Thoreau

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nry David Thoreau's outlook on education grew problematic because of a growing sense that it prevented learning rather then fostering it. He emphasized a deep respect for the local and concrete as the basis of all learning but education through experience was just as intrinsically valuable as schooling. You can't stop life once when you become a teacher you have to keep learning He spent the rest of his life learning and writing; the two were usually the same for him. The purpose of writing for Thoreau is, if he didn't write, he didn't exist. He would have no purpose in life. He embodied the notion of continuing education and lifelong learning. Thoreau was an advocate for continuing education more fundamentally in the sense that he knew that no system is sufficient or permanent, that to be responsively alive is to be a perpetual learner, always aware of both the possibilities and the limits of ones current knowledge. Thoreau remained a learner of how he learned, keeping in his journal a series of internal reflections. He believed that body and soul, self and society, emotion and intellect can be reconciled. He asserts a basic succession between the schoolroom and the street by moving the classroom outside, between the process of learning and experience. He believed that the teacher could learn with and from the student. On the positive side, he wanted to devote all his energies to his writing. But on the negative side, he had a deep, underlying suspicion of the whole activity of formal education. In his journal he writes about how horrible it is to teach when the student isn't experienced or ready for it. Education is never completed, it is always vibrantly alive to the present circumstances of life. While Thoreau sees this cycle as at the heart of the educational process, it is in the area of writing, that he writes with the greatest depth. He engaged in this learning activity daily, noting: "How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live!" Some progressive educators make the mistake of thinking it is enough to have experiences, just by memory somehow constitute thinking about it Thoreau believed that reading and thinking should not be locked away within the mind only. Henry David Thoreau viewed education as an ongoing process that is necessary to awaken us from abstractions and preconceptions in order to learn and see things in a new light.

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