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Thomas Aquinas : Famous Educator Essay

861 words - 4 pages

Thomas Aquinas: Famous Educator
By: Jake Rose
Foundations of Education

Jake Rose
Foundation of Education
February 21, 2012

Throughout history many people have had an influence or brought new ideas to education. Through these people have come many different philosophies and ideas as to how learning and teaching should take place. One person who has had a major influence on education is Thomas Aquinas. Since I personally went to a catholic school my whole life I chose St. Thomas Aquinas.
Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican priest that lived from 1225 to 1274 (Galgonovicz 2011). Thomas Aquinas is not only relevant in education but in many aspects of life. His philosophies ...view middle of the document...

Aquinas believed that there were various types of sense knowledge: these included sense memory, sense-consciousness, instinct, and imagination (McInery 2009) Sense memory allows the individual to reproduce in one's memory an image they had seen. Sense-consciousness gives an awareness of an object through various sense perceptions. Instinct relates to a particular concrete connection such as an individual fleeing from fire. Imagination takes materials supplied through sense memory and translates them into a particular image composed of characters derived from other images (McInery 2009).
Intellectual knowledge is abstract and general. This knowledge is quite different from the concrete and particular of external and internal senses. This was due to the fact that abstract knowledge was attributed to intelligence or reason (De la Tour). He believed that knowledge starts in sense and is completed in the intellect.
Along with his theory of knowledge Aquinas also had a theory of learning. He explained that learning takes place when one person teaches another, and the teacher conveys knowledge to the pupil’s mind by causing him to know what he previously had the capacity to know before (De la Tour). Thomas states that learning is to get specific knowledge from another. Aquinas believes that knowledge must result from the activity of the pupil's own mind (Galgonovicz 2011). Along with acquiring knowledge with the aid of the teacher, he can also acquire knowledge by applying his mind by which he knows the first principles of all knowledge. The teacher often points out issues which the pupil had not thought of and shows the relationship between concepts which the pupil...

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