Thursday, September 3, 2009

Readings of Aug 28 - Sept 3, Noddings 1-4

These are the August 28-September 3 reflections and commentaries of Noddings, Chapter 1-4. My apologize for not writing them yesterday:

For me, these readings were an introduction to several philosophical lines of thinking. Some of them were already discussed in a previous undergraduate class I took, however due to the time lapse, I forgot some of the main fundamentals of their thinking.

In this post I basically share which of the philosophers and philosophical movements I found out to be compatible with my actual line of thinking and which one, partially, did not agree with.

Of the short descriptions the author gave about the different philosophers, I was drawn more to Freire, Giroux, and Sartre. Freire, because of the emphasis in educating the newly literate people about the different forms of oppressions that are being (or were) imposed to their group. His concern in educating the oppressed group, to have a knowledge and awareness of the way dominant groups try to abuse their own literacy, should be a mandatory part of their new literate condition. By this, we intent to prevent more oppression and abuse of power. Giroux, because of the emphasis he places in the importance of learning to ask questions, engage in objective criticism, analyze, and resolve problem. More than reading and writing, those skills have more weight to prevent more oppression. Both authors are under the Critical Theory philosophy.

Of the philosophical thought of Sartre, first, I like his emphasis in the responsibility that humans must have for their own existence, which also translates to the responsibility that each individual human being has with the rest of the humans. We are living in an interdependent world, so every action we make, somehow will affect the collective. Second, his belief that "man is nothing else but what he makes of himself (...) there is nothing in heaven; man will be what he planned to be. Not what he will want to be", is a mirror of his emphasis on the responsibility of humans to their own destiny and transformation. This philosopher is categorized under the Existentialism movement.

Of Dewey, it impressed me his definition of democracy to be a "shared process of inquiry", as Noddings discussed. I always have had the vision of democracy as a governmental system. I agree that an "isolationist society" has the risk of losing its democracy, because of the losing of the free contacts between people and the "opportunities to inquire beyond its own borders" [Noddings, p. 37]. I ask myself whether the term "isolationist society" refers to the isolation experimented from one person to another, among the limits of his/her own society; or if it's related to the isolation that one entire country can experiment from the rest of the other countries. If Dewey would be alive today, would he consider his own society nowadays to be "isolationist"?

About Socrates, I don't agree completely in his teaching methodology because it preoccupies me that sensitive students can get intimidated and can "close themselves" when they perceive that a teacher is being too arrogant, sarcastic, and imposing his or her own ideas as the "ideal ideas". But certainly, I agree with his thought that "we are our own participants of our creation".

Finally, I'm starting to express my opinions, in a more frequent manner.
It was only in the few Humanities courses taken, that I had to express and support my point of views. I have to admit that, I am overcoming little by little the fear of being rejected because of my opinions (perhaps is a common issue of my gender). During ALL my entire academic life, I "survived the coursework" handling it completely alone, without relatively few tasks that needed to express my opinions. Usually, it is seen that you don't have to express your opinions in technical courses. :-)

Thanks for your attention.