Paper comparing article and book on education systems critical thinking example


This comparison considers an article by Sir Ken Robinson, ‘ How Schools Stifle Creativity’ and the book by John Dewey ‘ Experience and Education’. The two works take remarkably informative views on education and the direction it should take to be of benefit to the wholesome education of the learners.

Question (1), summary of the book by ‘ Experience and Education’

The book by ‘ Experience and Education’ starts with a strong statement of what traditional education is. The author defines the process of education as one whose intent is to prepare the young for future responsibilities by way of imparting in them organized bodies of information and prepared forms of skills (Dewey, 2-3). The idea of handing down of the subject matter and standards of perceived ‘ proper conduct’ from the past appears predominant in the text. The pupils should exhibit an attitude of docility, obedience and receptiveness in order for this system of education to work. Learning in this practice is the teaching of a finished product without regard to how what led to its achievement or the nature of its occurrence in the future, static education (Dewey4-5). Children become passive learners in the traditional mode of education with teachers having to expend a lot of effort in trying to conceal the brutal, imposing nature of the traditional education with devices of art (Dewey, 3-4). These systems assume similarity between the past and the future in a society where things are constantly changing.

Question (2), summary of the article by Sir Ken Robinson ‘ How Schools Stifle Creativity’

In the article by Sir Ken Robinson ‘ How Schools Stifle Creativity’, the author commences by recognizing that human being are born with immense natural talents which tend to be stifled by our institutions with education being a principle culprit. The exemption of arts, humanities and social science and dry technique of teaching sciences and math in addition to a highly priced culture of standardization in testing of students are some of the ills that the author feels bedevil the current system of education (Robinson). The results are an increased college dropout rate, increased abuse of prescription drugs by students and a decline in the value of present day college degrees.
The decline in the value of education, occasioned by the need to conform to the demands of the industry, suppresses students from exploring topics that they find more interesting naturally. The present day challenges facing society in social, economic, spiritual and environmental spheres depend solely on innovation, which these systems continuously repress. In conclusion, the author proposes a system of education that is tailor made to suit the specific needs of each learner. Like all living forms, we flourish in certain conditions and shrivel in others’ (Robinson)

Question (3) critique of the two literatures

Both literatures take similar stands on major issues on education. The book takes issue with traditional system of education, which emphasized the teaching of previously ‘ tried and tested’ ideas. In its place, it proposes an inclusion of the consideration of the present implication of that education to the present situation and the future applicability of the education in a changing world. By taking advantage of present opportunities as opposed to preparation for a remote future, in John Dewey’s proposed model of education, the learners are able to apply innovative approaches in the present rather than internalizing ideas from the past. In this respect, both authors see the need to liberalize education to incorporate learner participation and contribution. Robinson presents the development of students into complete human beings as organic and dynamic rather than linear and mechanical. This is in agreement with Dewey’s model of progressive learning, which promotes expression and individual development as opposed to imposition of ideas from above, as well as promoting the idea of skill acquisition through participation in activities with an appeal to the learner rather than by drill.

Question (4) Contemporary issue handled by the two literatures

A contemporary issue in education is the issue of students who cannot keep up with their peers, or those who make progress much faster than their age mates do. These two groups of students have their unique challenges in aligning to a standardized system of education, which requires all students to grasp the same concepts at the same rate. The fast learning pupil will feel restrained and may lose focus in concepts, which he feels are repetitive and monotonous, while the slow learner will feel discouraged at his apparent inability to keep up with the rest of his peers (Holt 17-18). By applying a customized mode of educating these two groups of learners, suited to the individual needs of each, a balance is met and hence learner satisfaction.

Question (5) my opinion on the subject

The system of education needs to involve engaging exercises, which encourage the learner to reflect and apply lessons learnt in class to real life experiences. By this, the learner is able to identify ways to modify the lesson into a practical and modern solution to the current issues facing society. This emphasis will promote innovation in creativity in the learners and society in general.

Works Cited

Dewey, John. Experience and Education New York: Collier Books, 1997. Print.
Holt, John C. Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better. Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2004. Print.
Robinson, Ken. How schools stifle creativity