Teacher/Student – Intellectual Teeter-Totter
March 7, 2013
The following is a revision of remarks made at FREDSTOCK – the public introduction of ( fall of 2011) The Fred and Ruth Bartling Scholarship.
“The teacher, in the process relevant to the academic discipline or subject taught, must analyse educational aims and the methodological approach to learning. This process ought to occur in relationship to the teacher’s personal quest for knowledge, self-fulfillment, and meaningful relationship with the surrounding world context. What applies to the teacher applies to the student as well. In terms of the academic disciple being taught the teacher evaluates the student’s search for knowledge and meaning. This appraisal, however, is consistent with the maturity and quality of the student’s search for knowledge and self-fulfillment.
Formal education can be defined as the teacher “drawing out” a student’s internal powers and potential; as the supplying knowledge of the external universe; or fostering a meaningful relationship for the student between self and the physical social environment. Education, so defined, pertains to both teacher and student.
The instructor follows the guideposts of philosophy to shape his intellection, that is, the analytic, evaluative, speculative, and integrative functions of philosophy. This is done to scrutinize the validity of answers the teacher propounds in response to the questions posed by the teacher’s discipline. The educator-teacher must constantly evaluate beliefs by philosophic analysis.
The student, as well, should be involved in creating a coherent philosophy of life drawn, in part, from the teacher’s discipline. If the foregoing bears consistency it follows that the capable teacher is the kingpin of the educational task. On one end of the teeter-totter log will do for the artful teacher – the other end belongs to the student. The only relevant question the teacher poses in self-evaluation is whether a contribution has been made for self and student. A teacher’s aim will be to develop the best in each student in terms of potential in achieving the apex of development. This is achieved applying philosophical method to the educator’s discipline and the teacher’s understanding of that discipline. Thus both student and teacher-educator are in perpetual dialogue of mutual evaluation as both together quest for knowledge that adds the dimension of meaning to their lives.”