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Ava Cotlowitz's blog

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Reflection #3 - Ethnicity, Inquiry, and Threat

   For my field placement at Ableton Elementary, I am constantly scrambling to ensure that our one-hour Friday art lessons are running smoothly.  With four other Bryn Mawr volunteers to help “take over” Mr. Cohn’s first grade class, we are never without something to do or someone to help.  Yet, several weeks ago, during an art project on collage, I decided to step back from my deeply hands-on role within the classroom and focus more on observing the classroom dynamics and environment unaffected by my contributions.   

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Education and Experience - John Dewey Response

Ava Cotlowitz


Response Paper #2


            John Dewey’s publication Experience Education begins by framing how educational theory, in its most extreme terms, is an “opposition between the idea that education is development from within and that it is formation from without.”  As far as schools are concerned, this opposition “takes the form of contrast between traditional and progressive education” (Dewey, 5).  Within traditional education, a “pattern of organization” takes place that continuously transmits to new generations bodies of information and skills that have been worked out in the past.  On the other hand, progressive education is a more dynamic mode of learning, in which individualized experiences shape how one learns and grows through creative activity and democratic arrangements.  Dewey argues that the students who learn under these two types of education generally maintain different behaviors and attitudes.  Students who are educated traditionally may be more docile, receptive, and obedient, while students who are educated progressively may be more outspoken, creative, and autonomous.  Ultimately, these contrasting modes of learning rely heavily on difference of experience and how educative and miseducative experience can either foster or stunt growth of further experience.

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Educational Experience

Table of Contents

  1. Pre-K – Kindergarten: Shifting from Montessori School to Public School and Learning how to Read
  2. 2nd-3rd Grade: Learning how to Behave in a School Setting and Classroom Etiquette
  3. 5th-6th Grade: Shifting from Public School to Private School
  4. 7th Grade: Learning What it Means to Cheat
  5. 6th-8th Grade: The Hierarchy of the Privileged in Private School
  6. 8th-9th Grade: Shifting from Private School to Public School
  7. 10th-12th Grade: Beginning a Creative Education of Art
  8. 12th-College: Shifting from High School to College

Educational Experience Paper

Shifting from Montessori School to Public School and Learning how to Read

            “I don’t want to go to school!” I yelled at my mom, the morning of my first day of Preschool.

            “School’s going to be fun,” she told me “You’ll make friends and play and you’ll be back home before you know it.”

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