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ERIC Number: EJ1047848
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1556-763X
"Free Imaginative Variation" and the Idealization of Meaning: The Loss of "Wisdom" in Reductive Definitional Teaching
Roemischer, John
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2013 n2 2013
The process of enculturation, initially a mimetic matter, was raised to the level of 'the art of teaching' when methodology made its first appearance. As R. G. Collingwood noted in his 1933 "An Essay on Philosophical Method," it was Aristotle who first proclaimed that "Socrates was essentially the inventor of method." Socrates' philosophical method was his "dialectical/dialogical teaching method"; his interest in unfolding "meanings" through an expansive idealization of presented concepts, and his ironic declaration of personal ignorance, precluded any involvement with Sophistic "teaching-as-debate." However, with Plato's preference for "truth" over "meaning" hanging over Socrates, Socrates used mathematics as a model; he settled for "definability" rather than "expansive conceptual idealization." Instead of expanding his use of the allegorical story form, he resorted to a more mechanical teaching method, as in his Geometry lesson demonstrated in Plato's Dialogue, "Meno." This more mechanical approach to teaching haunts Western Education-the preference for conceptually underdeveloped definitional learning. It was the later teacher, the non-aristocratic Jesus of Nazareth, who attempted to invest teaching with meaning by an expansive idealization process: his Parable of the Vineyard embraced an implicit critique of the institutionalization of religion and education. Locking "teaching" into a language of restrictive definitions limits the imagination and restricts the unfolding of Wisdom ("Sophos")-the recognition that, ultimately, "irrationality is non-existent." Pervasive school phobia is due to a superimposed demand for unimaginative rationality. As Mary Warnock (1994) noted: "I believe that the current insistence on the primacy of problemsolving in education may lead to a marginalizing of what ought to be at the centre, the imaginative grasp of the continuity of history."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A