For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The Informed Vision
Essays on Learning and Human Nature
  • David Hawkins
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The Informed Vision.  Essays on Learning and Human Nature
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An education classic presents 15 essays on how children learn, offering insights to educators, parents, and all who are concerned with schools and the relationships between teachers and children.

About the Author

David Hawkins led a long and respected career as an educator and as a scholar of how we learn.

In the early 1960s, he (with Jerrold Zacharias and Philip Morrison) helped organize the Elementary Science Study (ESS) in Newton, MA. He served as its director until 1964. Later, he was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Director of the University's Mountain View Center for Environmental Education, a teacher education center which he founded in 1970.

Hawkins authored three books in addition to this one, and published more than 50 papers in a variety of periodicals. In 1974 he delivered the annual invitational lecture before the John Dewey Society, speaking on "The Science and Ethics of Equality."

He described the unifying thread in his career as "a passion I contracted when I was 21 to understand what used to be called the human soul - the thing we learned about from Aristotle to Augustine, from Spinoza to Hegel to Dewey."

About the Book

Many of the essays in this book use science and mathematics education as the starting point for the author's concern with the way children develop their understanding of the world around them - the principal...

Many of the essays in this book use science and mathematics education as the starting point for the author's concern with the way children develop their understanding of the world around them - the principal focus of Hawkins' work.

Two essays describe some of the work of the Elementary Science Study and will help the reader understand why the approaches developed in the ESS were widely adopted in elementary schools across the US.

Throughout this book, the reader will share Hawkins' inquiry into the human capacity to learn. "I, Thou, and It" explores a deceptively simple aspect of the paths of communication between adults and children. The author acknowledges his intellectual debt to John Dewey in many of the essays, and provides a clear reappraisal of Dewey's educational thought in "John Dewey Revisited." In the final and longest essay, "Human Nature and the Scope of Education," which is particularly rewarding for the serious reader, the author outlines his general theory of education in "unabashedly philosophical" terms. This essay (not unlike the others) stimulated considerable inquiry and discussion among educators in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The book was first published by Agathon Press (now an imprint of Algora) in 1975; many of the essays first appeared in the Harvard Education Review or other pedagogical periodicals.


Introduction

In the title essay of this volume, I have tried to capture or at least suggest an aspect of the spirit of science which seems to me to be of the utmost importance for contemporary education for all ages, though it is one which can all too easily be missed along the highways of formal schooling. Science has enriched a...

In the title essay of this volume, I have tried to capture or at least suggest an aspect of the spirit of science which seems to me to be of the utmost importance for contemporary education for all ages, though it is one which can all too easily be missed along the highways of formal schooling. Science has enriched a dimension of experience which I would call esthetic or, in an unpretentious sense, religious. But I would not use either term except, as I hope the essay clearly says, as a way of suggesting qualities of the good life which, though they have always been important, our age cries out for. The essay concerns ends, with only a hint about means and obstacles — a hint which is developed much farther in other essays.

No American philosopher can write well about education today who has not come to terms with the writings of John Dewey — or so I believe. Though my own education was not strongly influenced by Dewey in any direct way, there were strong indirect influences. His teachers were my teachers’ teachers and for that reason I have always found him easy to read, in spite of his notorious style. According to one of my teachers this style was a product of Dewey’s devotion to women’s liberation, via several writing boards stationed in laundry and kitchen.

In the process of coming to terms with Dewey I reach many strong and admiring agreements but never am quite rid of residual dissatisfaction. I am pleased that both these reactions are visible in the first essay, though more fully developed later. This essay could not have been written without Dewey's Art as Experience, but also not without some critical reactions against his half-truth that the method of science is somehow more important than its content. Dewey would not have relished the bowdlerized versions in which this half-truth has frequently appeared, but I think nevertheless he can share some responsibility for them.
What I find most admirable (and comforting) in Dewey is that he, almost uniquely among philosophers since Plato, sees education as a topic so large —  larger even than politics or than religion — and so pervasive, as to be a kind of final challenge and focus for all philosophy. By any such standard all of these essays are groping and fragmentary. I hope they serve at least to suggest the validity of that claim.


Table of Contents

Preface

An Essay on Science Education

3

Mind and Mechanism in Education

19

Childhood and the Education of Intellectuals

41

I, Thou, and It

51

Messing About In Science

65

The Bird in the Window

77

Two Essays on Mathematics Teaching

99

Mathematics—Practical and Impractical

101

Nature, Man and Mathematics

108

Development as Education

131

On Environmental Education

147

John Dewey Revisited

159

On Living in Trees

171

On Understanding the Understanding of Children

193

Human Nature and the Scope of Education

205


Categories

Pages 256
Year: 2002
LC Classification: LB41 .H34
Dewey code: 370 74-81796
BISAC: EDU029030
BISAC: EDU042000
Paper
ISBN: 978-0-87586-177-7
Price: USD 32.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-178-4
Price: USD 48.95
Ebook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-171-5
Price: USD 48.95
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