What We “Ought” To Do
I figure that a good way to start a journey of discovery into education in North America is to dive into the world of the western education system, and the philosophies that should be adopted according to one Berkeley Professor of psychology. I would recommend you skim the article here before reading my commentary!
Immediately, this professor starts the article with philosophical ethical quantifiers, explaining that there are so many ideas of what we “ought” to be teaching children. Often, I would say that this is an immediate red flag, but because she is a professor of psychology, I feel that Professor Lombrozo is entitled to her opinion of the way that children should be taught.
I understand what Professor Lombrozo is implying in the text with her findings, but I believe that her view of what we should teach our children comes from a very limited scope. As we read in the text, To Teach, by William Ayers, we see that children have wide and diverse ways of understanding and accepting knowledge, and that we must be open to the individual student. Rather than categorizing many students into groups, such as what happens in Lombrozo’s text, I believe that it is much better for educators and parents to be involved in the development of the individual child. Lombrozo does account for this grouping, by adding that, “We’d also need to recognize that individual children vary, as do their communities.” (Lombrozo). This acknowledgment is refreshing after a long article of “oughts”.
This being said, it is important to classify all students to a degree. In order to facilitate a compulsory education system, such as the one we have in the United States, we must in some ways group all students into one category of learning. This type of study is also important in order for parents to ensure that their children are developing at pace with their peers. In this way, it is an important way of thinking about and discussing education. We must study and examine the craft of psychologists such as Tania Lombrozo to make sure that we cater to the needs of the many, while still trying to understand the needs of the individual.