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The term of “philosophy of education” seeks to bring out philosophy from an abstract situation into new perspective. It reflects all the aims, issues and problems of education and it converts theories into practices. During this course, we have discussed the meaning of philosophy of education, we analyzed several philosophies, and we learned about some brilliant philosophers’ thoughts and beliefs.
One of the most interesting features of this course to me is that our 21st century educational bases are inspired unexpectedly by some philosophers of the past 200 years ago. Prior to this course, I have never thought about the philosophy of education. But throughout the last weeks, I have sharpened my critical analysis skills and I challenged myself to understand the philosophies of education as deeply as possible. I learned to ask “why” for every single detail in education and to think continuously about its concepts. In the following paper, I will present my reflections about four sessions in this course.
During her presentation, Ola was neither systematic nor monotonic. She made eye contact with the audience, she dedicated time for questions and discussion, and she talked aloud. It seems to me that she was really comfortable and her talk was very smooth. She moved from one side to another in the class, she took a little break to drink water and she asked Dr.Lutfi about some points… In addition, she designed simple slides with short phrases and diagrams… All things considered, Ola putted enough effort into working on her part. She started by introducing herself and her colleagues by “me and my colleagues”, so Dr. Lutfi advised her to present in a formal way: “my colleagues and me”. She initiated her presentation by asking: “Do you have any idea about rationality?” and she obtained many answers from the class. Then, Ola mentioned that the idea of rationality came from Aristotle, who was the first philosopher announcing this idea. Later, she explained the meaning of rationality by relating the term to “Humans”. After that, Dr. Lutfi commented on the following sentence cited in her slides: “There is little or no agreement as to what the answers are…” and he showed the difference between “a little” and “little”. He explained that “a little” is used to talk about small quantity but “little” is used to talk about fewer quantity that we cannot notice it. Throughout her talk, Ola argued roughly the domains where people don’t agree on, such as religion and politics. She gave an example of politics: Sometimes in the same family, we can have different politic points of view and nobody can change the other’s mind. Also, Dr.Lutfi gave an example about the elections when the discussion doesn’t make any sense since everybody is committed differently. Moreover, Dr.lutfi talked about the renaissance: The black people said that they are black and beautiful (they mean from the inside and outside).
Then, he suggested to read about Langston Hughes (one of the Harlem). Therefore, Ola assumed that, in order to success, we should have right premises and rational argument to prove a correct conclusion. At this point, Dr.Lutfi clarified the difference between logic, pathos and ethos. Logic occurs when we have logic reasons and causes, but, Pathos occurs when we persuade others according to our emotions. At this point, Dr.Lutfi gave two situations as examples: If her daughter wants a new phone, it’s logic if she needs a new phone since her one is broken, but it’s pathos if her siblings have this new phone and she wants a new one like them. And he continued by explaining the meaning of Ethos which occurs when we are authorized to talk or making decision about something. For example, Dr. lutfi explained that he is not authorized to lecture about cloning but he is authorized to lecture about education. Nazha Najem First of all, Nazha was well prepared, she understood what she was discussing, she talked aloud and she made a discussion time during her presentation. She started with an introductory question: “Who knows what the difference between rational behavior and irrational behavior is”? The answers were: Rational behavior occurs when the reaction is suitable for the situation. But, irrational behavior occurs when our reaction depends on our emotions and feelings. Then, she asked us to read a small paragraph about a case. Later, she asked us to determine if the case reflects a rational or irrational behavior. After that, Nazha asked us to read some cases and we comment on each one. Dounia Achkar During her talk, Dounia tried to manage and reduce her anxiety. But she didn’t perform well. She read every single word in slides and the English pronunciation was poor. Her slides were not interesting to look at and they missed pictures and relevant media. Moreover, the audience seemed to not being paying attention to her talk. Throughout the presentation, she talked about the aim of rationality. Dr. gave an example about the characteristics of a rational man: He talked about the dean of USJ who is really honest, he never shouted even when the doctors came late to the university. Dr. Lutfi said that the dean was very charismatic with a strong personality trait.
At the beginning, Rasha mentioned that the chapter is boring because philosophy is complicated and we should focus well to understand the ideas included in this chapter. The PowerPoint presentation that she used was easy to read from our seats, the background was blue and the words were in white. She spoke loudly and clearly. Her gestures and the eye contact that she kept with the audience encouraged them to make appropriate comments and to ask about some points. She seemed relaxed and she gave a lot of examples in her presentation. Definitely, the content was relevant and the meanings of discussed points were clear. Rasha made a comparison between the quantitative and qualitative research. My colleagues want to know more about the difference between the quantitative and qualitative research, this is why Dr.Lutfi added: “When we are talking about numbers and statistics, so we are talking about quantitative research”. At this point, Rasha mentioned that sometimes, we can have both quantitative and qualitative in the same research.
Later, Dr.Lutfi gave an example about objectivity which is very difficult. He told us that onetime, he was attending a graduation ceremony in a school, and he listened from the parents that the teachers were not objective at all. The parents accuse the teachers that they gave the highest grades for whose they want to get a scholarship. Additionally, Dr.Lutfi explained the difference between the terms: concept and conceptualization. He enlightened that the conceptualization is the process of making and creating concepts. Hana Al-Hariri Hana started her presentation by reading a paragraph about the conceptualization. Then, she asked us if we know what the meaning of empirical research is, but nobody in the class gave the answer, so Rasha did it and she said that the empirical means something verifiable by observation and experience. In her part, Hana tended to open many discussions about the topics and as everyone had different point of view, many different ideas were produced. Dr. clarified the meaning of educational enterprise: “It’s a kind of educational project”. Then, he mentioned that the success is relative. The success of children of two years (using the toilet) is extremely different from the success of an adult (making social relations). In her turn, Hana explained: “Good teachers, if not born, are educated rather than trained or made, is true”. Here, Dr.Lutfi interrupted her and asked us to arrange the characteristics of a good teacher according to their importance. And we gave this answer: The first characteristic was that teachers are born, the second one was they are educated and finally they are trained. Finally, she concluded with: “Not every graduated is educated, because there is no conceptualization”.
Her preparation for the presentation was very well structured. She started with the outline which I considered a very important part allowing the audience to categorize the main points in a good sense. Her slides were simple and organized. Imane’s performance ran smoothly. She maintained eye contact with the audience and didn’t read every single word on the screen. She had a good English pronunciation even she is French educated, she talked and explained fluently.
Additionally, she showed high self-esteem and comfort. And it seems that she really understood what she was presenting. She initiated her presentation with an introductory question: “What is the philosophical inquiry in your opinion?” Nour Atallah gave the definition of “philosophy” and Suzanne gave the definition of “inquiry”, and then we conclude the definition of “philosophical inquiry”. After that, Imane read the definition of philosophical inquiry from the screen and she asked us to relate this definition to the title of the chapter. Throughout her presentation, Imane discussed the specific areas of philosophical inquiry which are: Metaphysics (concerned with questions about the nature of reality), Epistemology (concerned with the nature of knowledge) and Axiology (concerned with the nature of values). Dr.Lutfi commented on metaphysics by comparing between Pharaohs and Chinese people (concerned with the life after death).
Later, Imane said that she prepared a video to show for us, but it didn’t work because she was not using her own laptop. This is why she talked briefly about the main ideas of the video. So she explained that the philosophy of education refers to the academic field of applied or to any of educational philosophy. After that, Mariam Antar gave her point of view about distinguishing educational theory form the philosophy of education. And, Dr.Lutfi confirmed that we can have many theories under the umbrella of one philosophy. At this point, he added that if we believe in the theory that considers humans possessing innate goodness, as teachers we will communicate with our students based on this theory. And the same with other theories Imane informed that all philosophical theories appeared when the philosopher had a doubt in his beliefs and asked himself “why” about every thought.
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