This is NOT YET my question. I just got really interested on the essay given by Ma’am Atienza as a HW reading. For reference, you may take a look at the essay from http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/welleducated.htm.
I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post this assignment on my blog but then, I just got really interested on the essay. I even came to a point of making Kohn’s question my philosophical question for the digital portfolio project.🙂 (haha. I hope it’s allowed ;P)
Alfie Kohn’s essay basically focused on knowing the real basis to gauge if a certain person is well-educated or not. Personally, I think Alfie Kohn delved into the matter philosophically, though not that precise and open to the helpful and important side of academics and facts. But he successfully pinpointed the different areas and factors to consider should a person be well-educated or not. While reading the essay, I even became interested on the topic because I came to a point of wondering also what must be the real basis behind the “well-educated” notion. I saw myself in Alfie Kohn’s position, seeking answers to the vague reality on gauging a person’s educational background. He had lots of questions on the different educational areas. Though I think Kohn had a one sided viewpoint. He is obviously in total agreement with the fact that schools and society must be focused more on the ability of a certain individual’s inquisitiveness and critical thinking skills. That an individual’s “bookish” and “curriculum-school-based” learning should not be the only core source of knowing if a person is well-educated or not. That standardized tests are not the only means to getting the individual’s over-all competence. That these “curriculum-based” tests should not be the only thing done in assessments. For me, it is generally philosophical but a bit lacking on certain significant points in school-curriculum importance. He asked so many questions and he showed wonder in the said matter. It was philosophical in the sense that I realized that if a person, especially if an educator will come across his essay, upon reading it, he/she will feel curious and inquisitive as well. That person will begin to wonder and would suddenly realize that Kohn’s observations are somewhat correct and realistic. Upon reading his article, I became curious and interested on knowing the truth. I honestly liked his essay and I share the same insight with him. School-based learning or should we say curriculum-based is not the only and real basis. A person’s ability to make righteous and good decisions, conquer problems, make critical analysis, maintain good arguments, share insights, create designs, have the ability to succeed, acquiring good and noble disposition in life and having that never-ending desire for learning is the true well-educated person. Each individual has his/ her own ability and preference. That society should not basically base everything on a single ground – a person’s educational background, grades, length of knowledge and test results. His essay gave me a clear understanding and realization on this issue. I thought that this question has already passed through my mind before when I encountered certain things in school especially in our family. It made me open my mind more on this issue. People in general should not make judgements based on what the society has been used to (which is placed more on facts, school-based knowledge and scores) but society must learn to embrace the differences and uniqueness of individuals. I personally know for a fact that there are a lot of people who were consistent flunkers, who, just like what Kohn mentioned, doesn’t remember or doesn’t even know the core basics of Math or English or Science and who were dropouts in schools but mind you, I’m not pressing on the fact that all of them are successful but some of them became really successful in the later years of their lives. Just by giving them the chance to do what they preferred to do and let them learn and move the way they feel comfortable with, they succeeded. They had their own clear perception of success in life. They have their own styles and ways of doing wonderful things. They were successful because they were put in the correct places, thus, making them more interested and this resulted to them yearning to learn more on their own preferred field. I somehow would like that people from the industrial sectors and people from the education departments would be able to read Kohn’s essay. To make them realize the different potentials of individuals for placements to achieve maximum growth. As for school heads and teachers, Kohn’s philosophical inquiry is too important to let go off and ignore. Reasoning, communication, good personal qualities and developing the habits of mind (by Meier) must be taken into consideration to effect true well-rounded and well-educated individuals ready to face reality.