"Dr Hunter," complained the elderly patient, "when I get up in the morning I feel quite faint - and it lasts for up to an hour. What do you suggest?"
"Hmm," said the doctor, thoughtfully stroking his chin. "How about getting up an hour later?"
In many formalised learning situations there is someone who teaches or preaches; something that is taught or preached to; and many who suffer from it. What is more, the amount of forgetting among school children and students is astounding.
Studies show that students in classrooms of high facilitative teachers achieved better, and used used higher levels of thinking. The general approach of Carl R. Rogers and others tells about conditions that tend to assist mental growth and humaneness, and deeply satisfying experiences of self-realization and/or self actualization, gentle respect for the soil and plants and other beings on earth, and maybe something else (van Belle 1980).
Humanistic Learning and Helpful Schooling
"Peace must be secured. I mean an internal peace of mind." - Jan Amos Comenius. (Abstract from Rusk and Scotland 1979, 77).
Formal schooling is a cultural outlet. Much is wasted in formal schooling today. Talents, money, other resources, interest in learning, and much else.
Try to learn with interest, and next put to good use study methods that put yourself in the centre of your learning adventure as well as you can.
The main issue in good schooling is learning, not teaching. Teaching is to be a help for learning, but it is so where you are? Fine learning is not only memorising facts and items. It is more, just as Benjamin Bloom and others have concluded. [cf. e.g. Buzan and Buzan 2010].
The Ordinary Set-up
One obvious reason for unsuccessful public schooling is lack of respect for the deep learning process of children and others. Another reason: too crude outlooks. Learning is what you get out of being taught or kept at school for many years.
If basic conditions for learning are not met, or only poorly met, dislikes and negative conditions may result and deteriorate both the schooling experience and the learning process. Repressing negative emotions is not an all right way out, nor is being lied to.
Humanistic Learning (HL) studies human needs and interests with the intent of providing some all-round basis for personal growth and development, so that learning may go on throughout life in a self-directed manner. A non-threatening environment helps, and non-bithcing (ie, good manners) too, of course. Also, knowing how to learn (basic study methods) is largely important.
One result of HL (humanistic learning) is highly motivated students. Studies show that students in classrooms of high facilitative teachers achieved better, and used used higher levels of thinking. The general approach of Carl R. Rogers and others tells about conditions that tend to assist mental growth and humaneness in the public arenas of life where deep and reciprocal respect for the dignity and worth of each is all right, not something to be ridiculed.
HL enters into the love of development, which for some may culminate in deeply satisfying experiences of self-realization and/or self actualization, gentle respect for the soil and plants and other beings on earth, and maybe something else.
Much of what is advocated here, is quite as in Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf Education.
1. Think much and tactfully
The student's and teacher's dear feelings and perceptions and various efforts to pull together are as important in the total picture as their thinking and knowing. [Read and Simon 1975, xi]
2. Get into finer concepts in time
Thanks to all authors that have contributed, and for wellsprings of insights. (Read and Simon 1975, xiv]
The spirit of humanistic self-help education is finally emerging into a mature, conceptual framework. [Ib., xi] ◇
3. Assuming or guessing is fit for both animals and humans; heuristics and hermeneutics are two refinements of that
Through it, human content is put in a new all-round perspective [Read and Simon 1975, xii]
Human behaviour, human meanings, human understandings can grow out of uniquely human experiences. [Ib., xi]
Our humanistic self-help approach to education is designed to help [Ib., xi, xiii]
Humanistic education otherwise begins with the assumption that teachings first and foremost a relationship between teacher and student, and is teeming with subjective hopes and outlooks. [Ib., xi] ✩
Good guessing is decent; academic guessing has its methods, and some are "forming meanings" due to interpretations. (WP, "Hermeneutics;" Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Hermeneutics")
Empathy: Learn to feel into others or "things" and yourself - think along with those feelings that arise, and assume maturely in time, as may be fit. One may then assume, preferably aided by solid facts, reckonings and key ideas to eliminate or reduce obvious errors.
Extracts from Carl Rogers' chapter "The Interpersonal Relationship in the Facilitation of Learning", in the Humanistic Education Sourcebook [Read and Simon 1975, 3-20].
Rogers starts off by teaching that teaching is vastly overrated. This is so mainly because what is taught, is not necessarily learnt. [Ib., 3] He talks for fascilitating learning, questioning, and exploration amid changes, and says such fascilitation is to be the goal of education [Ib., 4-5, 17].
He advocates realness, genuineness of the teacher, and no sterile facade. He advocates prizing, or acceptance, of the learner, out of essential trust in others and that they may mature. [Ib., 6, 8]. Above analyses of persons in ordinary classroom situations, Rogers talks for emphatic understanding, which finds room for other persons' perception of relationships and situations too. [Ib., 10-13]
What promote learning according to Rogers, includes a transparent realness in the fascilitator, prizing and caring, and a congenial learning climate. Sensitive educators who promote growth relationships, thereby fascilitate learning too, he suggests [Ib., 17, 18]
1. The outlooks of the scholar on encounters
I should say one does not need research to provide evidence; one needs only to talk with students: our civilization is on its way down the drain. [Read and Simon 1975, 9, cf. 3, 17]
Our young can or should be fundamentally trustworthy, but are they? They are vain and muddled up inside too. To the degree that this is the case, there may be no direct help in coming into a direct personal encounter on a person-to-person basis with some of them. [Ib., 8, 6]
Otherwise, the humanistic ideal has been that the facilitation of learning needs to go along with worthwhile experience and be solidly backed up later, as time goes by, by scholarly, critical work as well. Thus, the academic world possesses a very considerable knowledge which encourage "gut-level" learning [Ib., 15, 17, cf. 5] ◇
2. Learning depends on sensitivity and a nice enough climate, and much else
Gut-level learning has to be felt, next communicated well enough, and perhaps polished too. It may take time to make what is communicated through it, sensitively accurate. [Read and Simon 1975, 10]
It helps to know how to encourage self-initiated, "gut-level" learning. It is also known that the facilitation of significant learning rests upon certain attitudinal qualities. [Ib., 1, 5] ◇
3. The inborn potential and one's experiences could need to be mated to good, substantial ideas in order to flourish
Recognizing that everything is in process of change, what are these qualities which facilitate learning? [Read and Simon 1975, 4, 5]
Meeting a vital person marked by realness or genuineness can be a big help. The teacher whose orientation is toward releasing potential, which facilitates future learning, may be a person of this kind. Being faced with an entirely new situation is another. Tourists experience it often. [Ib., 4, 6, 12] ✩
An open classroom climate could be a help, and so could some mediocre technicians willing to help. [Ib., 13, 16] (7)
Mating or getting good confidence often helps too. [Ib., 8]
Halfway expect that outlooks of scholars facilitate or back up the scholarly.
Facilitate outlooks and feelings that bring maturation and good confidence further.
Barrow, Robin, and Ronald Woods. An Introduction to Philosophy of Education. 4th ed. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2006.
Buzan, Tony, and Barry Buzan. The Mind Map Book: Unlock Your Creativity, Boost Your Memory, Change Your Life. Harlow: BBC Active / Pearson, 2010.
Gelb, Michael J. How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci. Reissue ed. New York: Delta/Random House, 2004.
Lawton, Denis, and Peter Gordon. A History of Western Educational Ideas. Digital ed. London: Woburn Press, 2005.
Read, Donald and Simon, Sidney eds: Humanistic Education Sourcebook. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1975.
Rusk, Robert R., and James Scotland. Doctrines of the Great Educators. 5th ed. London: MacMillan, 1979, reprint 1981.
van Belle, Harry Albert. Basic Intent and Therapeutic Approach of Carl R. Rogers: A Study of His View of Man in Relation to His View of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relations. Toronto: Wedge Publishing, 1980.
Veugelers, Wiel, ed. Education and Humanism: Linking Autonomy and Humanity. Rotterdam, NL: Sense Publishers, 2011.
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