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education » Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship
 

Posts Tagged ‘education’

Video Interview with Professor Jerry Kirkpatrick — Transcript

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Interview conducted at Rockford University by Stephen Hicks and sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship.

Hicks: I am Stephen Hicks. My guest this evening is Professor Jerry Kirkpatrick from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He is the author of a new book, Montessori, Dewey and Capitalism. Tonight he gave a lecture to the Philosophy of Education class here at Rockford University, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship on the theme of “Montessori, Dewey, and Capitalism”.jerry-kirkpatrick

Now Professor Kirkpatrick, both Montessori and Dewey are known properly as modern and very progressive educators — and as two giant names in philosophy of education and education practice in the twentieth century.

What distinguishes them from the long line of traditional educational thinkers and practice over the course of two millennia plus?

Kirkpatrick: Right. The focus on constrain on the child — the whole child, not just communicating a lot of information. They focus on trying to develop the child’s independence, abilities of think for himself or herself and have a good self-directed kind of life.

Montessori uses the term “concentrated attention”, and it’s her primary aim in education to get the child to concentrate for long periods of time. This is something that increases as the years go by to adulthood, which, presumably, would be then a nice, productive career with strong concentration.

John Dewey talks about “undivided interest” in the sense that, first of all, we should have an interest in what we’re studying and be able to choose what we are learning as opposed to the traditional education that has been taught since at least Ancient Greece where, basically, information is drilled into you. Then you must recite it back, and if you make a mistake, you might actually get hit or spanked or whatever. It’s the modern, progressive view of being nice to children and understanding their emotions, their desires, and letting them pursue their own interests.

Hicks: Now, as you say, Montessori and Dewey are drawing on some historical figures in the traditional, not necessarily the dominant figures up until the modern time. Who do you single out as the major figures that both Montessori and Dewey are drawing upon?

Kirkpatrick: Well, there are quite a few since about a century before the Enlightenment, but it even goes back to the Roman educator Quintilian in the first century A.D. He was very concerned about his students and not having this harsh kind of discipline. He wrote a book that was lost in the Middle Ages and rediscovered in the Renaissance which then influenced a lot of other people. And we’ve got the Czech reformer Comenius. We have John Locke and Rousseau, who is called the father of modern education because he focused on the concept of interest, that the child should be able to pursue in his or her own interest and not just be forced into a situation by the traditional teacher. There was a Swiss practitioner by the name of Pestalozzi who had a number of schools. Johann Friedrich Herbart, a philosopher at the University of Königsberg and actually the successor to Kant coined the term pedagogy or science of learning or science of teaching. There was then also Friedrich Fröbel, the father of kindergarten. And kindergarten means “garden for children” as opposed to a very unfriendly kind of classroom type situation. His term kindergarten was supposed to apply all way through education, not just pre-first-grade that we think of today.

Hicks: Right, as you put it in class, a garden rather than a prison.

Kirkpatrick: Yes, right. There is a definite tradition, and I see Montessori and Dewey as the culmination of this whole trend.montessori-maria

Hicks: Let’s focus on a couple the more particular elements of parallel. For Montessori, the phrase is “concentrated attention.” For Dewey, it’s “undivided interest”. Both of them independently are focusing on this as a central part of education, and, in your judgment, it amounts to the same thing with different labels.

Kirkpatrick: Yes, very similar because Montessori wanted the child to learn how to concentrate for long periods of time. She developed these unique and very clever “didactic materials” as she calls them that the child works with. And it encourages the concentration, it relaxes them. Many problems just kind of fade away. Dewey was talking about the traditional classroom, where the child is bored and starts daydreaming. The interest, in other words, is divided, and that breeds dependence and becomes very discouraging to the child.

Hicks: And so, for both, the primary job of the teacher is to set the right conditions for the child to get into the state of undivided attention.

Kirckpatrick: Right. Montessori called it a “prepared environment”, and Dewey just says the teacher needs to develop certain experiences that will encourage this.

Hicks: And then the educational outcome, the primary one, is that then the student cultivates independent judgment. So, in both cases, the teacher is the facilitator of the environment so the student is able to concentrate and then achieve the ability.

Kirckpatrick: Now, I actually think I am extending this a bit to talk about it as independent judgment. Montessori calls it independence, and she and Dewey don’t really define it as specifically as I do. I think most people think of independence as you become an adult, you can pay your bills, and you have good, sound judgment. But independent judgment is going beyond that to, like, the boy in the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. When everyone else is sitting idly by and ignoring it and denying it, the boy pipes up and says, “The emperor has no clothes on.” He sees it, he judges it, and he also acts on it. I would say that another parallel was the ability of revolutionary Americans to go to dump tea into the Boston Harbor, having the guts to really do something that’s not necessarily popular.

Hicks: So independence has both a cognitive component and an existential action component, right?

Kirkpatrick: Yes.

Hicks: You were stressing similarities between Montessori and Dewey, but through most of the twentieth century the perception has been that they are philosophically different, that there have been turf warfare issues. In your judgment, do you think that the differences are overstated or they are real?

Kirkpatrick: Well, they definitely are real to some extent because throughout the twentieth century it was progressive educators — not just Dewey. And Dewey was kind of on the sidelines for most of his career as a professional philosopher. There were people who were speaking for him or in his name, and I don’t think they necessarily followed what he was saying precisely.

But it is still true that Dewey advocated a more social orientation in his schools. He saw education as a tool of social policy and with a very significant political element. Montessori did not. That’s true of most of the European progressives; they didn’t have the strong political element to them. They focused really down at the class level, helping the child become independent and catering to their interests and individual differences.

deweyjohnHicks: One of the things you also mentioned in your talk and developed further in your book are the political and economic implications of these educational philosophies and your extensions of them.

In emphasizing this point of finding one’s own interest, being able to independently concentrate and work through various projects, and then developing the independence of spirit, of mind, and of action — your argument then is that both Montessori and Dewey, whether they were aware of it or not, really were preparing students for a modern, free, entrepreneurial approach to society.

Kirkpatrick: Specifically capitalism, yes. I do a real twist on these things because both Montessori and Dewey were socialists. But I took a look at their ideas and the whole trend of the progressive movement, and I saw what seemed like a contradiction to let the child blossom on its own, let it be free to choose and move around the room. Yet the whole thing is going to be imposed by the State, which is a tool of coercion. So, especially with compulsory education, you are forcing children to be free, which is a contradiction. And I said, “Well, no, they are both talking about independence and want children to grow up to be strong, courageous adults. That sounds just fine for capitalism.” And so I actually advocate a free market in education, removing government completely from the whole education process and having entrepreneurial capitalists providing the schools.

Hicks: The argument actually goes in two directions. One is, if you take the underlying educational philosophy that both Montessori and Dewey were advocating, that prepares students best not for a more bureaucratic top down socialist society but for an entrepreneurial, market society.

Kirkpatrick: That’s what I saw when I was reading them.

Hicks: Then also your argument that is if we want to actually institutionalize the kind of educational approach that Montessori and Dewey are advocating, that is going to be best realized not by state-run democratic institutions but will be best provided by entrepreneurial market approaches.

Kirkpatrick: Right. And both Dewey and Montessori are talking about not interrupting the child, you know, undivided interest, don’t divide the interest. Montessori says it’s very important not to interrupt the child, not to deflect the attention. Well, I see the connection there also at the political level that what government intrusion in the economy does is precisely that. It deflects attention of the entrepreneur and tries to move him in a direction that is away from what the real business is and that’s satisfying customers.

Hicks: Or developing the product to satisfy and deflecting it toward rule compliance and bureaucracy. Well, the book is called Montessori, Dewey and Capitalism by Jerry Kirkpatrick. Thanks for being with us today.

KWR: Chisholm, Dangerous Things Taught in School, Heroism, Business Ethics, Sports Symposium

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Kaizen Weekly Review highlights activities of The Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship and recent business ethics and entrepreneurship news.
Editor
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9 Dangerous Things You Were Taught in School
We didn’t just learn reading, writing, and arithmetic in school; we learned innumerable life lessons along the way. This Forbes article argues that school subtly teaches us such lessons as blindly following authority, never questioning the status quo, and that individual value can be standardized. As the author states: “Be aware of the insidious and unspoken lessons you learned as a child. To thrive in the world outside the classroom, you’re going to have to unlearn them.”

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Do We Have the Ability to be Heroes?
Who is a hero? Achilles? John Galt? Luke Skywalker? Ironman? While certainly heroic, these are fictitious figures, not real people. So can real people be heroic? Can we be heroes? Author and Professor of Leadership, Fred Kofman, suggests that “[h]eroes are not just mythical characters. They are examples of you at your best.” Read the article.

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John Chisholm and Stephen Hicks Give Talks at APEE Conference
Stephen Hicks and Kaizen interviewee John Chisholm spoke at the Association of Private Enterprise Education’s annual conference this week. Read more about Hicks’s discussion. Below is John Chisholm’s TedX talk “Release Your Inner Company.”




Business Ethics
A part of Hicks’s Business Ethics Case Studies video series, Introduction: Case Study Method, has been released. See the previously released video on Rent Control. Forthcoming case studies will include: The Tragedy of the Commons, Laetrile and Experimental Cancer Drugs, The FCC’s “Fairness Doctrine”, and Minimum Wages.


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Sports Symposium at Rockford University
Today, Professors Shawn Klein and Michael Perry are hosting a symposium on “Fandom, Fantasy, and Play.” According to professor Klein, “This year’s symposium seeks to explore and examine [the] aspects of the relationship between fan and sport.” The first panel addressing fandom will include such papers as “The Popovich-Stern Issue and Normative Implications for Professional Sports.” The second panel on fantasy will include such papers as “Fantasy Sport and Aristotelian Flourishing.” Read the abstracts.



See you next week!

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Previous Issues of Kaizen Weekly Review.

Interview with Dr. Terry Noel

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Professor Stephen Hicks, CEE’s Executive Director, interviewed guest speaker Terry Noel, Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University, about virtuous entrepreneurship. Watch the interview below.
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Kaizen Weekly Review

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Kaizen Weekly Review highlights activities of The Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship and recent business ethics and entrepreneurship news.
Editor
: Virginia Murr

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Innovative Education: the Computer in the Wall
The winner of this year’s one million dollar TED prize and professor of educational technology at Newcastle University, Professor Sugata Mitra, set up a computer in a New Dehli slum, connected it to the internet, and placed it inside of a wall, protected only by a shield of plastic. After making the mouse accessible, he left. According to this Wired article, Mitra came back eight hours later and saw kids browsing the Internet in English, a language they do not speak.

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Should Olympic Athletes Be More Moral Than Other Athletes?
Professor Shawn Klein, a.k.a. The Sports Ethicist, discusses morality and rule-breaking by analyzing the last Olympics. The London Olympics generated several controversies, including badminton and soccer teams trying to lose or draw to set up more favorable seeding in the next round and a swimmer who admitted to taking illegal, extra kicks in his gold medal race. According to Klein, the fact that some people are “athletically excellent does not mean they are also morally excellent.” Read the full blog post.

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The Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy
This article by Professor Noel D. Campbell introduces the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, launched in 2012. According to the abstract, “JEPP was created to encourage and disseminate quality research about the vital relationships among institutions, entrepreneurship and economic outcomes.” The latest issue covers such topics as creative destruction and entrepreneurship across disciplines.

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Public Policy, Objectivism, and Entrepreneurship
Stephen Hicks gave a talk on Public Policy, Objectivism, and Entrepreneurship at the 2012 Atlas Summit in Washington, DC. Some of his themes included: Our schizophrenic public policy culture — health, sex, religion, money; what wealth is; entrepreneurism as a cultural asset; Objectivism’s entrepreneurial ethic; and principled strategy in a mixed economy. Hicks will be speaking again at the 2013 Atlas Summit.

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Shawn Klein’s New Sports Ethicist Radio Program
The Sports Ethicist Show premiered on Rockford University Radio this week. Each week Klein and guests will discuss ethical and philosophical issues that arise in and around sport. The first episode on “What is Sport?” featured Professor Michael Perry. Listen to or download the podcast.

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Can Aerobic Activity Improve Executive Function?
Among other things, executive brain function helps us to plan, organize, and formulate strategies. Is it possible to improve this all-important brain function? A study from the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review gives evidence that aerobic activity can do just that. Read more about the study.

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See you next week!

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Previous Issues of Kaizen Weekly Review.

NFTE Celebrates its 25th Year

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Steve Mariotti, Kaizen interviewee and founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), looks back at 25 years of inspiring young people to become entrepreneurs. Congratulations to Mr. Mariotti and everyone at NFTE!

Read the article at Huffington Post.

Read our extended interview with Mr. Mariotti here.

September 2012 Issue of Kaizen

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In our latest issue of Kaizen we feature an interview with Jeff Sandefer, a founder of the Acton School of Business, an innovative MBA program in Austin, Texas focusing on entrepreneurship.

Also featured in Kaizen are: student essay contest winners Megan Hopwood and Carly Stokstad; and guest speaker Dr. Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin, and author of “Money Can Buy Happiness.”

A PDF version of Kaizen is available here. We will soon post separately the full interview with Mr. Sandefer.

If you would like to receive a complimentary issue of the print version of Kaizen, please email your name and postal address to CEE [at] Rockford.edu.

Interview with Paul Drake

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

R. Paul Drake is the Henry S. Carhart Collegiate Professor of Space Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has worked as a research physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and had visiting professorships at universities around the United States. He was featured in the BBC’s documentary Hyperspace (2001) and the Discovery Channel’s How the Universe Works (2009). Currently, Dr. Drake is also Director of Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics at the University of Michigan.

Kaizen: How did you become interested in science as a kid?

Drake: I am not sure. I have been interested in how things worked and in doing things connected with understanding and assembling things as long as I can remember. I remember avidly playing with an Erector set, the mechanical precursor of LEGOs. And I remember doing things with a chemistry set at ages when I don’t have a lot of other memories; so for me, it was those kinds of things were interesting to me from the start. Some people have an experience where they get turned on to something that becomes their future. I don’t have that in my background.

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Interview with Jack Stack

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Jack Stack is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SRC Holdings Corporation, an award-winning, employee-owned organization based in Springfield, Missouri. Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation and its 22 subsidiaries provide a wide range of products and services, including engine remanufacturing, packing and distribution, business consulting and banking. SRC employs 1,600 people and generates annual revenues of about $400 million.

Kaizen: Where did you grow up?

Stack: I was born in Chicago in 1948. My father bought a house in Elmhurst, Illinois, and I lived in Elmhurst from the time that I was about three years old to about 30. Then I was transferred to Springfield, Missouri, where I’ve spent the last 31 years of my life.

Kaizen: It sounds like you were a wild card as a youth—you were kicked out of college and seminary and fired from a job at General Motors?

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The Vanishing Entrepreneur

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Professor Donna Matias of the University of San Diego School of Law describes some of the regulatory obstacles that entrepreneurs — especially those with low income —face:

Why America is Losing its Innovative Edge

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Norm Augustine believes that America is falling behind other countries like China and India in technological innovation. This is because our culture portrays engineers and scientists as nerds rather than venerating them, because our educational system deemphasizes science and math, and because we don’t invest enough in long-term basic research. “Despite what many Americans believe,” he writes, “our nation does not possess an innate knack for greatness.  Greatness must be worked for and won by each new generation.”

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Read our Kaizen interview with Judy Estrin, in which she covers similar themes.