July 15, 2008
Students are free thinkers. They have the occupation of explorer. With this occupation comes the responsibility to question and challenge the obstacles they face in their life. They must be prepared to think critically.
The nature of teaching is to motivate others to seek purpose in life. The first motivator should come from the parent. For example, my Parents allowed me the freedom to be who I wanted to be as long as no one was killed, jailed , or maimed during this process of exploring knowledge and self discovery. They used to say, "If you want it....work for it and be the best at it". This simple phrase instilled the idea that a person can do anything that they want. However, this possibility comes with the responsibility that you must learn about the craft you chose and be willing to perfect it until some semblance of mastery is achieved.
In the example given, the parent is the first teacher. However, as a teacher, the classroom experience will illustrate that not all children have motivating parents. These children are students seeking motivation. They are also seeking for a reason to their education. They are an explorer of purpose.
The connection established between one's purpose and life experiences is that one will affect the other. One's experience in life can influence their views in life(purpose). For example, an individual who has an exposure of limited opportunities of his/her environment (be it economic, community, family, or education) may have a core belief of simply surviving the challenges of living in an oppressive environment. "They feel alienated from their schoolwork, separated from the adults who try to teach them, and adrift in a world perceived as baffling and hostile," (Noddings,1992, p.2).
This can also hold true in the reverse. One's core belief can drive ones life experiences. For example, if the same individual were to have an awareness of the challenges he/she faces and decide to overcome them, it can affect their life experience. By creating their own core belief, the individual would seek new experiences that would strengthen their belief. "In critical moments we all realize that the only discipline that stands by us, the only training that becomes intuition, is that got through life itself," ( Dewey,1959, p.31).
Education is to explore meaning. It is to learn from others as well as from yourself. Education fosters an awakening of thought. "By viewing teachers as intellectuals, we can illuminate the important idea that all human activity involves some form of thinking," (Giroux, 1998, p.125).