Educational Goals and Social Justice Curriculum of John Dewey and Nel Noddings

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I have chosen to compare and contrast John Dewey and Nel Noddings views on their educational goals, a social justice curriculum, liberation education, issues of standardized testing and the effects on students and teachers. Dewey’s main educational goal is that education should have two sides: social and psychological. His evaluations are based on how the child interacts with society and how he/she contributes to the good of society. Dewey was the first one to say we need to look at the students to decide how to teach, a modern-day form of ‘differentiation’. He believed that all students should have the opportunity to take part in their own learning. Education was not only a place to gain content knowledge, but was a place to learn how to live. Schools shouldn’t just be a place to learn a pre-determined set of skills but rather to realize one’s full potential and their ability to use these skills. He said, “An ounce of experience is better than a ton of theory, simply because it is only in the experience that any theory has vital and verifiable significance.” In Dewey’s opinion the role of teachers are social servants. They are there to assist children on how to act appropriately on ideas they form themselves. He states, “Every teacher should realize the dignity of his calling; that he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.” He believed that the teacher should become a partner in the learning process. He states, “The teacher is not in the school to impose certain ideas or to form certain habits in the child, but is there as a member of the community to select the influences which shall affect the child and to assist him in properly responding to these influences.” Teachers need to be aware of and never suppress a student’s interests. Dewey’s view on standardized testing today

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