“A teacher should be an intellectual and not merely a specialised technician”. Discuss
For me studying Philosophy in College has always been an extremely confusing yet thought provoking exercise. As the end of college approaches however I feel that this was certainly the most relevant philosophy topic that we have studied so far.Adorno, essentially outlines the requirements for a good teacher and also the environment of teaching and learning that they create in the classroom. Essentially Adorno requires the teacher to be an intellectual i.e. –to possess a “relationship to his own work and to the total social totality of which it is a part “1 .This intellectualism , according to Adorno should extend to every section of the Childs curriculum and not just focus on an area in which the teacher is proficient. Essentially this means that the child should not struggle in P.E merely because his or her teacher is not athletic or sport orientated. There are many factors in Adorno's piece which I feel contribute to the development of this intellectual wholeness and I will attempt to outline them in my essay. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly the “teacher needs to understand themselves and teaching first”2. The identity of the teacher in Post-modern Ireland is slightly shaped by the curriculum they follow but never dominated by it. However, while the curriculum may have its downfalls the blame ultimately lies on the shoulders of the teacher who implements it. According to Adorno philosophy is “the art of self expression”3.So, essentially is teaching. Due to society’s demands for teachers many children are subjected to “the hands of an immature and uneducated intellect.”4 .Specifically speaking if a student in teaching college attends none of their lectures and only performs relatively well on their placement in a school they can still emerge from the college with an excellent degree on the basis of exam results, their academic subject e.t.c.Therefore they do not possess the necessary skills of a teacher but are predominantly a “specialised technician”. This can also occur if a teacher ,for example has an extreme love of a subject e.g. English and spends countless hours teaching their class poetry ,stories e.t.c.This is another example of a teacher who is just specialising to the detriment of the other subjects. Also central to the argument of suitability in the teaching profession is the area of “culture “among teachers.Adorno suggests that in order to educate a child needs culture and “culture requires love” 5.In this sense I feel that Adorno seems to suggest that if a child comes from a disadvantaged area their teacher needs to be aware of this and respond with innovative teaching methods for the teacher. Here he suggests that there may be problems as a result of an obvious language and cultural background. While this is essentially true I believe that Adorno’s views on the rural urban divide are extremely archaic and out dated. In truth the perception of rural children not being as educated as their urban counterparts due to factors such as a lack of opportunity, finance or the draw of the land have long been left behind. There is a necessity I feel, on the other hand to move away from the agrarian mindset, one that is in perpetual decline. In a booming economy Ireland everyone now has a chance and therefore I believe that this view needs some alignment and revision.Adorno also speaks of the importance of language in the teaching profession.The teacher is essentially a model for the child’s behaviour and therefore if their speech, grammar, syntax e.t.c. is not acceptable then it is inevitable that their student s will suffer as a result. Oral language skills are cross –curricular and therefore fit the bill of the intellectual learner. Upon close inspection there are a number of ambiguities attached to the findings of Adorno.In today’s society the emphasis is largely on...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document