Question: Choose any one chapter from the textbook. What are some insights you have gained and how do they help you to be a better educator?
(Chapter 1 – Classical Traditions of Education: Socrates and Confucius)
The Classical teachings of education from educational philosophers like Confucius and Socrates stay relevant in our educational system till today. Even before one goes into talking about the aim, value, curriculum or pedagogy in our education system we have to be clear on what is our vision. Through the vision, we, as educators, are then able to come up with the values, aims and pedagogy in education that we intend to build and deliver to our students. With the goal in mind we are also able to come up with the suitable and appropriate curriculum. Thus the different aspects of education share an interlinked relationship with one another.
Some key insights that I have gained from Chapter 1 that is of relevance to today’s education system in Singapore is that I agree with both Confucius and Socrates that an important aspect of education is to develop wise and capable leaders. Knowledge and virtues should not be taught in a didactic style and it is important to inculcate students with the love of learning and a desire for the life of virtue. I also realise the importance of relating student’s personal experiences and concerns to learning. An observation that I have made in my insights is that Socrates and Confucius teachings can be linked to the 5 holistic developments of an individual; social, aesthetical, physical, intellectual, and moral.
The cultivation of wise and virtuous leaders shows the development of the social, aesthetic and physical aspects of an individual. As Confucius and Socrates have stated, it is important as leaders of a country not to be looted by material obsessions. For every decision the individual makes he must be able to bear the consequences that may come out of it. The individual...