Bennett immediately bombards his readers with a wide variety of metaphors created by scholars, academics and modern day society in an attempt to explain the nature of the relationship between teachers and students. The use of these metaphors as an introduction to the text immediately makes the reader aware of the conventional methods of teaching and how this previous method does not promote conversation as an important aspect in learning.
As we begin to read further, Bennett then delves further into this relationship by referring to Oakeshott, as he openly challenges the conventional view of the relationship between students and teachers by utilizing the "provocative metaphor of education as conversation." In viewing education in this light, Oakeshott challenges the conventional view that teachers teach and learners merely learn. Instead he implies that in order for learning to be successful and stimulating, conversation must be an essential part of the learning and teaching process.
Additionally, the use of the term conversation also establishes the idea that there is a level of mutuality between both the teacher and the student.
However, this also opens the question as to whether or not the idea of education as conversation and the mutuality between the teacher and student is totally accurate, particularly in terms of knowledge. From one stand point, one can agree with Oakeshott and Bennett in that teaching should not merely consist of a teacher relaying facts and knowledge to a class of students. Instead conversation should ensue between both parties in order to further stimulate learning and promote independent learning. Yet on the other hand it can also be argued that students will not be able to acquire the knowledge of a teacher through conversation alone, and therefore, the conventional method of teaching is valid in situations where mere facts have...