November 9, 2009
Ways of Knowing
Mid-Term Exam – ‘Disciplinary Decadence’
Education is a concept that is viewed in many different ways. Some educators prefer a more traditional approach to teaching. Some prefer more modern avenues of imparting knowledge. In years past, a more well-rounded curriculum was seen as necessary for a complete, more thorough education. In the reading “Disciplinary Decadence”, the author Lewis Gordon refers to three activities that are necessary for human beings to exist wholly: labor, work, and action (2006, p. 19). Labor refers to things we do on a daily basis in order to physically survive, such as earn money. Work refers to things of a creative nature, such as art. Action refers to things that are purely social and that require interaction with other people. Incorporating all three aspects of existence is what Gordon (2006) argues is missing in modern education. Most of today’s societies are centered around labor. The pursuit of money has taken precedence over more leisurely things that are associated with work and action. These missing forms of human expression manifest themselves in other ways that may not be healthy for education in pedagogical terms and for life in general.
One of the most evident ways that this lack of well-roundedness has manifested itself in today’s society is the increasing amount of inner-city schools that are doing away with their art and music programs. Financial problems are said to be the reason for such cuts. It is a labor-excessive mentality that says that these are the programs that are most expendable. It has become common perception that these fields are not an integral part of a well-rounded education. Another change in education that comes to mind is the absolution of the art of penmanship. Technology has made the need for this skill less and less necessary. Yet, the powers that be in the education field do not seem to see that it is a skill...