Humans as Product of Society – Literature review Example

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The paper “ Humans as Product of Society” is an affecting variant of literature review on sociology. This essay will examine the premise that we or our children are ‘ products of society’ . By coming to an understanding of why this is so, the idea is to have a better idea of how to bring about change. This will assist teachers to forge better partnerships with parents in the education of their children. The following statement will be the focus of the essay as it pertains to curriculum and pedagogy: “ Much recent writing has effectively merged cultural-historical theory and critical pedagogy approaches the curriculum in order to understand how children are the product of the society and culture in which they are raised and that their development and learning may have differing trajectories, based on the experiences, values, and understandings that each community provides” (McLachlan, Fleer & Edwards 2010, p.

28). It is important to take an objective look at the context in which we are and the attendant challenges that are faced. It is important to acknowledge that the children or students of today are not the same as the previous generations.

They have a different vernacular that is digital and their ways of learning are different from the way that previous generations learned (Brown, 2006). The second point that Brown (2006) makes is that despite the increased importance of education in contemporary society, many people are unwilling to pay for it. This means that educators are challenged to tap into the natural curiosity of students in order to enable them to take up learning on their own. Thirdly, he states, the education of 21st-century  students must take into account the fact that they will most likely not have one fixed career but are more likely to have a work trajectory that involves several career changes.

This dynamism means that what skills they picked up in school may become irrelevant and they may need to acquire new skills outside of the conventional learning environment (Brown, 2006). Based on a text by Alden Le Grand Richards (1984), it is possible to conceive of the science of education as poiesis which attempts to create an operating theory which can serve as a guideline to pedagogy, improve the efficiency of processes and is of necessity limited to two sectors; genetic development and socialization of environmental conditioning.

Focus is on the one hand on the biological-psychological growth of the student while on the other, it also takes in the societal variables which influence the distinctive nature of each person. The first is a psychological perspective while the second is sociological. Both of these were previously considered to be ‘ helping sciences’ to pedagogy but in contemporary circles are more likely to cause contention or claim to usurp it (Bohm, 1981). HistoryLooking at an overview of historical theoretical perspectives on early childhood literacy developments shows that there are three paradigm shifts.

These are from Behaviourist to cognitive to socio-cultural perspectives. Some of these perspectives still retain validity and have generated maxims that are accepted to this day. This includes the fact that phonological awareness is accepted as a key factor in early literacy development. The importance that is placed upon reading for meaning is credited to the psycholinguistic perspective. Metacognitive theories outline the cruciality of metacognitive processes in spelling, reading, and writing, and cognitive apprenticeship models have resulted in emphasis being placed on the ability of a child to solve problems in a literate setting with the help of someone more skilled (Kennedy, Dunphy, Dwyer, Hayes, McPhillips, Marsh, O’ Connor and Shiel, 2012).

References

Brown, John, Seely. “New Learning Environments for the 21st Century. Paper Presented at the Forum for the Future of Higher Education’s 2005 Aspen Symposium. (2006).

Carr W, Hartnett A. Education and the struggle for democracy. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press; 1996.

Delpit, L.D. (1988).The silenced dialogue: Power and pedagogy in educating other people's children. Harvard Educational Review, 58(3), 280-298.

Fielding M, Moss P. Radical education and the common school: A democratic alternative. London, UK: Routledge; 2010.

Fleer, M., Hedegaard, M. & Tudge, J (Eds.), (2008). Constructing childhood: global–local policies and practices. World Yearbook 2009, Education and Policy.

George S. Too young for respect? Realising respect for young children in their everyday environments. The Hague, the Netherland: Bernard van Leer Foundation; 2009.

Heath, S.B., & McLaughlin, M. W. (1993).Identity and inner-city youth: Beyond ethnicity and gender. New York: Teachers College Press.

Kennedy, Eithne, Dunphy, Elizabeth, Dwyer, Bernadette, Hayes, Geraldine, McPhillips, Therese, Marsh, Jackie, O’Connor, Maura and Shiel, Gerry.” Literacy in Early Childhood and Primary Education (3-8) years. Commissioned Research Report. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. (2012).

Knapp & Associates. (1997). Teaching challenge in high-poverty classrooms. Teaching for meaning in high poverty classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press.

Morrow, G. (1987). Standardizing practice in the analysis of school dropouts. In G. Natriello (Ed.), School dropouts: Patterns and policy. New York: Teachers College Press.

Natriello, G., McDill, E., & Pallas, A. (1990). Schooling disadvantaged children. New York: Teachers College Press.

OECD. Starting Strong II: Early childhood education and care. Paris, France: OECD; 2006.

Pianta, R., &Walsh, D. (1996). High-risk children in schools: Constructing sustaining relationships. New York: Routledge.

Pianta, R., & Walsh, D. (1996). High-risk children in schools: Constructing sustaining relationships. New York: Routledge.

Richards, Adrian L. Grande., Academic Secularization and Education,” review of Pedagogy / Pedagogical Arrangement 42 (1984): 31- 43

Swedish Ministry of Education and Science. Curriculum for pre-school. Stockholm, Sweden: Regeringskansliet; 1998.

Wagner JT. An outsider’s perspective: Childhoods and early education in the Nordic countries. In: Einarsdottir J, Wagner JT, eds. Nordic childhoods and early education: Philosophy, research, policy and practice in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing;

Winfried Böhm, "The Seven Deadly Sins of educators logic," Education and Science, ed. Helmut Konrad. (Kippenheim, 1981) 91- 100

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