The question "what do I think we should be teaching and why?" is easy for me to answer. Children should learn what they want to learn and not what we force them to learn. For this paper, I could simply write a list of subjects that I think children need to learn. However, my philosophy of education is that each person's inner desires should lead them to select those topics that interest them. As I am not those people, I am not qualified to pick out those subjects of most interest.
In order to understand why it is important for children to learn what they want to, it is first necessary to define what education is. Education is the act of gaining understanding through learning. Understanding is an intrinsic good of education therefore my goal as an educator is to give a student as much understanding as possible. In allowing children to choose their own options from a limitless array of subjects, I am not putting up artificial barriers that would restrict the amount of understanding.
As Shakespeare put it,
"Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open."
Pistol -- (Merry Wives 2.2.3-4)"
I would be merely acting as a tool with which children can explore the world for themselves.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ Children learn a greater amount of material (and therefore understand more) when they are interested in the subject matter. My five year old son is interested in collecting bugs. Collecting bugs exposes a young child to many elements of education. For example: mathematics through counting, and science through classification. If I restricted my son to choose from a pre-determined list of subjects, he would not be interested in learning with the same kind of fervor that he displays when collecting bugs. He would acquire little or...