Clifford IT Services OD Pages (continued)
The central concept of John Deweys view of education was that greater emphasis
should be placed on the broadening of intellect and development of problem
solving and critical thinking skills, rather than simply on the memorization
This is mirrored in our working world, when managers tell workers just to do
their job and not worry about the bigger issues that affect them.
The current (2006) emphasis of the Republican party on Scientific and Math
education at the expense of the 'softer' studies like humanities (sociology,
psychology, etc.) shows their personal desire to create a workforce narrowly
educated to do only their jobs, and not to be concerned with social issues.
Dewey is considered one of the founders of the philosophical school of Pragmatism,
but according to my understanding of the literature, he considered his viewpoint
as more 'instrumentalist' than pragmatist. While pragmatists consider some
connection with practical consequences or real effects as vital components of
both meaning and truth, instrumentalists tend more toward the more practical
side, treating concepts and theories more as useful 'instruments' whose worth
is measured by how effective they are in explaining and predicting phenomena.
While the former approach seems more 'airy' and theoretical, and the second
more down-to-earth and practical, there appears to me to be much overlap,
so that they can complement each other.
They can both be useful in coming to know our world and ourselves, but it
seems that both are progressions away from a heady, intellectual philosophical
orientation, and toward a more practical, scientific-method-oriented view.
The latter allows us to view the world in a more objective view, instead of
attributing phenomena to the Gods. It also takes away from control-oriented
people the ability to profess some mystical connection they have with the Gods
to have others behave in a way beneficial to themselves; a condition of
humankind that has persisted for ages.
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