Education Done To, For, or With Students?

This article sums up very effectively, in brilliantly clear, concise and accessible language, the key philosophical issues for consideration in education concerning its aims, pedagogy, paternalism, curriculum, assessment, authority, agency, accountability, responsibility, and the wants and needs of the learner.

The article’s author, P. L. Thomas, who’s an Associate Professor of Education (Furman University, Greenville SC), uses the metaphor of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic to sum up the ideology of those running education in America – a metaphor which we’ve used ourselves in a blog post earlier this year:

“Best practice is a collaboration between teacher and student in which the teacher seeks those strategies that the student has demonstrated a need to acquire.”

In this post Prof Thomas references Paulo Freire, whose work as a radical educator and philosopher has been influential worldwide over many decades –

Paul Thomas’ WordPress blog contains a wealth of articles and information that will inspire and support any educator or parent who shares a passion for learning and a concern for the wellbeing of children, young people and students.

dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

Teachers caution student writers to avoid cliches like the plague, but many cliches harbor enduring truths.

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic is an apt characterization of the rush to adopt and implement Common Core and next-generation assessments—particularly if we ignore the conditions of teaching and learning.

What happens in the classroom and which populations of students have rich learning opportunities are essential factors contributing to student academic growth, regardless of the prescribed standards (new or not) and regardless of which generation spawns the tests.

One way to consider the conditions of teaching and learning in the classroom is to examine the prepositions of teaching: (1) Education done to students, (2) education done for students, and (3) education done with students.

Education done to students. Traditional approaches to teaching and learning as well as the more recent “no excuses” model for schooling are driven by essentially paternalistic assumptions:…

View original post 1,549 more words

About 3D Eye

Gary Foskett and Clare Blackhall are educationalists, writers and consultants. We work with schools and other organisations who share our vision of how schools, businesses, etc should work in the 21st Century. We also run courses and contribute to conferences - speaking about our three dimensional model of intelligences and how schools, colleges and universities can develop the full potential of all their staff and students. We also offer consultancy for businesses and public sector organisations to support staff training and organisational change and development. For more detailed information read our blog at or see our website at
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