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Hard fun: teaching and learning for the 21 century by Clifford and Friesen - Essay Example

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Reaction Paper In the article "Hard Fun: Teaching and Learning for the Twenty First Century," Clifford and Friesen (1995) discuss education and learning strategies and how we can reform them in the XXI century for lasting results. They highlight the educators’ and critics’ concerns over the uncertainty that is associated with future and shared perception that schools need improvement…
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Hard fun: teaching and learning for the 21 century by Clifford and Friesen
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Hard fun: teaching and learning for the 21 century by Clifford and Friesen

Teachers consider it as a "Pendulum phenomenon," since it keeps teachers and students oscillate from one technique to the other. Authors criticize the enlightened people due to their approval and appreciation of innovation regardless of the particulars. While approving the need to change schools, they encourage educators and critics to ask new questions rather than seeking answers to old questions. I believe there is a need to take educational reform to another level since asking new questions is a paradigm shift, and it calls for a new way to identify the old educational problems. In an effort to find flaws in schools, whether they are traditional, progressive, or innovative, authors identify that school is generally a boring place for both teachers and students. I believe this perception is definitely developed due to the lack of interest and stagnant schools culture where teachers are hired to work and students are forced to learn. Clifford and Friesen (1995) also criticize modern educational system’s commitment to the philosophy of nineteenth and early twentieth century. Schools are boring because they miss the fun part. Young children are attracted to adventure and use their exploding energy for different activities. Traditional classroom and teachers cannot engage their exploding energies. It is true because students may not be able to run away from classroom, but their minds and imagination certainly can. Physicist Murray Gell-Man puts it so aptly by attributing today’s schools as restaurants that are feeding students. Their focus on representing the ideas has been replaced by the ideas themselves. We are overemphasizing the great discoveries rather than inducing the urge to learn deeply. Children are born learners, but today’s schools make them students because that is how adults approve learning. The learning process is in danger since limited to school while living is entirely another thing which belongs to real world. Here, authors seem somehow skeptical of the school idea itself. They completely ignore the social benefits of schooling. In an effort to find solution to the boring school dilemma, Clifford and Friesen (1995) make educationists cautious of falling in the trap of finding answers in technology rather than asking new questions. Discouraging the schools’ routine of brining old ideas in a new form, they ask new questions on children’s imaginative abilities, its managements, and relationship with the world. I strongly agree with authors here because just fitting technology with the old systems of learning is not sufficient for learners in the twenty first century. Following the footsteps of Plato and Descartes, Western educational system struggled while dealing with children’s natural learning and imagination. Project schooling puts children to work rather than just learn, banishes their childishness, and limits their cognitive abilities to abstract ways. Authors regret about the schooling in which childhood experience suddenly shrinks to an anorexic diet of school activities such as charts and worksheets. The description may seem very convincing; however, authors ignore the fact that uncontrolled exposure to outside environment has an equal capacity to influence children’s senses, heart, and souls in a negative way. Authors quote the example of reading experience ... Read More
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