The Value of Friendship for Education

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Philosophy Now
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The Value of Friendship for Education

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Robert Michael Ruehl calls for a friendly revolution.
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Duncan Butlin
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Re: The Value of Friendship for Education

Post by Duncan Butlin »

Philosophy Now --- Robert Michael Ruehl talks of a single solution (friendship) for the three main types of relationships in school (teacher-teacher, student-student, and teacher-student). This is a nonsense. The first two are peer-to-peer, while the teacher-student relationship is hierarchical. Singapore, which has strict discipline and highly structured classes, is the world leader in the education polls for maths, reading and science (OECD’s PISA tests). More progressive, friendlier countries score lower down the scale. And it is not just in the academic subjects that Singaporean students excel: they also came top in a new PISA test for collaborative problem solving and report themselves happier than most other students (Economist, 1-Sep-18).

Friendlier peer-to-peer relationships may be all very fine, but when it comes to the crucial teacher-student relationship, less friendly, more disciplined teachers are the order of the day. Strangely, strictness is the kindest way to treat students.
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