Liberal Learning Essay

484 words - 2 pages

Bennett immediately bombards his readers with a wide variety of metaphors created by scholars, academics and modern day society in an attempt to explain the nature of the relationship between teachers and students. The use of these metaphors as an introduction to the text immediately makes the reader aware of the conventional methods of teaching and how this previous method does not promote conversation as an important aspect in learning.As we begin to read further, Bennett then delves further into this relationship by referring to Oakeshott, as he openly challenges the conventional view of the relationship between students and teachers by utilizing the "provocat ...view middle of the document...

However, this also opens the question as to whether or not the idea of education as conversation and the mutuality between the teacher and student is totally accurate, particularly in terms of knowledge. From one stand point, one can agree with Oakeshott and Bennett in that teaching should not merely consist of a teacher relaying facts and knowledge to a class of students. Instead conversation should ensue between both parties in order to further stimulate learning and promote independent learning. Yet on the other hand it can also be argued that students will not be able to acquire the knowledge of a teacher through conversation alone, and therefore, the conventional method of teaching is valid in situations where mere facts have to be learned.Throughout the main body of this text, Bennett continually refers back to the importance of conversation to education. In reference to this, Bennett states that "students learn to engage in conversation." Here, Bennett implies that within the university setting conversation is encouraged in relation to education as it he sees it as being a valuable asset to learning.Bennett then refers to "various languages . . . voices". Bennett's referral to such varieties in language and different voices reiterates the fact that learning is essentially a two way method of conversing which again challenges the conventional metaphor that teachers teach and students learn. Oakeshott then reinforces Bennett's belief in the 2 way method of conversing in relation to education by stating that "more than one voice must be clearly heard."


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