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Open education

Open Education
     Between 1967 and 1976, the ideas and practices of open education spread rapidly
across the United States. Even today the idea of open education is still growing
in popularity. Since it was just beginning to gain popularity in 1967, parents
and teachers swarmed to workshops in hopes of better understanding the open
concept. Many schools were switching over to an open philosophy. News of the
successful educational style fanned the flames of many disbelievers. Many
questions still remained about open education. What did children do? What did
teachers do? Much earlier on, there was an effort to prevent the progression of
open education. During the 1920 through 30's, private schools were set up to
maintain a teacher's power and keep kids as her pupils. People wanted a new
model of education and the open school model slowly replaced it. In the 60's
there was a critical push for open education. The American population had
reached a higher level of consciousness about our social and educational system.

Yet, one question left people doubtful of open education. How can you
"prove" that open education works? People were worried about
educational change, because it could be devastating and expensive. It was never
proven that open education worked, but more money was spent on workshops,
teaching methods, and curricula to create more acceptance of open education. The
word was also debated for a long time, because of the many different meanings.

Was it opportunity? Relationships? Sharing? It was unknown. Finally, the word
was decided apon--open. Open was trendy for the times. As Lydia A. H. Smith from

Simmons College wrote "Open education is an approach to education that is
open to change." As I have gone through open education, I have noticed
differences in teachers. Teachers are not the typical drone model. Open
education dropped the workbooks and lecture style learning and picked up
discussion and hands-on developmental learning. An idea following this change in
classroom materials and teaching styles was the position a teacher held in a
classroom. No longer were they the directors that made everything this way or
that, but teachers were now facilitators that would ease one's way through the
educational system. Education is not just studying about, but about being. The
word about never gave you the eyes to see being. In the US the open educational
philosophy was spreading rapidly, in Britain primary schools were in a great
push towards the movement for open education. Britain had closely been following
open education. Many articles were being published on the idea of open school.

These published articles were evoking positive feelings throughout the United

States and Britain. As for today, there are many different types of educational
philosophies. Once open education was accepted and found to work well society
was more willing to accept new educational ideas. Educational philosophy The
word philosophy comes from the Greek root philos (love) and sophia (wisdom), it
means the love or search for wisdom. Philosophy covers a broad area of topics,
but there is something that I want to explore more closely. I will look at
educational philosophy, since that is what I am dealing with. Basically, I think
philosophy in an educational context is the generalized theory of education or
wisdom in education. Whatever education is, or becomes, is the basis of its
philosophy. Educational theories are applied in a classroom to see if they show
better results than before. If not, the theories are removed. Educational
philosophy contains ideas of ideal ways education should be taught. Open
philosophy wouldn't have been a popular philosophical education model, if it had
not worked as well as it has. I believe that educational philosophy expresses
ideas of how society should be taught. Since I have been in an open education
program for my whole life, I'm going to talk about its ideals and my feelings. I
think open education is based on 6 factors (1) the school as a community, (2)
the school in the community, (3) the person and thier moral right to freedom and
choice, (4) concern for individual differences, (5) the method of intelligence,
(6) building curriculum through and with students. (Lydia A. H. Smith, page 376)

To me the best a teacher can be is when they are learning from the students and
when the students learn from them. It is best when material is not dictated, but
presented through thought and participation. "I believe firmly, that
education must be conceived as a continuing reconstruction of experience; that
the process and the goal of education are one and the same thing" as John

Dewey once wrote. One aspect of open education that I partially disagree with is
that there is too much freedom, which is bad. At a certain point in a child's
life, they crave and need structure. They are not developmentally prepared to
make vital decisions. Schools also need to recognize that education is for the
benefit of generations to come. They are not teaching for the present only. My
experiences in open education Throughout my educational life I have only known
the open model. During earlier grades (maybe K through 5th), the idea that I was
in a school model didn't exist for me. I don't know how much it would have
mattered. In the lower grades I also remember that the teacher was the director
and the way things were done was by obedience. I think it's taking advantage of
a child's being. One way it's good, though, is that at a young age it's harder
for children to make the appropriate choices, so structure is guidance. During

6th through 12th grades we begin to develop an awareness of the system. We
understand more and are also rebellious towards things we stand for or are
opposed to. My teachers in 9th grade are the facilitator types. Society knows
(and my 9th grades teachers) that they can not oppress us, since we are becoming
society. For me, open education has been very good. It's made me who I am. The
people I have met in my open programs would be different from those who went to
a Catholic private school. The way I learn also influences who I am. As John

Dewey said, "I believe that the only true education comes through a child's
powers by the demands of the social situations in which he finds himself."

If a child wants to learn they have the power to learn. If learning is the
social expectation then they will learn. In my years in open education the ways

I've learned seem unlimited. I've been to the sculpture garden to observe and
discuss art. I've been to local businesses to explore economics and how
businesses operate. Also, in an open classroom I see that people sit in groups.

This way much more thinking goes on versus a standard classroom with rows of
desks facing a teacher's desk and black board. Open education is a method of
teaching that provokes a person to talk more and also accept life and school as
a community. Open education presents the whole world as your community. I think
that it decreases racial hatred, which makes earth a more comfortable living
environment. I also believe that open means options and diversity. I am able to
choose my classes and arrange them any way I feel fit. Acceptance of religion,
culture, and racial differences make an open environment the most enriching.

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