Recently Drs Fernette and Brock Eide posted about Mortimer Adler's Paideia Proposal, An Educational Manifesto - I book and concept I knew nothing of (book now on order).
It was timely actually, as lately I've been a bit preoccupied by learning theory, trying to find something that will help me understand and explain the new learning enabled by the Internet.
Paideia is a Greek work as in Encyclopaideia and wikipaideia and is "the process of educating [humans] into [their] true form, the real and genuine human nature." (Wikipedia).
Fernette and Brock talk about it in relation to Active Thinking and their interest in Mortimor Adler's writing on education. They quote the three goals of Alder's Paideia Proposal:
- Acquisition of Organized Knowledge (Didactic Teaching)
- Development of Intellectual Skills (Active Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Problem Solving, Exercising Control, Judging)
- Enlarged Understanding of Ideas and Values (Socratic Questioning, Discussion, Arts)
Then go on to say
Conventional education usually spends most of its time didactic teaching, and the least of its time on personal clarification of ideas and values.
I'd agree with that!
Despite its ancient name (Paideia - the whole education and training of children - mind and morals), the goals of Paideia are to prepare students for active and thoughtful engagement in the world. That means a regular practice as drawing parallels about ideas, practices, and theories in the present as well as in the past.
It seems to me that this ancient and classical learning theory, and Alder's Proposal made in 1982 may have something to offer us when considering new teaching and learning models brought about by the Internet.