Classroom, Regardless of the Age Essay

Pages: 5 (1450 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

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[. . .] Using literature in this manner allows for a renaissance, and even Montessori-like hands on approach. One certainly has robust readings; but could bring in other disciplines as well:

Science -- use of technology, disparate technologies (primitive labels), boat construction, navigation, gunpowder

Georgraphy -- continent's location, the seas, distance, topography, land mass

Politics -- competition between European leaders, why colonies mattered

Economics -- what was the motivation to explore, what drove the economy of the time

Medicine -- disease as a weapon

Ecology -- introduction of new species, disease, and pathogens to the environment

Math -- distances, odds

Philosophy -- morality, utilitarianism (ends justify means, etc.)

Thus, in one unit/lesson, the use of literature-based studies has not only surpassed the goal of inquiry and critical thinking, it has allowed the creative instructor to tailor the curriculum to the needs of the students, and to reinforce concepts that now have relevance (e.g. If Mixtli owned a maize field of; if we had 100 men per ship and our ocean voyage was 42 days, how much food and water would we need to make that journey).

Now, this being said, sometimes the idea of "literature" is frightening to some teachers. They think Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Joyce, etc. Of course, in some courses the use of Charles Dickens would be perfect for older children, but there are alternatives, too. Inner city areas, for instance, or areas that cannot necessarily afford 30 copies of a Young Person's version of Oliver Twist, could use the daily newspaper. Most newspapers will deliver a few copies gratis to the class, and if the teacher or a parent wants to pick up older copies, can usually get a week's worth free the following week. Newspaper reading connects children to current affairs, stimulates active teaching, and can be used in all core curriculum areas to establish a thinking paradigm about real world situations. For instance, prices of goods and services, editorial pieces, international news, science news, news about local, regional or national politics -- all contribute to core cirrculum ideas. Indeed, reading newspaper articles is also a great way to help students learn about vetting knowledge sources and being a critical reader. Research also shows that besides a robust learning experience, those who participate in this type of learning scenario are also more open to reading more challenging materials; and teachers who use newspapers are more apt to move into a literature-based curriculum (Galstron, 2007; Geyer, 1977; Raeymaeckers, et al. 2007).

Theoretical and Philosophical Tenants - When we look at the philosophical tenats of using literature to develop a philosophy of teaching, we find that a 2006 novel by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones shows us a rather perfect template in our philosophical journey. Of course, one will remember that Pip is the lead character in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, one who enjoys privledge, has it taken away, then understanding the true meaning of emotion and friendship, until finally realizing his potential and recapturing his fortune.

Mister Pip tells the story of a girl caught in the midst of a war. During this time of trials and tribulations, it is through the guidance of her mother and teacher, and her connection with the fictional Pip, that allows here to continue to wish to live, particularly after her mother and then support group, do not. The novel is multidimmensional, uses situations and a compare and contrast theme to build characters and how inter-relationships build character, and most importantly, how people can put aside their individual differences to display what is the very best about humanity (Jones, 2006).

To be sure, we can take this a step further and integrate other disciplines within the art and science of pedagogy. The world does not exist in a vaccum and neither should the learning experience of the student. A multidisciplinary approach, then, could include other topics that are germaine (psychology, communication, languages, literature, philosophy, etc.) or an approach that changes the way the classroom approaches the curriculum (Lonberger and Harrison, 2008). Cooperative learning, for instance, is much more than putting students into groups. It is ensuring individual accountability and robust communication within the group, as well as helping to learn and master such social skills as sharing, accepting others' ideas, learning about different individual attitudes, and being able to work [end of preview; READ MORE]

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Classroom, Regardless of the Age.  (2012, April 15).  Retrieved January 23, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/classroom-regardless-age/7568456

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"Classroom, Regardless of the Age."  Essaytown.com.  April 15, 2012.  Accessed January 23, 2020.
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