Educational Theories and Restoring Balance

Egan, K. (2010). The Ideas That Run Schools. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

This concise article reveals three important theories of education that have come about throughout history, and the author’s emphasis on continuing to shape education today. As with many theories, there is often never one that fits every situation and therefore new theories are made that try and incorporate elements of older theories in order to accommodate more situations. The author suggests that this is occurring in Education, where theories are being recycled, instead of creating new ones. This is aligned well with other discussions on this site regarding teacher’s ability to create balance in their lives, classrooms, between peers, and other social networks. These theories influence each other and are often at odds.

Are we trying to teach kids to behave a certain way, or to react to trauma a certain way, or are we teaching them good behaviours and modeling proper reactions to traumatic events? Egan suggests that these combinations are causing confusion instead of coherence. As teachers, we must teach students to overcome confusion, and to show them how to respond to these emotions, regardless of the severity. Restoring this balance likely means listening to the student as a whole and empowering them to take control of the situation.

Some simple steps can be found in this article regarding Mindfulness http://makingsenseoftrauma.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mindfulness.pdf. The activities discussed are related to meditation, and can offer ways to help children calm down and assess the situation they may find themselves in. Breathing techniques and being aware of how their body reacts to stress is a great way to teach mindfulness.

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