Discipline is almost self-taught through the steps one must go through when trying to create something from start to finish. Discipline comes through perseverance. "…from having a part to do in constructive work, in contributing to a result (p.17)…" supports the thought that when someone comes up with an idea, they must work it out to make it a reality. Problems arise during this process, and by working through them one develops discipline. Dewey believes one must be doing something that is for production of results and has self-meaning as shown in his statement, "But out of occupation, out of doing things that are to produce results, and out of doing these in a social and co-operative way, there is born a discipline of its own kind and type (p. 17)." By not giving up, students become their own discipline teacher.
When students work on a project such as designing a more student-friendly desk, the teacher could guide them, as the "teacher is the essential guide (p. 21)," but ultimately, the students should develop the idea and see it through to the end by themselves. When students work for themselves and do not just replicate something from directions, they have a new type of discipline, as Dewey says, "In critical moments we all realize that the only discipline that stands by us, the only training that becomes intuition, is that got through life itself (p.17)." The students should work together on this, each using his or her own talents to help the group, as supported by Dewey (p.16), "But if the end in view is the development of a spirit of social co-operation and community life, discipline must grow out of and be relative to such an aim." The trials and tribulations would be part of the discipline.
First, the students would come up with the idea because it is something that would benefit themselves-giving it self-motivating properties. Then, they must brainstorm for ideas, making sketches, talking about how things would work together. Once they developed what they felt was a strong design, they must study how to structurally put the desk together. Students should understand the different aspects that concern their desk. Every project can be used to teach about science, geography and history as Dewey supports in his example on page 21-22 about the process of making fibers into cloth. By learning different techniques of reinforcement and how this relates to everything from as small as a desk to as big as a skyscraper, they will be learning about science as well. They could even study the historical designs of desks and how they have changed over the years. Art could be brought into the design as well, giving it more of a homey useful feel rather than just the mechanical needs.
All of these aspects can be studied even before they start the actual building of the desk-all instilling discipline because they will realize that they just can't make something without knowing what history has started them at the point of where they are today. Dewey emphasizes understanding "the influence which these inventions have had upon humanity" (p. 22). By understanding the history students have a better grasp on how and why things can happen to get them to the point they are at in construction of their project. Through those lessons of architecture, science, art and history, Dewey says that "they are getting more training of attention, more power of interpretation, of drawing inferences, of acute observation and continuous reflection, than if they were put to working out arbitrary problems simply for the sake of discipline (p.54)." Discipline follows while they are building the desk and seeing what works and what doesn't, going back to the drawing table and reconfiguring things. After the final product is finished and they can use the desk and feel self-gratification for finishing it, the discipline model has reached its full potential.
Students could decide that they would like to watch how corn grows in different soils, fertilizers, with different amounts of sun and water. Once they chose the product, they would need to construct the experiment and how to test these variables. At first, they might not comprehend how they can only change one variable to test it and might make a mistake by changing too many things. That would be a challenge and would test their self-discipline. If they work through it and figure it out logically, they will have made it passed that step with flying colors. Tying the unit into history and science can easily be done, as Dewey supports on pages 21-22. A teacher could bring in history by studying how corn came to America and who needed it, how they used it and when it started to be sold. More can be studied on how these fertilizers were invented and enhanced for the sciences and for the arts, they can study art forms made with corn such as the Corn Palace in Iowa and other corn by-products. Eventually through the end of their experiment and after publishing findings to their peers, the students will have their self-gratification and also discipline.
rewards and punishments
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