A teacher’s role in the class room and values reflected modeling Anne Sullivan Rivier College Abstract Anne Sullivan became a teacher after facing learning difficulties, she was sent to the Perkins School for the blind, after finding out as a child she was forming blindness at the age of four. Anne was top of her class and was taught by the best teachers at that school. With their strict and disciplined way of teaching in the classroom she wanted to take that style and use it to help others.
One of her students was a child born deaf and blind; Helen Keller’s family had a struggle finding nswers, until they stumbled upon The Perkins School seeking help for Helen. Sullivan was appointed to teach her, deaf and blind with no past structure Anne had a lot of work to do. Annie’s philosophy of education was using social norms and strict discipline to show age appropriate social interactions relate to other philosophers theories in classrooms. These philosophers names being Lev Wgotsky and Jon Dewey, their meth od along with Anne’s are still philosophies. sed in todays modern teaching Helen Keller was born and raised in Tuscumbia, Alabama during the 1880’s she is a ery well-known fgure throughout history because of the circumstances she face. Being born blind and deaf no one really believed that she would be able to learn, with such disabilities during that era it was not expectable the way Helen acted, no manners, un-lady like and uneducated. Though this was not her or her families’ fault something had to be done, out in the world somewhere there had to be a person that could teacher Helen.
Anne Sullivan was contacted to be Helens teacher through The Perkins School for the Blind; she took the Job with high expectations for Helen and had to be very strict with her. Anne’s belief and philosophy on education and the practices she had learned were similar and reflected upon two other educational philosophers’ theories upon teaching in the classroom, Lev Wgotsky and Jon Dewey. The way students are taught within the classroom and how the teacher presents themselves along with their teaching structure impacts the way the students learn, classroom setting and the environment around is also effects how the student learns.
Anne Sullivan’s way of how she taught Helen came from her personality and the values she grew up and believed in. Anne was born in 1866 on April 14th in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. Sullivan’s father was not involved really in her life; he was very abusive and later left them, her mother later died due to health issues battling a struggle with tuberculosis. Anne did not live an easy life with things handed to her nor did she come from a family that had money. Her family had a fair amount of struggles with living in poor conditions, which included a lot of health issues as well.
Before Anne went to the Perkins school she resided in the town of Tewksbury at Almshouse with her siblings due to her mother’s passing and her father’s relationship to the family. It was not any better living wise then when she was back at home with her family but it was a place that had taken them in during the time of struggle. Anne’s teachers were very stern quick tempered and strict with her, which was the way they had to be to make sure what was taught, was learned.
As she got older she later developed the same techniques of teaching, Anne Sullivan was top of her class at The Perkins school, she graduated being the valedictorian. The Perkins school after getting word about Helen and being so proud of Anne with her high honor decided she would be perfect for the Job to teach her. In 1887, Anne went down to Tuscumbia to be Helens mentor; she had the strong belief that no matter what the disability and no matter the severity, every child has the right to learn and the right of an education.
Children will learn if you don’t give up, they are capable of understanding and have a right to it. That given gender, race, religion or disability it doesn’t matter every child has the right to an education, that none of those factors should ever have to play a role of stopping somebody from learning. Ann was very head strong about that and very much so stood by that statement as too was Jon Dewey he to believe every child has the right to learn.
Anne along with Dewey’s strategy was that children don’t always understand Just by being told what to do, but instead for them to be shown, so that physically actions are being presented. After working with the Keller family, Annie saw in time Helen understood and was learning through repetitive actions, she requested for family to have Helen attend The Perkins School. By keeping Helen at home, where if something didn’t go her way she would run away from Anne to find her mother who would give her anything she wanted.
Helens family enabled her unlike Sullivan who was very strict with her and was quick to show her that her behavior was not okay. The movie we watch in class, The Miracle Worker showed exactly how frustrating it was to teach Helen anything while she was in her home setting, where people gave her everything she wanted when things weren’t going her way. Anne was not Just there to teach Helen but in a way she was there to teach the family to stop corrupting her, she made the Keller’s look at Helen not as their blind/deaf child but as a normal misbehaved one that needed discipline nd structure. Annie isolated herself with her hardly human charge, first disciplined her into docility, then won her affection. After the first weeks it was apparently plain sailing, but full watches all the way. Sullivan says “A less vigorous child could never have done what she has done, and a less robust woman than I was would have gone to pieces under the strain. ” (Leading the Blind. (1933). Time, 22(17), 69. ) By doing that Anne would be able to be one on one and hands on teach her brail, and have her in an appropriate classroom setting bringing her success.
Anne saw how smart, etermined and independent Helen was and had nothing but high hopes for her, with Sullivan’s help she knew with her right teaching Helen would be nothing but successful. In the movie the Miracle Worker, when she was able to have Helen in an environment where she was capable of learning; she proceeded to start by teaching her the alphabet. By taking Helen’s hand and forcing her to feel her fingers making letter then associating it with the object. “Annie’s first act was to thrust a doll into the hands of her pupil. When I had played with it a little while,” recalled Helen Keller ears later, “Miss Sullivan slowly spelled into my hand the word ‘d-o-l-l. ‘ I was at once interested in this finger play I did not know [for several weeks] that I was spelling a word or even that words existed. ” (Review. (1957). Time, 69(7), 42. ) This got her to begin understanding what Anne was doing, that being a good example of John Dewey’s theory that concepts are reflective thought and action. Both Anne and John’s theories of teaching and learning are very similar; to every teacher their methods are famous throughout classrooms worldwide.
In todays schools structure and ppropriate discipline are enforced, if Helen attended school in todays era she would have a whole team and classroom of support. Along with every accommodation and support needed to help better her understanding and growth of future learning success in school and in life living. Anne’s view on woman’s rights played a big role when it came to her teaching; her belief of religion was not so much involved, besides both man and woman are equal. She made sure Helen was acting like lady by teaching her proper edict along with her educational learning, so that she would be given equal opportunities as an individual.
Helen was already facing challenges when it came to her being a member of society in the south by having disabilities, never mind having the role of being a woman. Society down in Alabama at the time neglected to recognize those with disabilities, as if they were not citizens nor members of the community. Later, Helen would say, “A person who is severely impaired never knows his hidden sources of strength until he is treated like a normal human being and encouraged to shape his own life. ” (Feeney, D. D. (1999).
Dewey argued that education and learning are social and interactive processes, and thus he school itself is a social institution through which social reform can and should take place. Thus, Dewey makes a strong case for the importance of education not only as a place to gain content knowledge, but also as a place to learn how to live. In his eyes, the purpose of education should not revolve around the acquisition of a pre- determined set of skills, but rather the realization of one’s full potential and the ability to use those skills for the greater good in society.
In addition to helping students realize their full potential, Dewey goes on to acknowledge that education nd schooling are instrumental in creating social change and reform. (Detlefsen, K. (1998, Summer98). The belief of having a strong school system was very important to Dewey and his theory. He felt as if his theories and methods were taken into effect, then there would be no fault in the school systems teaching. Being a teacher is more than Just a position in a classroom, it is a hand on role.
That involves being hands on with activates that the students can do to help expand their knowledge, while helping them better understand and learn. Anne had the same belief and system that she sed to help teach Helen along with others. The belief included not Just reading from a text while standing in front of the class thinking they fully understand the context presented, but showing them and helping break down the text for better clarification.
When it comes to philosophy of education so far I have Just comparing John Dewey and Anne Sullivan, but another philosopher name Lev Wgotsky is Just about on the same page with Anne and Dewey. His theories about education in the classroom are similar by talking in depth the importance of having a mentor, or leader that shows and acts the metrical to be reflected back. Vygotsky believes that young children are curious and actively involved in their own learning and the discovery and development of new understandings/schema.
However, Wgotsky placed more emphasis on social contributions to the process of development According to Wgotsky (1978), much important learning by the child occurs through social interaction with a skillful tutor. The tutor may model behaviors and/or provide verbal instructions for the child. Wgotsky refers to this as co-operative or collaborative dialogue. The child seeks to understand the actions or instructions provided by the utor (often the parent or teacher) then internalizes the information, using it to guide or regulate their own performance. Schaffer, R (1996 Conclusion Anne’s appearance in Helen’s life is one that some would say go unrecognized, personally I would agree based on the fact up until this project I never knew Helen had a mentor. With this knowledge of seeing how much went into teaching Helen, and seeing that Anne had educational strategies that are made famous. It is no surprise that she is right along educational theories with famous philosophers such as John Dewey and Lev Wgotsky.
If it were not for these famous people mentioned with in this paper and their amazing success of understanding how children understand curriculum, then todays way of teaching in a classroom would not be as successful, structured, or disciplined as they currently are. Work Cited Deaf-blindness. (2013). Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 107(1), 71 . Schaffer, R (1996). Social Development. Oxford: Blackwell Detlefsen, K. (1998, Summer98). Diversity and the individual in Dewey’s philosophy of democratic education. Educational Theory. p. 309. Feeney, D. D. (1999).
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