Liberal V. Problem Posing Methods Of Education

1850 words - 7 pages


Paulo Freire and John Henry Newman both present two different styles of education. Freire proposes the implementation of the problem-posing style. Problem posing promotes the teacher-student relationship being a cooperative relationship. Newman proposes and defends the methods of liberal education. Liberal education seeks to improve the mind and seek truth and knowledge for its own sake. Both styles favor freedom over order and thus both liberation education and liberal education were met with resistance when they were introduced. Newman was challenged by those who favor professional education. Newman wrote essays and showed how Oxford University could prepare students for both the workplace and society. Freire was challenged by the Brazilian government and showed that revolution is necessary for the advancement of the impoverished. Both concepts of education are different in some ways and very similar in many others.

John Henry Newman was a 19th century English theologian who was a part of the Oxford Movement and supports the concept of Liberal Education. Liberal Education is the active search for truth and knowledge by students. Newman defends his stance on liberal education by first defending the search for truth and cultivation of intellect. Newman argues that the cultivation of the intellect is an end that should be pursued for its own sake. To discover the meaning of truth is the task of intellect. Newman writes, "Truth of whatever kind is the proper object of the intellect; its cultivation then lies in fitting it to apprehend and contemplate truth" (Newman 168). Newman argues that in order to gain knowledge one must train his intellect for its own sake. He compares that being a student should be like a professional career; one should always strive to improve and expand one's knowledge.

Liberal education entails the training of all matters not just the profession in which one is to join. Liberal education requires student interaction in both inside and outside of the classroom. Newman writes "it is not a mere application, however exemplary, which introduces the mind to truth, nor the reading many books, nor the getting up many subjects, nor the witnessing many experiments, nor the attending many lectures. All this is short of enough; a man may have done it all, yet still be lingering in the vestibule of knowledge" (Newman 169). Simply going through the motions does not mean that the student has learned anything; rather liberal education should involve the student in the search for knowledge so that the student will discover knowledge by himself.

Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator that worked with the poor and oppressed masses of Brazil. Freire discovered that many teachers were narrators and the students were an oppressed, static audience. Freire describes the process and dangers of narration saying, "Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse...

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