Sunday, September 1, 2019

Nel Noddings Essay

Noddings went to Montclair State College in New Jersey where she received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and moved on to gain her master’s degree in mathematics from Rutgers University, in New Jersey as well. Noddings received a doctorate in educational philosophy from Stanford University where she presently is the Jacks Professor Emeriti of Child Education. Lastly, she received her Ph. D. in 1975 after changing from mathematics and education to a broader field of educational theory and philosophy. She also currently occupies the John W. Porter Chair in Urban Education at Eastern Michigan University. As Noddings makes clear in many of her works, schooling played a central role in her life, and her early experiences with caring teachers contributed to her life long interest in student – teacher relations. She also contributes her professional life as a result of â€Å"various accidents and awareness of opportunity† (Johnson, Reed, 2011). As Noddings states, (1997, cited in Johnson & Reed, 2011) † all of these accidents†¦ involve love, or led to love, and these loves, like bits of colored glass, are the elements from which my life has been composed. Her approach to education begins with the idea that caring is basic to human life. She believes that all people want to be cared for and that the need to be good comes out of the remembered experience of being cared for. Her approach to caring is described as a feminine approach because it is based on the voice of the mother as a nurturer. It is her belief that if women created the educational system and its disciplines, they would have organized the curriculum around the stages of life. Noddings ideally wants the home to be viewed as the primary educator. She feels this is the best form of educating because it is done non-threatening and conversational matter. Critics of Noddings would claim that making the home be viewed as the primary educator, it would force teachers to go beyond what is expected in today’s educational environment. Noddings suggests teachers to involve themselves in all of their student’s lives. She recommends three approaches for teachers to follow: dialogue, practice, and confirmation. In dialogue, the teacher is open to any opinions on any topics. In practice, Noddings would encourage the teacher to involve the class in community service activities. In confirmation, the teacher must speak only positively about a child. Noddings would rather the teacher not give an exam and semester grades, but instead have the student and the teacher work together to create positive evaluations. Nel Noddings wants students to be comfortable enough in the classroom to feel at home. She used her three approaches to create an environment of love, and prevent hate. Her approach also would require teachers to get to know all aspects of their students including their likes and dislikes, wants and needs, and ideas. In doing so, the teachers will be able to create activities that cater to each child individuality and therefore, making learning for interesting. She also wanted the students to learn core subject through experience to make the students want to keep learning. Noddings views about teaching by caring can be useful in that it forces a teacher to really get to know her students, and give them the best possible learning environment. She suggests that children will work hard for people they like and trust. She takes this approach from her own educational experiences. Noddings view about education based on caring suggests that it â€Å"speaks to the existential heart of life- †¦ that draws attention to our passions attitudes, connections, concerns, and experienced responsibilities† (Johnson & Reed, 2011). She believes this approach will eventually create adults capable of caring for themselves and the world we live in. However, the teacher is walking a fine line by doing this. The teacher could nd up becoming too involved in the student’s life, and end up causing more harm then good. She could end up interfering in the family environment instead of helping it. The basic principle to be taken from Noddings is that dialogue is of the utmost importance in a relationship. Without it, a teacher will be unable to establish a bond based on truth, and trust. All of Noddings ideas, once explained make sense and fit very well with the times we live in and the students that we teach, but there needs to be a model to help implement her ideas. As an educator that’s life and professional career was also attributed to the experiences I had in the classroom as a child both positive and negative, I understand her view about how a positive student – teacher relationship is important for the success of what the student is learning. It is my opinion that her beliefs are still an influence on todays learning. I also believe that many teachers unconsciously do practice the beliefs of Noddings. Many times are forced to be more structured in our teachings due to state testing and are unable to be more â€Å"caring† with our teachings.

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