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Critique of Education as Life Itself, draft

Brie Stark's picture

Education as Life Itself: Freedom, Integration and Beyond

Paul Grobstein, Alice Lesnick


This paper is still in draft form; these are my critiques.  I find it easier to separate the paper into sections and critique by section, then offer a broad critique.


1. Introduction

  • I thought that, while the introduction was thorough in introducing the subject manner, the authors should consider illustrating why this new way of looking at education is 'important' -- why the concept is important to integrate and cooperate with traditional education. 
  • I think another point to illustrate would be why the paper's goals a bit clearer -- what are the benefits of this change in education?  What are future goals?  What are obstacles?
  • I did not understand the broad, slightly ambiguous term of 'freedom' as much as I felt I should have.  I wasn't sure how to interpret the term in context.

2. Biology, Evolution & Informal Education

  • I thought that the example of learning a first language was relatable and also a tangible example of the success of informal learning.

3. Reflection, Culture, Meaning-Making and Formal Education

  • I believe it would be beneficial to elaborate on "story telling" and "meaning making."  As a person who is familiar with both of these terms, I understood their context well.  However, a person who is just now reading these two novel ideas, I found it them to be a bit ambiguous and thought that they could be better defined at the beginning of this section.
  • I thought that a 'concrete' example, perhaps a study, to back-up the point of effective socialization (pg. 8) would send the concept home for me and make the connection clearer.
  • What are "human reflective capacities?"  I felt that this may be a good time to use science, or biology (as the paper dictates), to help readers understand this capability.  You used evolution, so I believe that another scientific notion would be applicable and helpful here.

4. A Case Study (PG)

  • I thought that this personal perspective, like the second language learning example, was particularly tangible because the figure was relatable and detailed why certain fundamental concepts of traditional education failed to meet his desires in education.

5. A Case Study (AL)

  • Her case study was also very applicable and helpful in understand key concepts.  Some of the things that she discussed--apprenticeship, for example--hadn't been brought up earlier in the introduction as an example of 'education as life itself.' 
  • I also was unsure what "horizontal" meant in this sense; it could be perhaps defined in context.


  • I thought that the paper provided key arguments for approaching education with a lifelong, developmental process in mind.