Nel Noddings - Care
this is a second introduction to this book. Noddings mentions that on the first one she argued against too much emphasis put on test scores and acquisition of information.
>Differentiates traditional education and current standardized testing system – she argues that we must know that traditional or classical education should not be confused with this heavy emphasis on testing. - she will refer to both things
>We all agree that schools should be held accountable for the results they produce. The question is ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT? They “should be accountable for the achievement of their stated purposes.” Whatever these purposes might be, depeding on the school philosophy.
>People differ on their definition of “caring” - the traditional educators have one notion, whereas the progressive have another one.
>Both traditional and progressive educators care. But in different ways.
>Progressive notion – carer and cared-for contribute to the relation; if cared-for denies he/she is cared for there is no caring relation. This might be the fault of the stubbornness of the cared-for, no fault of the system. - which is the case with many schools today.
>Traditional notion – the virtue of caring belings to cares, whether the cared-for likes it or not. “It's for your own good” notion.
>Responsiveness – the hallmark of caring - is argued as the solution for the satisfaction of the two points of view.
Schools need to be more responsive.
>Swings of the pendulum – this occurs because both sides fight to get education the way they believe it's best. It is more a shift of power than of mind and heart. It doesn't work.
>A system that allows both ways to flourish is the alternative Noddings believe in. People should have the chance to opt between both, according to their needs and beliefs.
This has happened in some public schools, but the very small schools can't afford to do so.
Trying to keep a homogeneous staff in one philosophy or the other is what contributes to “the swing.”
>The living other is more important than any theory – this is the reason why she believes people should be able to choose, even believing firmly in one approach. A lot of people forget this and put the theory above the child.
>The 2 philosophies can actually improve each other when they incorporate things from the other that might make the way they do things better.
>Belives privatization is not an option for 4 reasons:
1)economically restrictive – a family that gets a basic voucher will not have the same choices of a wealthy family that can spend much more money on one kid.
2)Competition is for consumer goods not for educational goods. Competition is good to close down bad business, but closing down a school is closing down part of a child's world. When it comes to consumer goods, with competition we get what we want at a price we can afford. When it comes to children's education we should hope all children get a good quality education.
3)secatarian groups could apply for vouchers and money from public funds would be used to support values that are not supported by the state. Some people argue that the money should follow the child, it should be made available for the families to decide how to spend it – but the government has the responsibility to ensure that the children be at least exposed to the notions of democracy. The basic test for the funding should be educational, not religious or ideological.
>In the next section of the introduction she will talk about the themes of care discussed in the book.
-What the questions that progressive educators worry about responding. How shall I make a living? -What do I owe to non-human animals?
-The things that are learned labouriously are easily forgotten and organizing schools around themes wuld be a better idea. Encourage the students to seek answers for their own quiestions.
-Would prefer a completetly reorganization fo the curriculum , but mentions how just that does not bring change and it might even make things worse. And it is unlikely to happen.
-Students can learn about caring in a variety of forms, not only the classic ones. And the classics should not be imposed, but encouraged.
-Extends the idea of caring to animals and plants, objects and ideas.
-recognizes that non-college bound students have been neglected and, because we decided that everyone should go to college they are doubly cheated since they are made feel like they are failures in the system, and are deprived of the classes they could be profiting from .
>Invitation – pretend we have a large family to raise and educate – this family includes children from all kinds of backgrounds and we want them to pursue their own interests, but also have a core of knowledge that we want them all to have access to. How will we do it?
Chapter 1 – Shallow educational response to deep social change
>There have been deep social changes since WWII and schools have not responded in effective ways to it.
>In today's typical classroom there are many different family structures and some children claim that no adults care for them. The author mentions that children really want someone to care.
>Because many children arrive in school by bus most teachers have no idea where they live. As children get older they don't think the teachers care about them, nor do they respect the teachers anymore.
>Students are exposed to a lot of nasty stuff and their schools are so big and impersonal, that it is not a wonder they believe no one cares. Most teachers can't tell students from strangers.
>When the author was going to school, she felt that school was like a second home. The teachers were the same throughout highs chool for instance. She says the curriculum wasn't that great , but the relationships built with the teachers were meaningful.
>Curriculum reform is not the answer. Except of course if it is such a drastic change that will contribute to a new environment at schools.
>3 movements of curriculum changes are described:
1- “structure of disciplines movement” - when she was a math teacher. This movement brought a prescription for bigger schools, which brought about so many problems. She believes it was not an entirely wrongheaded movement because the old curriculum was really out of shape.
2-behavioral objectives, or competency based curriculum – teachers had to state exactly what students were to do. She thinks it sounds sensible, because you decide what the students are to do and them tell them. But she thinks it is not a sensible way to start teaching, bc when we learn info for a specific purpose we quickly forget it. Besides breaking down the info did not help the children do better in the standardized tests, because they could not do the whole thing together by the end of the year. This is not a bad method, it has its proper uses. To state objectives and then drill the students to find out if your instruction has been adequate is appropriate when you want them to learn information that will be used in a broader subject. This science is mute though when it comes to stating how those objectives are to be accomplished.
3-Standar-lesson. It puts the emphasis on a lesson made up of a humber of steps to get from point A to point B. There is no way a student will not learn if the method is followed correctly. This for of reduction is called automation and it is not a good idea for interpersonal relationships. It fails to consider thought that students might simply not want to achieve that goal. So if the learning fails, it was the instruction that was faulty.
This sounds a lot like CCAA methodology – a number of steps established, to get from point a to point b, regardless of who the student and teacher are, learning will be achieved because the method is universal.
>The method is a universal approach to skill development. This induces boredom and it lead to what it has been called
>“random behavior”, or off-task behavior or in the old days “disobedience”, that is when the students' are not tuned in to the teacher's goal. This thinking fails to recognize that students have goals and purposes of their own.
>To get rid of ramdom behavior, “assertive discipline” came up – a strategy to free teachers to perfomr their main task – teach the subject matter.
>But this is not to be the teachers'main task.
>the one main goal schools should have is the growth of students as healthy, competent, moral people.
> the 3 approaches described are led by a search for method as if it was the way to make any student learn anything the school wants them to.
>Dewey contests that search. He believes school should be a model for education and democracy. Children should be involved in constructing the objectives of their learning.
Noddings thinks he didn't go too far because he was constantly fighting accusations of anti-intelectualism.
>Noddings advocates new priorities for schools. She bnelieves that intelectual development cannot be the main aim, because that doesn't ensure us against moral perversity. A product of such a thought is the Nazism.
>She belives that it is ok that the children don't know as much of the subject matter as long as there are better people. And qwuestions whether or not parents would have accpeted that as a goal for the open school approach.
>She is really concerned that school's first priority is intellectual development and that any institution have one stable main goal that eliminates the establishment of other goals.
>Open education had a shot in some schools but because the parents were afraid of letting the standardized test scores go down (and they did), I belive parents were not just worried about their status, but indeed in our world noone succeeds academically with low test scores.
>That means we need a radical change, not only in means but also in ends.
>She contests the critics to her claims. Critics are that schools spend too much time and energy with so many other things that it is no wonder the kids can't read and write. The system is strained with so many social activities.
> The system is strained because it doens't know a different way of doing things, and the only reason why the social works are done is because of the academic goal. Feed the children not because we want to help feed the hungry, but because hungry children can't learn. Children are fed, but they don't feel that anyone care.
Children are valued for their academic achievements. If they don't try hard to learn what we want to teach them they are made feel like traitors. They don't have a chance of working hard in what it is really important to them. That is why they believe no one cares.
>School cannon achieve academic goals without providing caring and continuity.
>To achieve that we must ask -
-what does it mean to care?
-how is care manifested and focused in human life?
-can we make caring the center of our educational efforts?
Chapter 2 – Caring
She defines caring as a relation between 2 human beings.
> Describes the state of consciousness of the carer:
-engrossement (attention) – it is essential in moral life. It is full reception of what the other is trying to convey.
-Motivational displacement – a moment ago I had my own projects in mind, now I am concerned with this other person's .
These two things don't tell us what to do. They caracterize our state of mind.
>the consciousness of the cared for:
Reception, recognition, response.
>>This dones't place a burden on the carer bc mature relations are characterized my mutuality. But even when a relation doens't allow the parties to change palces, the cared for response is not negligible and it makes caring a rewarding experience. There is a genuine reciprocity.
>The desire to be cared for is almost universal. Everyone wants to be received. Children don not want to be treated as numbers.
>Caring is a relation not a virtue. But caring can also be applied to capacities people have for caring.
> In a teacher-leraner relationship another responsibility of the teacher is to teach the studetns to care. This happens by modeling, bc human being sneed to leanr to care.
>Not everyone develops the capacity to care for people, living beings, objects and ideas. Some belive these types of caring (fro living and non-living things)to be transferable, but Noddings doesn't think so. Intellectuall attention cannot be transferred to interpersonal attention.
>An approach to edcuation that begins with care is not anti-intelectual. Part of what we receive from people is their interests and intelectual passions.
>it is not a very helpful thing to say that all children can learn anything we want to teah them, bc they might simply not want to learn those things. There are a few things all students need to know and they should be free to reject some other things to pursue the one that really excites them. Caring teachers listen and respond differently to their students.
>Studnets need to learn to care for objects. How to teach that in a society of planned obsolescence”? Caring for objects and ideas leads to a response from the cared for. Do we let the students hear about this?
>last, there is another sense of care – we care what happens to us. The students, especially adolescents, have many existencial questions, and the school spend little time in them.
>the structure of current schooling is agains care and there is a great need for care than ever.
The debate in ethics
> it is important to discuss the ethic of care.
> there is a type of morality that is tyupically female that is based on the recognition of needs, relation, and response. Women's reasoning is contextual.
>the ethic of caring rejects the universal idea that our moral dicision making has no relation to who we are , whom we are related to and how we are situated
>from this perspective, moral eduation has four components:
-Modeling – we must show the students how to care by forming caring relations with them. The capacity one has to care may be dependent on the adequate experience as a cared-for.
-Dialogue – Dialogue is open ended. It is a common search for understanding, empathy and appreciation. It connects us – we respond more effectively as carers when we understand the other's needs and the history of those needs. Knowledge guides our responses.
-practice – attitudes and mentalities are shaped by experience.
-confirmation – affirming and encouraging the best in others. We spoot a better self and encourage its development. We must find something that is morally acceptable bc we can't confirm people in ways we judge wrong. We find the best morally acceptable motive, a real motive, and though we disaprove a particular act, the other will fell relieved that we envision a better self that can develop from that.
It contrasts with religious moral education, bc this one starts with guilt and that sustains separation.
It also contrasts wit freud's theory (not sure how she makes her point ).
> Caring is the bedrock of all scuccessful education.
> Liberal edcuation has been the western ideal for centuries. What is wrong with it and why shuld we reject it as a model for universal education?