: Use & Optimism
• Knowledge and “truth” is shaped by
needs, by what is practical.
• This “shaping” happens in & through
the development of society & self
Zeng Lu, January 22
• First of all, Ugna’s learning is through the activity
of everyday living… through practice and
observation in daily experience.
• Secondly, the ritual and songs play an important
role in the culture of Ugna’s family
• Thirdly, the elders have vital impact on the
learning and teaching of Ugna’s family. It is
observed that the elders always are around to
give advice and instruction for the younger
generation. (Zheng)
Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
In its broadest sense, education is
the cultural process, the way in
which each new-born human infant,
born with a potentiality for learning
greater than that of any other mammal, is
transformed into a full member of a specific
human society, sharing with the other members
a specific human culture.
Studying Samoan Youth
There are several striking differences
between our concept of education today and that of …the South Sea people…
…but perhaps the most important one is the
shift from the need for an individual to learn
something which everyone agrees he would
wish to know, to the will of some individual to
teach something which it is not agreed that
anyone has any desire to know. [curriculum]
More from Margaret Mead
…the master did not go seeking pupils;
the pupils and their parents went to
seek the master and with proper gifts of
fish or octopus…. persuaded him to teach the
…with the appearance of religions which held
this belief in their own infallible superiority,
education becomes a concern of those who
teach rather than of those who learn
Jerome Bruner (1915 -)
“the social sphere of adult and
child is unitary and undivided.”
“In our own society, the child's feeling and
thinking and acting takes place largely in relation
to a reality-to aims, responsibilities,
compulsions, material objects and persons, and
so forth-which differs completely from that of
the adult, though sometimes overlapping it.”
Jerome Bruner (1915 -)
“Note first that when a society grows more
complex in its technology and division of labor,
there are two deep changes that must
necessarily occur. First, the knowledge and skill
within the culture comes increasingly to exceed
the amount that any one individual can know.”
Jerome Bruner (1915 -)
Almost inevitably, then, there develops a sharp
disjunction between the worlds of the child and
of the adult. The unity of the Tale[nsi] world
becomes impossible in more complex societies.
Increasingly, then, there develops a new and
moderately effective technique of instructing
the young based heavily on telling out of context
rather than on showing in context.
• q
A “technique of instructing the young based heavily
on telling out of context rather than showing in
Learning become[s] an act in itself, freed from the
immediate ends of action, preparing the learner for
that form of reckoning that is remote from payoff
and conducive to reflectiveness. In school,
moreover, one must "follow the lesson" which
means one must learn to follow either the
abstraction of written speech … out of the
context of an on-going action. Both of
these are highly abstract uses of language.
Klaus Mollenhauer
• That of choosing material to
represent the world to the child. A society’s
educational tradition must come to terms with
teaching using the available curricular
“storehouse.” This means that in addition to
the “presentation” of a particular way of life
to children, the social and historical aspects of
the culture that are hidden from the child
must be made accessible to him or her.
This in turn means that adults
must select from a vast array of
material and convey it to the young
person in an understandable form.
Educational institutions, which specialize in this
selective representation, are central to this
process. But through this process, relationships
between adults change, just as those among a
family or household and between adults and
children are transformed: Representation of
ways of life now becomes the most important
problem for upbringing and development…
• Thus, one could say that for the past three
centuries, education has been a matter of
“reproducing” the world in stylized images
and that schooling as we know it today is a
massively …symbolic undertaking. It is an
enormous collage that has spread throughout
the world as curriculum designers have made
inroads into developing countries.
Tallensi today in Ghana

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