AIOU Course Code 8609-2 Solved Assignment Autumn 2021


Q.1   What are the main characteristics of the Dialectical Method of teaching?

Dialectic method is also known as “Socratic method” and this method is derived from teaching methodology of Socrates. It is a method of analysis using questioning approach. In this method, more groups debate on an issue and analyze the situation. They may have different opinions and point of views but they try to synthesize different point of views and opinions into a comprehensive and logical framework. Using dialectic method in class: Dialectic method is a student centered approach that develops higher order critical thinking skills in students. Dialectic method involves question oriented dialogue.

This is a student centered method which is used to deliver conceptual knowledge rather than rote memorization. In this method teacher or instructor asks a probing question about any issue or concept he wants to teach. This question acts as a stimulant for students to think. Asking questions help students to analyze and evaluate the situation/ problem/question which are two higher levels of thinking (according to bloom’s taxonomy). In open ended discussion students share their ideas and thoughts about the problem, here conflict in the ideas may arise but each student have his own logic to support the answer? They can interchange their ideas and see the problem with different. He did most of his work on pedagogy. He suggests pedagogical rules to resolve issues in the compulsion of education.

Rule no 1:

According to Kant, freedom should be given to child since from his early childhood until he obstruct the freedom of others or he harms’ himself through his actions.

According to Kant it is a basic right of a child to enjoy and exercise freedom and independence. He should have right to do what he wants to but this freedom has certain limits. For example a child wants to play cricket he should be allowed to play because it’s his right but if he plays in such a way that he hurt himself or others or inhibit others freedom than it is not allowed.

Rule no 2: It is important to give understanding to child that he can only attain his own objectives if he allows other to attain theirs.


According to rule no 2, if a child wants to exercise freedom that he should keep in mind that other children also have the same rights. For example in drawing class if a student wants to use resource materials of class like water colors, marker colors during drawing than he must consider that other students will also have right to use that colors and he should ensure others freedom.

Marxists view dialectics as a framework for development in which contradiction plays the central role as the source of development. This is perhaps best exemplified in Marx’s Capital, which outlines two of his central theories: that of the theory of surplus value and the materialist conception of history. In Capital, Marx had the following to say about his dialectical methodology: “In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeois Dom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension an affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.”

Q.2   Discuss the educational curriculum advocated by John Locke.

John Locke (1632-1704) was the first and probably most crucial British empiricist. Empiricism was “hostile to rationalistic metaphysics, particularly to its unbridled use of speculation, its grandiose claims, and its epistemology grounded in innate ideas” (Palmer [1993]: 165). Locke’s famous principle of tabula rasa (blank slate) is based on the belief that only experience and reflection on experience can produce epistemological certainty (Ibid.). These foundational ideas of his philosophy are presented in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689). However, Locke was very much interested in the application of grand philosophical ideas in practical reality. Thus, he also wrote Two Treatise on Government (1660) in which for the first time in history, Locke distinguished between “political state” and “the state of nature” (Ibid., 170).

We are all bestowed with some natural rights to “life, liberty and possessions” (Ibid.). Political states should be evaluated in terms of how they protect these natural rights. The Founding Fathers of the American Revolution, of course, based their position of justifiable revolution against the tyrannical government on Locke’s philosophy of government (Ibid., 173). People have the “supreme power” of sovereignty “to remove or alter the legislative when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them” (John Locke quoted in Stumpf [1994]: 273). The rebellion, however, is justifiable only when the government is dissolved in extreme cases (Ibid.). The natural outcome of this experiment was the historical struggle for democracy in all its dynamic understanding and application in the U.S. context.

Locke’s general principles of democracy and civility were very much visible in his Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693).

Locke’s Philosophy of Education

After asserting the “holistic” principle of education (both mind and body should be involved) and confirming the enormous impact of education in human civilization (Locke [1693] in Johnson & Reed [2012], p. 43), Locke meticulously explains how education works.

First and the most essential “endowment” of education is a virtue. Locke says: “I place virtue as the first and most necessary of those endowments that belong to a man or a gentleman, as absolute requisite to make him valued and beloved by others, acceptable and tolerable to himself. Without that, I think, he will be happy neither in this nor the other world” (Ibid., 44).

Locke, furthermore, explains that virtue of love for the Supreme Being and respect of the Maker, including concrete steps of devotion from an early age, are necessary preconditions for loving others and avoiding injustices and selfishness (Ibid.). Locke never leaves his readers in the abstract world of ideas only. Concrete mandates are prescribed on how to develop the abstract nature of love and a virtuous life.

Second, the “application of mind,” well trained by virtue is wisdom. “To accustom a child a true notions of things and not to be satisfied till he has them, to raise his mind to great and worthy thoughts and keep him at a distance from falsehood and cunning, which has always a broad mixture of falsehood in it, is the fittest preparation of a child for wisdom,” elaborates Locke. Wisdom, as we can notice, is closely tied to the first principle of a virtuous life.

Third, breeding is based on the modesty and humility principle. Actions are prescribed that will make someone a gentleman (or a lady). Sets of habits that Locke defines will help youth to learn “how to behave ourselves towards others” (Ibid., 46). Locke describes this demeanor as “internal civility of the mind” governed by the fashions of the country or context in which we live (Ibid.).

Finally, the process of learning begins for those who understand that it is not enough to become “a bookish man” (Ibid.). Education is learning but not learning as “a paradox” (Ibid.). Education, Locke concludes, is much more than just memorizing. “Reading and writing and learning I allow to be necessary, but yet not the chief business” (Ibid.). The ultimate goal of education is the dynamic development of “good habits” in the appropriate environment (Ibid., 46-7). “Education is dependent on securing of right habits of thought and action” (Ibid., 42). This last principle of education based on democracy and civility is what I would like to reemphasize in my contextual evaluation of Locke’s hierarchy of values in education.

Locke’s Principle of Civility of the Mind and Contemporary Education

It has already been affirmed that Locke’s philosophy of education has four necessary steps: 1) developing a virtuous life of civility, tolerance, and love; 2) Moral wisdom that equips the learner for life; 3) Respectable manners and behavior in civil society; 4) Good habits and actions that transcend “bookish” learning only. All these endowments are based on one fundamental principle of civility within the democratic way of thinking.

I firmly believe that contemporary education should explore and apply the principles of civility and democracy as necessary preconditions for acquiring knowledge of God and the world. Civility is not just an individual quality but the endowment of the learning community. Universities and other learning communities should take responsibility for defending these values.

Andrew Delbanco, in his volume College: What It Was, Is and Should Be, summarized his investigation of the history and nature of higher education in the United States by the following statement: “A college should not be a haven from worldly contention, but a place where young people fight out among and within themselves contending ideas of the meaningful life, and where they discover that self-interest need not be at odds with concern for one another. We owe it to posterity to preserve and protect the institution. Democracy depends on it” (Delbanco [2012]: 177).

Delbanco’s whole book affirms two pillars of the higher education process: 1) Pursue the meaningful life through investigation of knowledge and 2) Develop a character defined as ability to dialogue with others (especially opposites), and pursue a common interest in the democratic society.

Students ought to learn how to apply Locke’s principle of “civility of the mind” in the democratic context of contemporary education. “Bookish” or even a strictly cultural approach to education/learning will create more contentions than before. Learners today should base their pursuit of truth and knowledge on the principle of active development of character — civility, tolerance, dialogue, and democracy.

These values are not just partially lost in contemporary education. In the general social setting and bipartisan politics, today’s situation is not very promising. Peter Whener, in his research The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump, claims that in our distorted views of political realities, values of moderation, compromise, dialogue, and civility are almost a lost art (Whener [2019]: ch. 6, p. 141-188). In the spirit of John Locke, he outlines some necessary concrete steps on how to apply this abstract principle of civility. Some of the suggestions include paying attention, listening, showing respect, being agreeable, apologizing, offering constructive criticism, and taking responsibility (Ibid., 182-3).

Our classrooms and online education, especially in higher education, should reflect these values, apply these principles, and create some action steps in a cordial and civil democratic university environment. Universities should be places where teachers and learners have the ability to transcend their personal beliefs and worldviews, and by utilizing the civil and democratic tools of dialogue, tolerance, and respect become beacons of light for the darkened politics and society today.

Q.3   Describe the fields and levels of different types of knowledge proposed by ibn-e-Khuldoon.

Educational ideology, in the words of Scrimshaw (1983) is ‘that system of beliefs which gives the general direction to the educational policies of those who hold those beliefs’. The educational philosophy of Islam develops from the beliefs found in the Qur’an and Sunna. In the early days of Islam, Muslims’ approach to these beliefs were straightforward and uncontroversial. There were no differences of opinion regarding the beliefs and practices of the Prophet, upon him be peace. His companions constituted clear examples of his educational ideology wherever they settled. However, as Islam spread, it faced new problems and had to deal with differing ideologies and belief systems that had crept into the body of the Muslim community. The need to determine educational practice became increasingly important. The first books collecting the beliefs and practices that ‘gave the general direction of education’ were written in the third century. These included Adab al-Mu’alimeen by Muhammad bin Sahnun.

Ibn-e-Khuldoon’s division of knowledge has sometimes been misunderstood. He has been accused of advocating a secular view of the curriculum. This misunderstanding has been compounded by the translation of his two main classifications of knowledge as ‘sacred and ‘profane’. A more accurate translation would be ‘revealed’ and ‘non-revealed’ knowledge. The first category covers ‘that which came from the prophets’. The second category includes ‘all knowledge obtained through the use of the intellect, experimentation or hearing’.

A full understanding of these two categories can only be understood by examining the relationship of the temporal world and the everlasting hereafter. The two are intrinsically connected. Knowledge of the Hereafter is gained by examining the temporal world. The temporal world gives us signs and proofs of the existence of a Greater Existence and leads us to worship Him. Knowledge of the Hereafter teaches us how to live our temporal lives. All knowledge belongs to God. The two categories differ only in their means of acquisition.

Ibn-e-Khuldoon also applies legalistic criteria. Knowledge may be fard, compulsory, or not. The fard knowledge is further divided into fard alayn, compulsory on every individual and fard al-kifaya, a compulsion on the community at large. The latter is fulfilled if at least one person learns it.

An example is the studying of medicine. –

Revealed knowledge may be of the fard al-ayn category i.e. the basic beliefs or fard al-kifaya i.e. principles of jurisprudence.

Non-revealed knowledge falls into three categories. The first is fard al-kifaya which therefore ranks among some of the types of revealed knowledge. These are connected to what al -Ghazali calls the four fundamental activities, without which human activities, including spiritual affairs, cannot be organized. They are –

  1. agriculture
  2. cloth manufacture
  • building

Any activity auxiliary or subsidiary to any of the above is also fard-al kifaya. Iron production is auxiliary to agriculture. Milling and bread making is subsidiary to it. Both are compulsions on the community.

Compulsions fall on the individual or society according to specific situations. For example, one who enters Islam is not expected to know about fasting until the month of fasting arrives. Likewise, the compulsions on a community depend on how the society has developed with regards the four fundamental activities.

Another category is ‘praiseworthy’, which is not compulsory, knowledge. An example is the study of the intricacies of medicine or arithmetic. A basic understanding is supplementary to the fundamentals mentioned above and is therefore compulsory, but this is not true of its intricacies and detailed theories.

The other two categories are ‘blameworthy’ knowledge which includes magic and ‘neutral’ knowledge which includes poetry.


Al-Ansari uses a slightly different classification. He identifies four categories.

  1. Shariah studies
  2. Literary studies
  3. Studies based on exercise
  4. Intellectual studies

The first category is similar to al Ghazali’s ‘revealed knowledge’. He includes three areas. They are Fiqh (jurisprudence), Tafsir (exegesis) and Hadith (traditions of the Messenger).

The second category includes fourteen branches of language including etymology, grammar, the study of metaphors, rhyme and speech making. The variations of Qur’anic reading are part of this category.

The third category presents the most radical alternative to the approach found in ‘modern’ school systems. Among the skills and studies that are developed through exercise are tasawuf (Islamic mysticism), engineering, music, politics, character building and domestic sciences.

The intellectual studies include areas such as logic, the principles of jurisprudence, medicine, the study of time and astronomy.

Although it is unlikely that any school would want to return purely to the syllabus of ibn-e-Khuldoon or al-Ansari, their approach can help us to identify priorities in schools. They can also help us to break away from what is becoming a uniformly Western approach to knowledge. Islam has contributed greatly to education and educational theory. By looking at great thinkers like ibn-e-Khuldoon and al-Ansari, Muslims and non-Muslims alike can consider alternative approaches to syllabus organization.

Q.4   Write down the nature of curricular content and teaching methods proposed by Progressivisms.        

Progressivisms believe that the focus of education should be the ideas that have lasted over centuries. They believe the ideas are as relevant and meaningful today as when they were written. They recommend that students learn from reading and analyzing the works by history’s finest thinkers and writers. Essentialists believe that when students study these works and ideas, they will appreciate learning. Similar top Progressivisms, essentialism aims to develop students’ intellectual and moral qualities. Progressivisms classrooms are also centered on teachers in order to accomplish these goals. The teachers are not concerned about the students’ interests or experiences. They use tried and true teaching methods and techniques that are believed to be most beneficial to disciplining students’ minds. The Progressivisms curriculum is universal and is based on their view that all human beings possess the same essential nature. Progressivisms think it is important that individuals think deeply, analytically, flexibly, and imaginatively. They emphasize that students should not be taught information that may soon be outdated or found to be incorrect. Progressivisms disapprove of teachers requiring students to absorb massive amounts of disconnected information. They recommend that schools spend more time teaching about concepts and explaining they are meaningful to students. The only example I can think of would be a class about religion or history. The instructor would use religious books and historical documents.

Is the educational philosophy that the importance of certain works transcends time? Perennial works are those considered as important and applicable today as they were when they were written, and are often referred to as great books. Common examples include Melville’s Moby Dick, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Dickens’s Great Expectations, and Dante’s Inferno. Progressivisms is sometimes referred to as “culturally conservative,” because it does not challenge gender stereotypes, incorporate multiculturalism, or expose and advocate technology, as would be expected of contemporary literature.

The goal of a Progressivisms education is to teach students to think rationally and develop minds that can think critically. A Progressivisms classroom aims to be a closely organized and well-disciplined environment, which develops in students a lifelong quest for the truth. Progressivisms believe that education should epitomize a prepared effort to make these ideas available to students and to guide their thought processes toward the understanding and appreciation of the great works, works of literature written by history’s finest thinkers that transcend time and never become outdated.

Progressivisms are primarily concerned with the importance of mastery of the content and development of reasoning skills. The old adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” summarizes the Progressivisms’ perspective on education. Skills are still developed in a sequential manner. For example, reading, writing, speaking, and listening are emphasized in the early grades to prepare students in later grades to study literature, history, and philosophy.

The Paideia Proposal, a book published in 1982 by Mortimer Adler, described a system of education based on the classics. This book inspired the school model referred to as the Paideia program, which has been, and still is, implemented by hundreds of schools in the United States. Teachers using the Paideia program give lectures 10% to15% of the time, conduct Socratic seminars for 15% to 20% of the time, and coach the students on academic topics the remaining 60% to 70% of the time. Socratic seminars are lectures in which the teacher asks a specific series of questions to encourage the students to think about, rationalize, and discuss the topic. Progressivisms curricula tend to limit expression of individuality and flexibility regarding student interests in favor of providing an overarching, uniformly applicable knowledge base to students. Vocational training is expected to be the responsibility of the employer.

Understanding essentialism will enable you know and improve basic teaching skills and Progressivisms will allow you as a teacher to continue operating in the success of methods, concepts, and best practices that were used in education over time.

Q.5   Describe the educational system set by Maria Montessori for children.

Montessori is a method of education named after Dr. Maria Montessori. She was the first woman in Italy to obtain the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Because she was a doctor, Maria Montessori looked at education from a scientific level. She believed that education should prepare a person for all aspects of life. She designed materials and techniques that would promote a natural growth of learning in students. They are common to all Montessori classrooms. Working with these materials and techniques forms a pattern that children carry over naturally to reading, writing, and mathematics. Each skill is developed to interlock with another.

From The American Montessori Society:

The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world.

It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.

Montessori education offers our children opportunities to develop their potential as they step out into the world as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life.

  • Each child is valued as a unique individual.Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, and accommodates all learning styles. Students are also free to learn at their own pace, each advancing through the curriculum as he is ready, guided by the teacher and an individualized learning plan.
  • Beginning at an early age, Montessori students develop order, coordination, concentration, and independence.Classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the individual’s emerging “self-regulation” (ability to educate one’s self, and to think about what one is learning), toddlers through adolescents.
  • Students are part of a close, caring community.The multi-age classroom—typically spanning 3 years—re-creates a family structure. Older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Teachers model respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Montessori students enjoy freedom within limits.Working within parameters set by their teachers, students are active participants in deciding what their focus of learning will be. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
  • Students are supported in becoming active seekers of knowledge.Teachers provide environments where students have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions.
  • Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of the Montessori classroom approach.As they mature, students learn to look critically at their work, and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.

Given the freedom and support to question, to probe deeply, and to make connections, Montessori students become confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are able to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly a skill set for the 21st century.

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