Traditional Education

In your own words, define "tradition" in the sense Fadiman and Bloom use the term

Tradition is simply passing on something to the next generation. These might be ideas or knowledge. According to Fadiman, “tradition” is the act of passing on what human beings have discovered. Fadiman believes that basic education generated from history, philosophy and other subjects helps in passing on knowledge to following generations, facilitating and reducing humanity’s vulnerability to extinction.

Bloom argues that due to lack of tradition, especially in music, the society has lost noble goals. There are no whole souls produced as they were before because this tradition has been ignored. That is why it is no longer passed on to young people. According to Bloom, if one sticks to a certain culture, that person develops passion  for that culture in such a way that one cannot change it. In the sense that the person takes in all the arts and practices of that culture which are passed on through tradition and traditional practices. Therefore, tradition is the process of borrowing or creating the future from the past

Explain, according to Fadiman and Bloom, how tradition is related to "not being Lost" or "liberal education.”

Fadiman argues that when human beings gather education from sources such as history or philosophy, it enables them not to lose focus. Through tradition, individuals are able to pass on ideas and other types of knowledge from one generation to another. When we look keenly at liberal education, it is clear that it is an approach to education. In  this approach individuals become empowered and in the process get strength that enables these individuals to deal with complex and diverse issues, as well as various changes. It is also liberal in the sense that students develop awareness of socially responsible behavior. Therefore, we  refer to liberal education because tradition facilitates the transfer of knowledge from one generation to another, and liberal education plays a similar role (Doren).  In this context, owing liberal education, students are able to develop strong intellectual and practical skills, for example, communication. There is a demonstrated form of ability on how to apply knowledge and skills to real world situations.

When we look at Tradition in the context of "not being lost", Fadiman looks at it in a way of how it helps to preserve and pass on the ideas by means of history or philosophy. Human beings do not know everything so they get this knowledge through sources written by other people. In this regard, human beings are viewed as rational animals because they possess beliefs that go in line with actions taken to achieve a certain goal as well as being conducive. Most people learn concepts which are then applied to real life situations. As time goes by, people become able to adapt to those changes and alter their own behavior. One most significant area is in the schooling system is derived from traditional education and included into the current schooling system.

Decide whether Freire and Holt offer a critique of what Fadiman and Bloom are calling "tradition," or rather a critique of "tradition gone bad."

They are criticizing the  expression “tradition gone bad” and they agree upon tradition itself because they  refer to it as something being passed on to others. Freire views tradition in a tremendously negative context considering that it is the dominant holder of the traditional myths. He sees it as old-fashioned means of passing knowledge. Tradition has gone bad over the fact that it has only been left in giving conditions to men over their previous actions. According to Freire, the modern method of schooling resulted from criticism and traditional schooling practices. These traditional schooling practices in teaching were conducted with regard to the existing party. This led to schools functioning as agents that further resulted in the reproduction of legitimate ideologies such as capitalism. Freire language of critique is in line with some key ideas that are as follows.

Oppression as well as domination is a part of traditional educational system with the adaptation to the culture of silence.  As a result, it eliminates ways leading to critique language. It is also clear from new sociology proponents that there is no hope of change because the current educational system is reproduced by the traditional education. According to Freire a common struggle is the only way to a liberated humanity. He also believes that a combination of hope and critique will lead to actions.

In his critique on traditional education or “tradition gone bad,” Freire argued and compared tradition to those commercial banks. In this case, students are considered empty and perceived as those who go to school to be deposited with information by the teachers. In this context, teachers were viewed as the only highlights of education. In line with this, it was believed that knowledge was instilled only in those people who considered themselves well-informed in comparison with people who were considered to know nothing at all. It results in the dichotomy between the students and teachers in a way that the teacher only teaches, and the work of the students is to listen. It is also necessary to note that according to Freire, education is neither a neutral factor nor a beneficial instrument.

Freire argues that instead of students only listening to the teachers there should be time for discussion and this could be achieved by the teacher. Teachers can try to use key political words that might consequently trigger discussion. Therefore, people as well as the society should instead develop a sense of understanding that is critical in line with social reality through a form of action and reflection. Discussions and learners’ engagement in the learning session is important. It can also be achieved by forming group discussions in which students are given a topic to research and present their findings to the others in the class in turn.

Apart from Freire’s views John Holt was considered a libertarian and believed that the idea of progress was dangerous. He believed that there can exist a democratic society where power solutions are not the only power means. Therefore, while traditional democratic society was viewed as the only solution, Holt views it as a part of “tradition gone bad”. Holt believes that quality of life of an individual would be of great value as long as that individual achieves academic progress. Holt like Freire believed that traditional form of education was important, but the only problem with it is that these traditional practices have gone bad (Hallak). These practices will be analyzed below.

There is lack of individualized learning practices.  It happens when teachers stand in front of students and the only thing the students do is reading books or workbooks depending on a certain curriculum (Erny & Wanjohi).They don’t give learners a chance to determine what they want to study. There are times when you find that the topics to be taught are determined irrespective of the learners’ interest. Teachers are viewed to have the ability to put some fun into the learning session perhaps with real world examples. Although this approach might be taken, it may not be that fruitful as long as the premises remain the same and learners’ interests are excluded. For example, a student may be interested in soccer but it has no room in the teaching of earth science.

In the new schooling or "tradition gone bad," there is no coexistence of adult guiding relationship. This leads to one teacher registering so many students that only few of them have a small portion of teacher’s attention. This leads to poor performance of any learner as many studies have shown adult caring to be an important factor of any learner’s success. This also leads to the fact that even secondary school students lack guidance in the basic life challenges as well as the sensitive moments in life. Therefore, according to Freire and Holt the tradition has gone bad or in this case, the current school system does not provide supportive and meaningful relations between adults and students.

There is also lack of connection between school and work, consequently lack of connection between classroom and work in the new learning system because learners are not in a position to use what they have studied in classroom in the real world. As it is clear from the traditional education, learners used to learn things practically through observing first and then imitating what was being done by the teachers (Kohn). For example, learning how to cook, sewing clothes, leadership issues and other activities. It is notable that many people are unaware, for example, how trigonometry or history learnt in class in the current school system, would refer to their day-to-day life. This therefore leads to learners having doubts about their studies on whether they will help them to achieve success in life.  This makes such learners drop their studies that eventually results in limited work choices as well as diminish their financial prosperity in future.

Conclude your paper with a summary of your argument on the place of "tradition” in "right learning." Is passing along the "great tradition" necessary for right learning? Is it sufficient? Is it both necessary and sufficient? Neither?

Tradition is the creation of the future out of the past, and it is noted that traditional education has led to advancement in the current schooling system of education. The new schooling system has gone all the way from the traditional teaching practices to its modern state. These traditional forms of education in a way lacked some professionalism, but they also produced eminent scholars. The new learning systems have advanced because of the strong principles they borrowed from the great tradition. In traditional education, there was a strong bond between the learners and the teaching adults. It is due to the fact that traditionally, every adult was perceived as a highlight of knowledge. Traditionally learners had a chance to contribute much to the teaching process. This gave room to an open discussion between the involved parties. Therefore, tradition was sufficient. The only thing is that it has gone bad but the borrowing done by the new school system is vital.

Freire and Holt have put it as a “tradition gone bad”, there is supporting evidence that the new schooling system denies learners a chance to give their own opinions. These scholars perceived teachers as the highlights of knowledge. This strong bond between learners and teachers existed because a teacher was assigned to a great quantity of learners   making it difficult for that teacher to attend to every student’s issue. All these factors have disabled learners to relate what they study in class to the outside world or have a clear picture of it. They end up losing interest and hope in their studies (Edwards). Traditional education motivated learners as it prepared them for a vital responsibility of passing on knowledge to younger generations. In other words it ensured that tradition never got lost. Therefore, in terms of the right way of learning it involved both parties in the learning session, which are learners and teachers.

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