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The Meaning of the Respect for Learners in the Analects of Confucius

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2015, (57), pp.239-274
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : March 31, 2015
  • Accepted : May 11, 2015

MooGil Kim 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

These days, educational slogans such as learner-respect education or child-centered education in modern educative discourses are discussed every now and then. Using the slogan without closely analyzing its meaning, however, will create an unnecessary confusion of thinking in schooling because it is unclear what it means to hold learners in reverence and what it means to center on children. With regard to this issue, H. Entwistle's analysis provides us with useful implications. According to Entwistle, we can distinguish normative meaning from technical meaning in the respect for learners. Normative meaning means that teachers have to treat a child as a 'person.' In this aspect, holding a child in reverence means to pay attention to the sameness between child and adult. In contrast, technical meaning means that teachers have to make allowance for the difference between child and adult, considering child's developmental trait and cognitive level. We can find the respect of the two for learners in the Analects of Confucius. Confucius did not discriminate among the objects of teaching, and tried to guide learners' growth. And Confucius answered differently to the same question by his disciples, according to their traits. In this aspect, it can be said that he practiced the two's principles of respect for learners. Therefore, we can say that the relations between traditional education and modern education are not separated, but are interconnected with each other. In this context, this paper aims to focus on the way of conversation between Confucius and his disciples, and to re-examine Confucius's idea of the respect for learners, and to illuminate its implications for contemporary education.

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