In order to obtain an overview of what the PGED201 Educational Thought module is about, I provide an overview from the Study Guide:

The purpose of this module is to inspire and prompt you to THINK reflectively and critically about education, yourself as teacher, your learner, the world in which you are teaching, educational knowledge and content, and also: how you will be teaching. Ultimately, this module should enable you to develop and finally articulate your evolving personal teaching philosophy.

In essence, philosophy is about understanding and making sense of things in the world; and education is about helping people to learn how to do so. Hence, by combining philosophy and education, this module aims to help you make sense of what you do when you help people to improve the quality of your own and their lives.

This module focuses primarily on the values that support our (and others’) philosophical underpinnings of education. You will thus be introduced to viewpoints and ideas of a number of educational thinkers/philosophers as you work your way through the module. We hope that these brief overviews will stimulate your interest, prompt you to think independently and also whet your appetite so that you will be eager to broaden your own understanding of so many of life’s issues. You are thus encouraged to consult the various resources available to you – Internet, Google and the Library  - to deepen your insight and grow into a well-grounded thinking person!

Be prepared (and forewarned!) that existing assumptions about yourself, your learners, education, teaching and learning, the school environment, knowledge, content and so forth will be challenged. In the end, you are entitled to your own viewpoints and will draft your own, personal teaching philosophy - but only after you have invested deep, critical and reflective thought into who you are, how you see your learners, what teaching and learning is, why education in South Africa and the world is so important, and so forth.

By the end of this module, you should be able to formulate a meaningful and relevant personal teaching philosophy, having familiarised yourself with the viewpoints of other thinkers - including adversarial[1] and contesting views. You will be expected to reflect on these viewpoints and ideas in a critical manner.

In order to stimulate your thinking, you will thus be confronted at regular intervals with a simple yet very profound question: “WHAT IS YOUR VIEW AND WHY DO YOU SAY SO?” Please thus read and discuss widely, think deeply, reflectively and critically, and use the forums on Moodle to exchange viewpoints and ideas with your classmates and lecturers. 

Module outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, we trust that you will be able to:

  • Compose your own, evolving teaching philosophy.
  • Provide well-grounded interpretations of literature in this area of study.
  • Write succinct[2] and accurate syntheses[3] of written material [Responding and arguing].
  • Interpret knowledge as a source of meaning and as a guide to reflection and choice of actions.
  • Grasp the dialectical[4] relationship between theoretical and practical knowledge.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the variety of educational contexts in which knowledge might apply.
  • Analyse educational situations with a view to identifying problems.
  • Use appropriate resources for academic work, including information and communications technology.

 Module structure

The module has seven units, which are interlinked. In each unit, you will be introduced to thought-provoking viewpoints on education and educational practices as expressed by various seminal thinkers and philosophers. You will be encouraged to, by applying your own (individual) mind in a thoughtful manner, consider their stances, ideas and philosophies and then formulate your own, personal evolving viewpoint.

The seven units are:

  • Unit 1              Rethinking Philosophy
  • Unit 2              Rethinking Education
  • Unit 3              Rethinking The Self
  • Unit 4              Rethinking The Other
  • Unit 5              Rethinking Knowledge
  • Unit 6              Rethinking Pedagogy
  • Unit 7              Rethinking The World

[1] opposing

[2] Short, clear and to the point

[3] Synthesis  - the process of combining different ideas, influences, or objects into a new whole

[4] A discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments.


Cellphilms: Group presentations

Students formed groups of 4 – 6 each.

Groups have 8-10 minutes (consult with me if longer) to do a cellphilm presentation on:

Reflecting on and rethinking the various units of the module:

  • We provide an overview of what we as group reflected upon [things that you would say impacted on you as persons AND as such what we would have used if we had to compile a brief portfolio] and the insights we came up with while engaging with this module and all its units AND
  • We propose the following educational philosophy for post-colonial South Africa and we provide sound/good reasons for this philosophy”

Now you as group decide how you can use the ideas to make an interesting 8 to 10 minutes cellphilm in which you all participate. It can take any form [Story, News Room, Panel Discussion, Dance, Poem, Combination of Dance/Poem and Music, an on-stage performance with props or without props, an off-stage on the grass under trees performance, but you will have to plan it creatively. I leave this to your creativity

Use the rubric provided to guide you (click here for rubric)

The results were amazing.