Agassi’s Philosophy of Education

Agassi’s Philosophy of Education 艾格思教育哲学
Democracy Not Authority 民主不极权

Agassi Teaches 1艾格思教学法

“Any questions?” Dr Agassi asked 1960 年,香港大学,哲学第一课.
Our first Philosophy class in 1960, “有问题吗?” 艾格思教授问.
Hong Kong.

“No questions,” we shook our heads. “没有问题.” 我们摇头说.
“Class dismissed,” Agassi said. “下课.” 教授说.
Surprise. “不是吧! 您还没讲课呢.” 我们说.
“But you haven’t lectured,” we said. “回去看书吧.” 他说.
“Read your books,” he said.

We came back for the next class. 下一课,一开始还是: “有问题吗?”
“Any questions?” he began. “没有问题.” 我们还是说.
“No questions,” we said. “下课.再见.”
“Class dismissed.”

“He must be joking,” we thought. “不是吧. 怎么搞的?” 大家说.
He was not. 第二课又完了.
Class was dismissed.

The third class. 第三课,
We came back with tough questions. 我们准备了很凶的问题.
Wow! 讨论精彩极了!

Socrates for Democracy 苏格拉底教育的民主 公元前470?-399 BCE

“But I was never anyone’s teacher … I have never withheld myself from anyone, young or old, who was anxious to hear me converse while I was making my investigation; neither do I converse for payment and refuse to converse without payment. I am ready to ask questions of rich and poor alike, and if any man wishes to answer me, and then listen to what I have to say, he may. And I cannot justly be charged with causing these men to turn out good or bad, for I never either taught or professed to teach any of them any knowledge whatever.” –Socrates.
“我从未为人师 … 我探讨问题, 与人讨论, 老幼任听, 不为钱财. 我问人问题, 贫富不分, 答听任人. 人变好坏, 不能罪我, 我从没教人任何知识.” –苏格拉底.
(Plato 柏拉图360 BCE 公元前: (早期著作) Apology 辩词.)
Father of Modern Scientific Method–Popper Explains Socrates
现代科学方法之父朴耙解释苏格拉底

Wisdom of Socrates. “Readiness to learn in itself proves the possession of wisdom, in fact all the wisdom claimed by Socrates for himself; for he who is ready to learn knows how little he knows. The uneducated seems thus to be in need of an authority to wake him up, since he cannot be expected to be self-critical. But this one element of authoritarianism was wonderfully balanced in Socrates’ teaching by the emphasis that the authority must not claim more than that. The true teacher can prove himself only by exhibiting that self-criticism which the uneducated lacks….
苏格拉底的智慧. “愿学, 智慧也, 苏格拉底说自己别无其他智慧; 盖愿学者知自己知识如何短陋. 无知者不能批评自己, 求权威唤醒. 此唯一权威行动, 苏格拉底巧妙均衡之, 强调权威不可越此. 真师示无知者以自觉其短.

Intellectual Freedom. “State interest must not be lightly invoked to defend measures which may endanger the most precious of all forms of freedom, namely, intellectual freedom. And although I do not advocate ‘laissez faire with regard to teachers and schoolmasters’, I believe that this policy is infinitely superior to an authoritative policy that gives officers of the state full power to mould minds …
思考自由. 所忌者政府轻易施行权威而危害最可贵的自由, 就是思考自由. 我虽然不主张放任教师, 但我相信此政策远远优胜于授权政府人员规范人思考的政策.

Socrates Betrayed: Plato for Authority. “The Platonic ‘Socrates’ of the Republic is the embodiment of an unmitigated authoritarianism…. His educational aim is not the awakening of self-criticism and of critical thought in general. It is, rather, indoctrination … the moulding of minds and of souls which (to repeat a quotation from Laws) are ‘to become, by long habit, utterly incapable of doing anything at all independently’.
柏拉图背弃师训, 主张极权. “柏拉图(后期著作背弃师训)共和国 书 把苏格拉底变成极权化身, 教育理想不再为明辨自觉, 只为教条灌输, 规范思想灵性, 如其法律 书言 ‘令学生习惯不能独立思考行事.’”
(Popper朴耙, 1945, p. 129-32页)

Homer Lane: Democracy Educating Juvenile Delinquents
荷马雷恩: 民主方法教育犯罪青少年 1913年
“… the Little Commonwealth in Dorset, England, where in 1913 he (Homer Lane) had been appointed superintendent of a colony of delinquent boys and girls who governed themselves in a small democracy, each person – including Lane himself – having one vote. 1913 年, 荷马雷恩被委任为英伦多瑟地方的 ‘小联邦 ’监督, 管理一群犯罪男女青少年, 民主自治, 投票每人一票, 雷恩也是一票. (Neil倪奥, 1969, p. 5页.)

Should all members of a school, regardless of age, be given an equal vote?
应否全校师生, 不论年纪, 有平等投票权? (Agassi 阿格思1970)

A. S. Neil: Summerhill School Democracy倪奥夏令山学校民主 1921 年

“The difficult child is the child who is unhappy. … All crimes, all hatreds, all wars can be reduced to unhappiness. 问题孩子是不快乐的孩子.… 所有犯罪,所有仇恨,所有战争,都根源于不快乐.” (Neill 倪奥 1960, Introduction 导言.)

“All it required was what we had—a complete belief in the child as a good, not an evil, being. For almost forty years, this belief in the goodness of the child has never wavered; it rather has become a final faith.”
我们只需相信孩子善良不罪恶. 快四十年了, 我们相信孩子善良这信念从没动摇, 成为了我们最终的信仰. (Neil 倪奥 1960, p. 4 页.)

“What is Summerhill like? Well, for one thing, lessons are optional.” (Neill 1960, p.5.)
“夏令山学校是怎么样的? “No pupil is compelled to attend lessons. 不强迫学生上课.” (Neill 倪奥, 1960, p.13)

John Dewey against Summerhill Democracy杜威反对夏令山学校的民主1933年
Dewey disagreed with Neill’s Summerhill idea that students should be given the ‘freedom to choose to go to class or stay away altogether.’ 杜威反对倪奥 ‘夏令山’学校的办法给学生选择上课抑或干脆缺席的自由. (Swartz 思沃子2006, p. 52)
“The result is often that described in the story of a young child who, on arriving at school, said to the teacher: ‘Do we have to do today what we want to do?’” “结果孩子们到了学校常问老师: ‘我们今天是不是一定要做我们自己想做的事情?’”
(Dewey 杜威, 1933, pp.273-4)

Agassi Refutes his Teacher Popper 艾格思推翻朴耙老师

Popper Refuted. “Popper’s opinion always was that children are authoritarian by nature and they have to be charmed by their teachers and educated in an authoritarian manner – in order to have them grow out of their authoritarianism, need one say. I do not agree: A major argument in his The Open Society and Its Enemies is, after all, that we do not know what human nature is (though we may refute some views about it if they are not defended apologetically). Moreover, his view is refuted by democratic schools where authority is democratically controlled and pupils learn no worse than in authoritarian schools … Popper’s idea of the romantic element in education amounts to condoning manipulation
of pupils for their own good.”
否证朴耙观点. “朴耙观点, 儿童本性极权, 适宜教师魅力收服之, 极权教导之以脱出其自我极权思想. 此观点我不同意. 朴耙著作开放社会的敌人 书中说人的本性不可知 (虽然有些人性论论据缺弱可被否证). 朴耙观点亦被否证了: 证实民主学校民主管制权威, 学生学习不逊色于极权学校. 朴耙对教育浪漫因素之见, 等于为学生利益而操纵学生.” (Agassi艾格思, 1993, p. 59页)

The Democratic School 民主的学校. “ … the best school is the democratically run school … criticism of this view is always the argument that in a democratic school pupils will make study noncompulsory and then will not study at all. 最好的学校是民主管理的学校: 批评这观点的总是辩论说民主学校学生会决定不必学习, 跟着就干脆不学习 …..

“This argument is poor. It runs in the face of the fact that everybody agrees that character building or socialization is more important than building the stock of knowledge. (If you have character you will learn if you want to: if not, your knowledge from your school days will be of no avail.) …Daniel Greenberg of the famed Sudbury Valley School observes, in a democratic school pupils learn what they want, not what their elders and betters think is good for them … schools are undemocratic because in our democratic society there is a high distrust of and dislike for democracy …
这辩论贫弱. 事实相反, 大家都公认品格的建立或人际相处比积聚知识更重要. (有品格的人要学自然会学, 没品格的人在学校日子里得来的知识没有用.) … 著名瑟萡里谷学校的丹尼尔格林萡指出: 民主学校的学生学他们自己要学的事物, 不是长者先进认为对他们有好处的事物 … 学校之所以不民主, 因为我们民主社会里对民主有很大的猜疑和讨厌 …

Freedom in Education 教育的自由. “The movement towards free education, from Homer Lane to Bertrand Russell, assumed that there is no problem of motivation to begin with. As Russell says in his ‘Freedom versus Authority in Education’ … children love to invest effort in study.”
“走向自由教育的运动, 从荷马雷恩到罗素, 相信向学之心根本不是问题 … 儿童爱着力于学习.” (Agassi 艾格思 1977, pp. 314-15 页)

Popper &Agassi on Subjects and Textbooks 朴耙与艾格思论学科与教科书

Myth of Subjects. “…subject matters in general do not exist. There are no subject matters; no branches of learning—or, rather of inquiry: there are only problems, and the urge to solve them. A science such as biology or chemistry (or say physical chemistry, or electrochemistry) is, I contend, merely an administrative unit. University administrators have a difficult job anyway, and it is a great convenience to them to work on the assumption that there are some named subjects, with chairs attached to them to be filled by the experts in these subjects. It has been said that the subjects are also a convenience to the student. I do not agree: even serious students are misled by the myth of the subject. And I should be reluctant to call anything that misleads a person a convenience to that person.
学科的神话. “…学科只是神话, 实不存在. 只有众多问题, 与解决问题的渴望而已. 分割知识如生物, 化学, 物理化学, 或电子化学等学科, 只为方便大学施政, 以聘任系主任而已. 或曰方便学子, 非也, 误导学子也, 何来方便?
(Popper卡尔朴耙, 1983, page 页5.)

Science Dogma. “ ‘Normal science … is the activity of the non-revolutionary, or more precisely, the not-too-critical professional; of the science student who accepts the ruling dogma of the day; who does not wish to challenge it; and who accepts a revolutionary theory only if almost everybody else is ready to accept it – if it become fashionable by a kind of bandwagon effect. To resist a new fashion needs perhaps as much courage as was needed to bring it about … I believe, and so do many others, that all teaching on the University level (and if possible below) should be training and encouragement in critical thinking. The ‘normal’ scientist … has been badly taught. He has been taught in a dogmatic spirit: he is a victim of indoctrination?”
教条科学. 教科书编写当今知识如宗教教条不可违, 与大学生本应学习判断思考相反. 科学知识代代革命更新, 科学教条, 只能教出科学奴才.
(Popper朴耙1970, pp. 52-3页.)

Kill Textbooks. In turn, Agassi asserted that the Popperian revolution in science entails killing off science textbooks which teach the paradigm endorsed by the leaders in any scientific community.
废除教科书. 艾格思痛快说朴耙的科学革命要废除任何科学群体认凖科学的教科书.
(Swartz思沃子2006, p.48页.)

“We should not teach any textbooks in schools – not creationist, not evolutionist. The technical part of instruction should be frankly confined to handbooks, the intellectual part should comprise the history of ideas. And if a pupil asks: ‘Whom should I believe?’, offer him Galileo’s answer: Make up your own mind!
科学教科书多是 ‘思想暴政’手段而已. 创造论教科书抑或进化论教科书, 俱不宜教学用. 只教思想史可也. 若学子问: ‘何者可信?’ 依伽里略答之: ‘你自己决定吧.’ 至于技术之教导, 应坦白限于技术手册足已.

“The question is political: how can we kill the science textbook? This will be the Popperian revolution, the killing of the textbook, not the killing of logical positivism and not the pious declaration that science is our open society when science produces science textbooks. The worst of it is that the science textbook is called a paradigm, and declared sine qua non. (Agassi, 1988, pp. 493-4)

‘Intellectual Tyranny’ 思想暴政 “The secular revolution was the biggest revolution in the West not because it undermined religion: contrary to all forecasts it did not. Nor did it even undermine theology. It undermined tyranny – in particular it undermined tyranny in the name of religion. But we still have tyranny, and some, though by far not the worst, is exercised in the name of the best in science. We now need to undermine the tyranny in the name of science. Popper himself says so, and even emphatically. But, alas! Not consistently. Nor is it easy to find out the techniques of intellectual tyranny–in religion or science—especially in education, and to design means for countering them.” (Agassi, 1988, pp. 493-4)
思想革命没有推翻宗教, 也没有推翻神学, 其伟大成就在推翻了暴政, 尤其是以宗教为口号的暴政. 今日暴政仍有. 科学界亦是, 以科学宗师为口号, 施行科学暴政.
(艾格思1988: 493-4)

Agassi’s Questions 艾格思问

1. Why should we teach science in our schools? 为何学校要教科学?
2. Is science taught in our schools in a dogmatic manner? 学校教科学是否教条式教授?
3. Is it desirable to avoid dogmatism in teaching? 教学应否避免教条主义?
4. How can we evaluate whether teachers are teaching a dogma? 如何评定教师是否教授教条?
5. How can we evaluate whether students are learning to be dogmatic? 如何评定学生是否在学教条式顽固?
6. What should be included in a school’s prescribed curriculum? 课程应包括什么内容?
7. How can we develop ways to alleviate the suffering inflicted by the present education system on students and others? 如何减轻目前教育制度对学生的折磨?
8. How can we avoid having educational programmes which train large numbers of students to hate mathematics and/or history and literature? 如何避免训练学生讨厌数学,历史,或文学等?
9. Do the educational views of Homer Lane, A.S. Neill, Janusz Korczak, Daniel Greenberg and Bertrand Russell provide the basis for liberal democratic self-governing educational philosophies that can help people to avoid some of the evils of our present-day conventional schools? 荷马雷恩, A.S.倪奥, 杨努思科扎可, 单尼奥格林伯格, 和罗素的教育观是否提供自由民主自治教育哲学的基础, 帮助人们避免今日传统学校的部分毒害?
10. Can students learn to design their own curricula? 学生能学自订课程吗?
11. Can autonomous students be directed? 自治自学的学生能接受指导吗?
12. How can we avoid doing damage to students? 如何避免伤害学生?
13. What is the function of a teacher? 老师的任务功能是什么?
14. How can we evaluate whether the functions we want our teachers to serve are the correct ones? 如何评估我们选定给老师执行的功能任务是否正确?
15. How can we evaluate whether teachers are successfully fulfilling the functions we have chosen? 如何评估教师是否完成其任务?
16. Can the tasks we want teachers to undertake be computerized? 要老师执行的工作能否电脑化?
17. Insofar as the tasks of the teacher can be computerized, under what conditions is this advisable? 如何情况下适宜老师工作电脑化?
18. Should we judge the worth of students and others independently of their academic achievement? 可否脱离学科成就, 独立裁定学生的价值?
19. Should civil rights, as guaranteed by the United States’ Constitution, be extended also to minors? 青少年应否享有公民权?
20. Can there be equal voting rights for all members of a school, regardless of age and status? 可否全校师生不论年纪地位享有平等投票权?
(Swartz 思沃子2006, p. 49-50.)

REFERENCES 参考书

AGASSI, J. (1970) The preaching of John Holt. Interchange, 1(4), pp. 115-18.
AGASSI, J. (1977) Towards a Rational Philosophical Anthropology. The Hague, The
Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.
AGASSI, J. (1988) The Gentle Art of Philosophical Polemics: Selected Reviews and
Comments. LaSalle, IL: Open Court Publishing Company.
AGASSI, J. (1993) A Philosopher’s Apprentice: In Karl Popper’s Workshop. Alanta,
GA: Editions Rodopi.
DEWEY, J. (1933) How We Think: A Restatement of the Relationship of Reflective
Thinking to the Education Progress. Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery Company.
NEIL, A. S. (1960) Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing. New York: Hart
Publishing Company.
NEIL, A. S. (1969) Introduction. In: H. T. Lane, Talks to Parents and Teachers, pp.
3-13. New York: Schocken Books.
PLATO (1981) Apology. In: Plato, Euthyphro, Apology and Crito. Indianapolis, IN:
Bobbs-Merrill (trans. F. J. Church, 1956)(written c. 360 BCE).
POPPER, K. R. (1945) The Open Society and its Enemies, Volume 1 – The Spell of Plato.
London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
POPPER, K. R. (1970) Normal science and its dangers. In: I. Lakatos and Musgrave
(eds) Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, PP. 51-8. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
POPPER, K. R. (1983) Realism and the Aim of Science. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman
And Littlefield (from the Postscript to the Logic of Scientific Discovery, ed. by
W. W. Bartley, III).
SWARTZ, Ronald (2006) “Revisiting Joseph Agassi’s Philosophy of Education”
(约瑟夫艾格思教育哲学再探讨) in Learning for Democracy (为民主学习), Vol.
2 册, No. 2 号, 2006年. Ronald Swartz, Ph.D. (思沃子 博士), Professor of
Education and Philosophy, Oakland University, United States of America 美国
欧克兰大学教育与哲学教授.

Internet Search 网页搜索:
”Professor Joseph Agassi”; “约瑟夫.阿格思教授”; “约瑟夫.阿伽西”; “约瑟夫.阿盖西: 法拉第传”. 网址 http://www.tau.ac.il/~agass/

Chinese translation by KWAN Lihuen (LH Kwan) 关理煊中文翻译

CRITIQUES 评论

On ‘Agassi Teaches艾格思教学法’

“This does sound like effective teaching, although I would not have the nerve to try it.” (“听来确是有效教学; 我可不敢胆粗尝试.”) (Joel Kupperman, Profesor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut. 古博文教授, 康州大学哲学系. 2006.8.23.)

“I couldn’t have dismissed my class–I’d have lost my job. I’d signed a contract to teach a certain number of hours.” (“我可不能够这样遣散学生下课, 这样做要解雇我了: 合约写明委定数目的教学钟点.” (安马丽硕士Anne Marie Epp, M.A., Vancouver, BC schools English teacher, Canada 加拿大温哥华中学英文教师. 2006.8.23.)

“艾格思教学法很有启发意义.我想如果教师们都这样进行教学,会培养一大批有探究能力有自主学习能力的优秀学生.” (‘Agassi Teaches’ is inspiring. If all teachers do this, we’ll have an army of autonomous investigative scholars.” (贵阳市盲聋哑学校饶舞林校长 RAO Wulin, Principal, Guiyang City School for the Blind or Deaf, Guizhou Province, China. 2006.8.24.)

On ‘Agassi’s Philosophy of Education 艾格思教育哲学’批评

Peter Ballin: I agree with Popper, as long as we don’t go extreme on this. I believe that, as social carnivores, we need to learn order so that we have a template to take into adulthood of the organized group that is essential to survival. Without a disciplined grounding as children, we do not become free to make more or less independent decisions. So I do believe that we know what human nature is (why shouldn’t we, unless we are retro Skinnerians?) You might find that democratic schools have very solid ground rules from which to exercise their democracy. (Peter Ballin, teacher, Vancouver Community College, King Edward Campus, Canada.)
Kwan: Mr Ballin disagrees with Professor Agassi and Mencius (Confucius) that human nature (children) is good, on which Homer Lane, A. S. Neil, and Agassi’s educational philosophy depends.
Ballin: I did not argue against human nature being good! I stated that we have a definable human nature. I can’t be bothered with good or bad about human nature…it is simply adaptive. Or at least it used to be.

“Agassi’s Philosophy of Education 艾格思教育哲学.”
Canada 加拿大 LH Kwan Chinese translaton 关理煊翻译. Draft 19 稿. 2009.3.27.)
KWAN Lihuen (LH Kwan), 88-2678 West King Edward Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6L 1T7; telephone 1.604-222-3033; e-mail kwanlihuen@telus.net

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