Interesting quote about education and language studies

Here is a quote about education:

 “I believe that much of present education fails because it neglects this fundamental principle of the school as a form of community life. It conceives the school as a place where certain information is to be given, where certain lessons are to be learned, or where certain habits are to be formed. The value of these is conceived as lying largely in the remote future; the child must do these things for the sake of something else he is to do; they are mere preparation. As a result they do not become a part of the life experience of the child and so are not truly educative.”

I think this quote is generally accurate for schools across the United States today.  I believe it also attests to why students are disengaged and uninterested in the school experience.  I wish I could say this is a new, cutting-edge idea that will soon sweep the nation.  However, John Dewey wrote this quote over a century ago. 

http://dewey.pragmatism.org/creed.htm

Dewey also has interesting things to say about language.

“I believe that at present we lose much of the value of literature and language studies because of our elimination of the social element. Language is almost always treated in the books of pedagogy simply as the expression of thought. It is true that language is a logical instrument, but it is fundamentally and primarily a social instrument. Language is the device for communication; it is the tool through which one individual comes to share the ideas and feelings of others. When treated simply as a way of getting individual information, or as a means of showing off what one has learned, it loses its social motive and end.”

 

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