Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Three Ideologies - Yoram Harpaz

At ULearn14, Yoram Harpaz introduced the idea that there are only truly three pedagogical ideologies, and all other ideologies in education fall into one of these three categories. This challenged my thinking, and I am not convinced that he is correct.

The Ideologies of Education: in search of the pedagogical sentiment from EDtalks on Vimeo.


SOURCE: http://yoramharpaz.com/presentations/the-ideologies-of-education-en.pdf

SOURCE: http://yoramharpaz.com/presentations/the-ideologies-of-education-en.pdf

SOURCE: http://yoramharpaz.com/presentations/the-ideologies-of-education-en.pdf

Professor Harpaz insists that all are effective, but we need to choose only one ideology. I do agree that the only way for a school (and its philosophies) to be effective and successful is for all teachers etc. to "sing from the same song sheet", supporting the ideology of the school. However, I do not agree that it needs to be just one of the ideologies identified by Professor Harpaz.

What I really liked about the presentation, was that we needed to identify the ideology that most resonated with us and what we wanted education in New Zealand to look like. We were also asked to identify what we thought most schools did actually prescribe to (more often than not). Overwhelmingly, we (the audience) chose Individuation, while identifying Socialisation and Acculturation as the predominant ideologies currently employed in New Zealand. I wonder what the outcome would be if we did this survey with our own staff, students and parents...

We talk about wanting our students to be independent, life-long learners. What are we doing to ensure that this is the outcome? Are we following an individuation philosophy to ensure our students have these qualities?

On reflection, I feel that these ideologies are a little simplistic. Or, maybe there is a little lost in translation (into English). Don't we evolve from Socialisation to Acculturation, then (ideally) to Individuation through the course of a year, or over a series of years. I know that our Senior College philosophy is much more in line with Individuation than our Middle School philosophy, which seems to me to be more like Acculaturation.

Don't we have to adopt different approaches (ideologies?) depending upon the students in front of us on any given day? If Individuation is actually the ultimate goal (should it be at school level?), then how do we embark on that journey? Do we not also need to initially instill an understanding of social "rules", an understanding of New Zealand culture and an understanding of their own "story" to help students develop a genuine individual identity?

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