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In this essay I am going to look nor talk about the following:
Existentialism basically implies the meaning of life, how one specify life as per his/her discoveries. Existentialism enable people to experience their lives without worrying over the desires for the world since this specific philosophical point of view does not have a particular clarification or desires on what life is or expected to be. In content I will connect the Existentialism philosophical point of view theory with the Empiricism philosophical theory.
The empiricism theory is described to set up reality by the strategies for logical testing; it furthermore relates to discovering reality by the methods for experience.
In South African atmosphere teachers are held accountable for successful learning of the learners, however some of the things leading to the non-achievement or failure of the learners are more than the teacher’s capabilities, especially the socio economic issues that influence the South African educational sector. Sexual abuse and gender connected intolerances are going to be discussed a lot more in content as one of the factors that my Senior and FET phase learners and I might be facing.
I will also indicate how sexual abuse and gender related intolerances could influence teaching and learning in the Foundation, Intermediate, Senior and FET phase classes or learning environment. In conclusion I will be discussing how I will specifically use existentialism and empiricism philosophical views to address sexual abuse issue and overcome it as a learning barrier within the above mentioned phases, especially the foundation phase.
Sexual abuse/harassment is often referred to as any type of non-consensual sexual contact, as a result this could happen to anyone(any gender specifically) at any age. Gender intolerances is often referred to as discrimination such as gender discrimination, favouring a certain person as a result it could be discriminating against an individual because of their gender, this includes discriminating against lesbians and gays, and it can happen at any age. As a SNR/FET phase student educator I might be faced with these kinds of issues where one of my learners is faced with sexual offense/abuse or gender discrimination. Typically as a teacher at first it will be hard to identify such issues because I am not trained to be a psychologist but to impart knowledge, but I actually have learner support that caters for such instances. The education White paper 6 document was introduced and implemented to bridge the imbalances/gaps that was caused by apartheid, however I’d wish to believe that it additionally caters for such issues/problems, because According to Kruger and Swart (2011:72) this document outlines the roles of a teacher, and few of those roles is to be a “loco parentis”, community member and pastoral caregiver, of which the task is to be involved in each child’s personal life so that it may be easy to include parents in the child’s education. This may allow me as a teacher to look/search deep on the child’s background particularly the environment that he/she was brought up in.
Let’s take an example of foundation phase learners, these learners are still young and fragile and being sexually abused cause an internal damage to them, because their emotional being is not totally developed, currently that becomes a problem because it turns into an intrinsic learning barrier, an intrinsic barrier is hardly noticed as a result of not being physical, fortunately one among the symptoms is that the learner is unable to concentrate on academics which makes delivering the content to be hard for the teacher. Gender intolerances usually occur in classroom situations, foundation phase learners are still young and are still not well aware of their rights. What I’ve realised throughout my practical teaching, is that these learners tend to tease other learners who are “different”, as a result of assuming that individuals/people should live in a certain way (Existentialism), and if somebody chooses to be different they assume that person is living in a wrongful way, that’s where discrimination begins in the foundation phase, some leaners labelling other learners as lesbians and gays. According to Vygotsky, Piaget, Bandura, and other theorists children learn/believe things by experience/experimenting (Empiricism). They carry such behaviours and discriminations at school because they first experience them at home and think that it is the right thing to do. Learners who face gender discrimination are demotivated and they end up not knowing who they are and what do they really live for or what to believe. As a teacher it is very hard to teach demotivated learners, because they do a lot of misconduct in class, as they don’t really have direction in life, teaching and learning always end up not being effective/productive.
ADDRESSING AND OVERCOMING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT/ABUSE AND GENDER INTOLERENCES AS LEARNING BARRIERS
EXISTENTIALISM: As a teacher, I need to motivate my learners every now and then, because they are still young and simply influenced. I will remind them every now and then that they shouldn’t let anyone define nor outline life for them. I will encourage a close relationship of the parents to their child’s life so that they will know what’s bothering their child and the way that how has that become a barrier on the child’s learning. By so doing I will be making parents aware that they shouldn’t define life for their children, instead they ought to simply allow them to be and simply guide them and shield them and not make them feel left out because they are completely different or they chose to be what they feel is comfortable themselves. The parents might not accept this, they are allowed to because this is often a philosophy and everyone is entitled to have their own. I will let my learners understand that it is not a sin to view life according to their own perspective and it is smart to make their own decisions, whether or not they wish to be lesbian/gay or not. I will additionally teach them about their rights and responsibilities, in this way they will know when they are being abused or discriminated. In that case I will be trying to overcome the learning barrier caused by sexual abuse and gender intolerances, however in attempting to try to do this I have to keep in mind that when it comes to philosophical perspectives I might have a bit influence or no influence at all to individuals because everybody believes what they want to believe.
EMPIRICISM: This intrinsic barrier caused by sexual abuse and gender discrimination will come to an end in my classroom because I will let the learners know that abuse is wrong and should be reported because it is an official thing in South Africa that sexual abuse and gender discrimination is against the law. I will do this by reading to them related and appropriate articles about people who were caught and arrested for sexual abuse and gender discrimination, but because foundation phase learners are still young they might still be afraid to talk if such is happening to them. However, in this sense they’ll definitely know that these things are wrong and that nobody is meant to be doing them. Learners who are faced with intrinsic learning barriers will have to be referred to the psychologists, people who are trained to help them emotionally so that they may be able and ready to focus academically and live a normal life that they ought to be living.
Empiricism tells us that unless one thing is proved to be truth by science or our experiences then it’s simply a lie and will thus not be considered. Experientialism on the opposite is the meaning of life that people build for themselves, which means they do not have to wait for scientific statistics to be able to live their lives and make decisions. This gives people an option to either await for scientific proofs to inform them what’s the truth and what’s not and they even have an option to simply believe what they want to believe and define life as they want. But these two philosophical views enhances each other because it can make sense that a person can choose to wait for scientific statistics before they could define life and so define it according to the findings of science.
In concluding, I outlined the problems caused by the issue of sexual abuse and gender intolerances; I came up with sensible solutions to the issues. The solutions are challenged and supported to make sure that they are valid and sensible. Not only did I write of these issues, but I also made them my own because I actually have been to the foundation phase classes and I’ve seen these issues in action. Philosophy generally makes it difficult to influence people because everybody is allowed to believe what they want to believe and live by the life goals, vision and mission that they choose. It is only hard for the teachers to teach learners whose mind-sets are influenced by the world and its expectations of what life is or what life ought to be. I for one strongly believe that these poor learners who are faced with learning barriers caused by sexual abuse and gender discrimination will soon grow and realise the existentialism philosophical perspective that they’re allowed to outline life in terms of their own discoveries. They will also understand the significance of proven/tested facts. I actually have a dream that someday senior and FET and foundation phase teachers will have the super powers that the world is expecting them to have: powers of being a nurse, doctor, psychologist, artist and a professional teacher at an equivalent time with one degree.
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