Modern Hot Metal Desulfurization

Modern Hot Metal Desulfurization And Dephosphorization Technologies
The purpose of phosphorus and sulfur removal is to decrease the concentration of these particles along with the undesired inclusions (oxides, borides, nitrides, carbides, and chlorides) to accomplish the final product quality requirements [5]. Dephosphorization involves low temperature, high slag basicity (CaO/ SiO2 ratio) and high oxygen activity whereas desulphurization entails high temperature, high slag basicity (CaO/ SiO2 ratio) and low oxygen activity. Initially, dephosphorization was performed by the addition of iron ores in the blast furnace runner. Soda ash (Na2CO3) was used in the blast furnace house during desulphurization. Subsequently, dephosphorization was improved by the subsurface injection of reagents in vessels, such as torpedo or submarine cars. Desulfurization was enhanced by co-injection of lime and magnesium into the hot metal transfer ladles [6]. The following dephosphorization and desulphurization technologies are reviewed:
1. Dephosphorization by the multirefining converter (MURC) process
2. Dephosphorization using CaO aggregates
3. Desulfurization by Magnesium
4. Desulfurization by flux injection using a new kinetic model
5. Desulfurization by the CFD modeling
1. Dephosphorization By The Murc Process
The multirefining converter (MURC) process claims to improve the efficiency of the dephosphorization procedure by reducing the cost and minimizing the slag volume. It is a new hot metal pretreatment in which dephosphorization and decarburization processes are developed in the same converter for further reduction of the decarburization slag.
The MURC process reduces the amount of slag by 50 % in comparison to the conventional pretreatment processes (30 %). The decarburization slag is continuously recycled (Figure 1). A low basicity dephosphorization slag is discharged from the MURC due to the high amount of total iron in the slag (T Fe) and no desiliconization treatment of the hot metal. This results into a valuable utilization of the dephosphorization slag in the steelmaking process.

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2. Dephosphorization Using Cao Aggregates
The multiphase dephosphorization slag is analyzed through the addition of calcium ferrite flux powder into hot metal. It is observed that high [Si] content (0.15 %) shows a similar CaO efficiency for dephosphorization than low [Si] content (0.00 %). The low [Si] content exhibits calcium phosphate (3CaO.P2O5) whereas high [Si] content shows a combination of calcium silicate (2CaO.SiO2), and calcium phosphate. The formation of these solid phases explains a similar CaO efficiency under different [Si] content.
3. Desulfurization By Magnesium
Desulfurization is enhanced by the stirring effect of Mg bubbles in the hot metal. The reaction speeds up by the addition of lime and CaC2. These desulfurization reagents were tested in ArcelorMital Indiana Harbor. The typical inclusions before reagent injection were TiC and MnS. TiO2 is added to protect the graphite lining in the blast furnace. MgS + TiC and MgS were the most frequent inclusions after the reagent injection. MnS inclusions were not observed after this stage. This means, most of these inclusions floated up at the end of desulphurization. Further improvement of desulfurization can be achieved by Al addition. The latter reacts with lime to form lower melting point calcium aluminates.
4. Desulfurization By Flux Injection Using A New Kinetic Model
Desulfurization is performed by introducing powder reagents (CaO, calcium carbonate, calcium diamide carbonate) into the hot metal using either core wired or a carrier gas (nitrogen). This creates a complex variety of interfaces in torpedo ladles (Figure 2) [7]. There are two reaction modes that are present in the heterogeneous/ immiscible phases. The first mode is related to the transitory reaction between the liquid steel and powder particles. The second mode is the permanent reaction between the slag on the surface and the molten steel.
Desulfurization in torpedo ladles. The interfaces are: (1) Jet zone; (2) bubbles and particles rise in the plume zone; (3) bubbles emerge in the breakthrough zone; (4) slag zone; (5) gas-slag-metal emulsion forms in the dispersion zone; (6) metal reacts with lining in the lining zone; (7) lowest stirring intensity in the intermediate zone
Several parameters influence the desulfurization of hot metal and are predicted by a new model of submerged powder injection. The total amount of the flux is considered to be liquid at steelmaking temperature and the injection rate along with the time lapse can be determined. The total sulfur removal rate for both the permanent contact (top slag) and transitory (injection powder) mode is obtained by the following equation,
The right hand side of the reaction is related to the transitory reaction. This equation is only useful during the powder injection. After that, the right hand side becomes worthless.
Sulfide solubility in slag is restricted. Once the sulfide solubility limit is reached, a pure sulfide phase grows within the slag to absorb the excess of sulfur. Sulfide saturation may occur before the slag and metal reach equilibrium. The speed of the reaction is reduced until the sulfur content is dropped. Excess of sulfur in permanent reactions produces a reversion reaction and further desulphurization cannot occur. The transitory reaction removes the excess of sulfur by the continuously addition of fresh powder into the torpedo ladle. It is also recommended to deslag after powder injection.
Figure 3 is divided into [% S] wt % and reaction rate. The experimental results are obtained from the 20 CaO-60CaF2-20Al2O3 (by weight) powder injection under an argon atmosphere into 3.4-3.8 kg cast iron at 1310 °C. Once the slag (permanent-contact reaction) experiences an excess of sulfur at 420 s, the sulfur concentration decreases continuously until 950 s. The contributions of the permanent and transitory reactions are also displayed. The permanent reaction increases with time until it is saturated. The transitory reaction never approaches to saturation conditions. The difference between these two reactions is not significant large. Therefore, the contribution of these both reactions is generally equal.
5. Desulfurization By CFD Modeling
Synthetic slag is used on the desulfurization process due to its reuse in several treatments. The sulfur is transferred to the synthetic slag followed by slag regeneration. Slag regeneration is performed by the oxygen injection to produce gaseous sulfur dioxide (Equation 3). The sulfur distribution also differs from the slag and the metal once desulfurization begins (Figure 4). A porous plug at the bottom of the vessel is used to inject nitrogen in the hot metal. The fluid velocity is increased to optimize the desulfurization rate to improve sulfur transport. Therefore, CFD analyzes the desulfurization and slag regeneration processes to optimize the plug position and calculate the drift velocity of gas bubbles, desulfurization rate, among other parameters, for future design of desulphurization processes.
Multirefining converter (MURC)
(1) Dephosphorization and decarburization are carried out in the same converter, reducing the slag volume for better industrial, economical and environmental purposes
(2) The dephosphorization efficiency is increased by greater amounts of CaO to produce solid phases, such as 3CaOP2O5 and 2CaSiO2
Desulfurization by Mg
(1) TiC particles are nucleation sites for MnS and MgS
(2) MgS inclusions are the most frequent particles after the reagent injection
Desulfurization by flux injection using a new kinetic model
(1) A new model is developed to evaluate and identify separately the transitory and permanent reactions
(2) This model helps to predict the excess of sulfur to avoid reversion of it in the hot metal
(3) The contributions of the transitory and permanent contact reactions are observed to be in a similar proportion, concluding equal influence in the powder injection technique
CFD Modelling
(1) The desulfurization and slag regeneration are successfully modeled using thermal and transport mechanisms
[1] S.Y. Kitamura, K. Yonezawa, Y. Ogawa, & N. Sasaki (2002). Improvement of reaction efficiency in hot metal dephosphorization, 29 (2), 121-124
[2] Q. Liu, H. Pielet, P. Kaushik & B. Chukwulebe (2009). AISTech 2009 Proceedings. An investigation of hot metal desulfurization by Mg, 1, 821-827
[3] S. Ohguchi and D.G.C. Robertson (1984). Kinetic model for refining by submerged powder injection: Part 1 Transitory and permanent contact reactions, 11(5), 261-274
[4] S. Pirker, P. Gittler, H. Pirker & J. Lehner (2002). Elsevier. CFD, a design tool for a new hot metal desulfurization technology, 26, 337-350
[5] X. LV and L. Zhang (2008). Removal of impurity elements from molten aluminum: part 1. A review. 1, 1-35
[6] R.J. Fruehan (Ed.) (1998). The making, shaping and treating of steel (11th ed.). Pittsburgh: The AISE Steel Foundation
[7] M. Sadmi & S. Ashhab (2007). Jordan Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Application of neural net modeling and inverse control to the desulfurization of hot metal process, 1 (2), 79-84

Functionalism and Machine Aesthetic of Modern Architecture

Functionalism in Architecture was a movement during the late 19th century and early 20th century was a product of one American architect Louis Henri Sullivan who coined the term ‘form follows function’. It was Distinct to have exposed architecture of the existence of ornamentation and therefore aesthetics so that a structure simply expressed its purpose or function.
Both in the United States and in Europe, functionalism and machine aesthetics became existent due to the development of the era. During the 1920s and early 1930s in the United States, there was a growing machine-driven culture. The machine’s influence on art and architecture reflected the machine’s explosion as a valuable form of aesthetic. Both Functionalism and machine aesthetics held its own influence in modern architecture.

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The arrival of the machine was to have such revolutionary significance that the following years can legitimately be termed the Machine Age. Among the great number of cultural changes engendered by this new era was the installation of a machine aesthetic in the fields of architecture and design. This was of central importance to the Modern Movement as it provided a means by which its practitioners could engage with what they regarded as the spirit of the age. The machine aesthetic can be distinguished in the work of each major figure of the Modernist pantheon; it therefore conditioned the entire range of Modernist activity.
By utilizing these aspects, the ornamentation and unnecessary forms of designs were obliterated and instead replaced by a plainer but functional look. Despite the growing movement of functionalism and machine aesthetics during the early 20th century, there still lie the differences and comparisons between the utilizations, views, and ideas about them from America and Europe. The difference of the two places somehow manifested various approaches towards the topic.
The machine was valued for its service. Its aesthetic was promoted by those who saw a beauty in the machine — a beauty in appearance and function. The machine aesthetic was assumed by all sorts of objects. The look of the machine was not universally celebrated, yet it was widespread nonetheless
Despite this consistency, the reasons why individual Modernists employed the aesthetic varied greatly, and to conclude that they did so only to evoke the current zeitgeist would hardly seem satisfactory.
Instead, the aim of this essay is to analyse functionalism and the several uses made of the machine aesthetic in order to determine why it was so central to Modernist theory and practice. Since the particular character of the aesthetic varied according to the nature of the interest in it (e.g. political, economic), the reasons for its use are fundamental to any understanding of Modernism.
Firstly, the idea that Modernism embraced the machine aesthetic in order to give concrete form to the spirit of the age, though not the sole motivation behind Modernist movement is valid in itself and deserves to be expounded.
The Industrial Revolution precipitated a series of immense changes which can be understood to have genuinely transformed the world. These include industrialisation, the rise of the metropolis, an accompanying decline in ruralise, and rapid technological progress. In being plundered for their natural resources, even Third World countries felt the impact of the new era.
For many these changes threatened to create an environment that was both alien and hostile to humanity and nature. In the cultural sphere, the nineteenth-century design reformers John Ruskin and William Morris attacked machine-production for discouragement the craft skills and individuality of the worker. Since the machine took both tradition and individual attempt, it would become impossible for the artist or craftsman to take pride in their work, and the consumer, in turn, would suffer the spiritual disadvantages of no longer living in an environment that had been lovingly crafted. As a neutralizer, Ruskin, Morris and others proposed a return to traditional craft processes and sources of inspiration that were primarily medieval.
In other sectors, this reactionary measure was felt to be unrealistically traditionalist. Since the machine was, as Ruskin and Morris had argued, incompetent at matching traditional craft processes and designs, those who recognised that the machine was an beyond doubt reality were aware of the need to evolve a new aesthetic that it was suited to. This would re-establish a high standard of quality in design and ensure that designed goods were adjusted to the age, rather than being hopelessly revivalist. One such figure was Adolph Loos, whose essay ‘Ornament and Crime’ (1908) argued that applying decoration to a designed product was both inefficient and criminal, because eventually it resulted in the utilization of the craftsman: ‘If I pay as much for a smooth box as for a decorated one, the difference in labour belongs to the worker.’
Instead, the new aesthetic was to be derived from the new processes of mass production. The result was a simple, essentialist style that was based on geometry (especially the straight line and the right angle3). Geometry became a model, not only because geometrical forms were theoretically easier for the machine to execute, but also because of overtones that Plato, amongst others, had invested it with. In Plato’s philosophy, geometrical forms were beautiful because they were elements of the eternal and absolute ‘world of ideas’ that existed beyond material reality.
The most concerted attempt to articulate this style was given in an exhibition on “Modern Architecture” at the Museume of Modern Art in 1932. The International Style: Architecture Since 1922 accompanied the exhibition. Historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock and critic Philip Johnson outlined the principles of the “International” style:
The idea of style as the frame of potential growth, rather than as a fixed and crushing mould, has developed with the recognition of underlying principles such as architects discern in the great styles of the past. The principles are few and broad. . . . There is, first, a new conception of architecture as volume rather than mass. Secondly, regularity rather than axial symmetry serves as the chief means of ordering design. These two principles, with a third proscribing arbitrary applied decoration, mark the productions of the international style.4
Advances in construction techniques and materials allowed for a shift in structural support. Whereas walls were once weight-bearing, and thus massive, support was now given by skeletal infrastuctures. This change provided greater flexibility in window placement; once nothing more than holes cut in a wall, they could now be located virtually anywhere. Thus, proponents of the International style, the architectural equivalent of machine purity, moved windows away from walls’ centres, lest they suggest traditional construction.
Armed with these new possibilities, asymmetrical designs were encouraged, as “function in most types of contemporary building is more directly expressed in asymmetrical forms. Ideally, structures were not to be arbitrarily asymmetrical, but it was assumed that the needs of residents and the purposes of different spaces in the buildings would not produce symmetrical designs — in fact, arbitrary asymmetry would be a decorative device, and thus an anathema to the Internationalists.
Machine purity was a reaction against the ornamentation of previous decades and even the Moderns. Honesty in use and materials was sought — functions should not be concealed beneath a covering, and items shouldn’t be presented as something they were not. Simplicity and sterility championed the pure white of the hospital and lab. Stucco was an ideal material, as it provided for unbroken, continuous surfaces. Walls were skins, stripped down and allowing for a maximum of interior space. These interior spaces were to be designed individually, matching the needs of the resident, to “provide for the amelioration and development of the functions of living.”6 Rooms were to be determined by function, and the movement between rooms was to “stress the unity and continuity of the whole volume inside a building.”7 Book shelves and living plants were the best decorative devices in the home.
This appealed to Modernists, whose works and writings revealed a desire to exceed the chaos of temporary solutions and preoccupation with styles that had characterised nineteenth- century design.
The aim of Modernism was to achieve the ideal solutions to each design problem in works that would be style less, timeless and possess the same purity and clarity as geometry.
Given the widespread belief that the machine symbolised the new century, it was perhaps inevitable that certain Modernists should embrace it entirely for its own sake – purely as a metaphor, and with no concern for its practical applications. To some extent at least, this tends to be the case for most canonical Modernists, but this approach is exemplified by the Italian Futurist movement.
As this brief analysis indicates, Futurism was primarily a literary and artistic movement. It was characteristic of its paradoxical nature that a movement initiated as a response to the changing environment should possess no means of expression in the art form that most directly conditioned the environment – architecture. This was the case until 1914, five years after the publication of the first Manifesto, when Marinetti was finally able to welcome Antonio Sant’ Elia into the ranks.
Sant’ Elia recognised the metropolis as the environment of the new age, and accordingly pioneered designs that were replete with intimations of the machine aesthetic. His perspectives for La Città Nuova (1914) emphasise the geometry and verticality of his vision by juxtaposing stepped-back sections with sheer verticals. The interaction of diagonals and verticals this produces invests his works with the same energy and dynamism to be found in exemplary Futurist paintings. In addition, his buildings are frequently surmounted by features resembling industrial chimneys or radio masts (e.g. Casa gradinata con ascensori, 1914), thus making perhaps slightly picturesque use of an iconography derived from machines.
Futurism’s interest in the machine aesthetic arose from a naïve and romantic celebration of the machine for its qualities of energy and dynamism. The machine was therefore valued exclusively for the expressive potential it offered. Since they failed to grasp its practical aspects the Futurists neglected to adapt their aesthetic to technological limitations. For this reason Sant’ Elia’s designs remained on the drawing board.
A deeper engagement with the realities of the machine was demonstrated by those who embraced the concept of ‘functionalism’. This idea played a significant role in most forms of Modernist design and theory. The central contention was that the form of an object should be dictated by its function. The Bauhaus, for example, aimed to ‘originate the design of an object from its natural functions and relationships,’11 so that they could be used effectively and were rationally related to each other.
Of course, the pursuit of functionalism complemented the Modernists’ aim to arrive at ideal design solutions – unless objects fulfilled their purpose they could barely be ideal. This led to the notion that a designed object could be beautiful if, and only if, it functioned perfectly.
Function therefore replaced appearance as the prime principle of aesthetic quality. Artistic elaboration was eschewed in favour of clear form that both expressed its purpose and ensured that this purpose was satisfied. Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, in their discussion of ‘European functionalist’ architects (i.e. canonical Modernists), wrote that, ‘If a building provides adequately, completely and without compromise for its purpose, it is then a good building, regardless of its appearance.’12
Explanation of this somewhat radical view was found in the machine. Since the machine’s appearance was derived entirely from its function it was both morally and economically admirable, which made it beautiful. Karl Ewald’s writing The Beauty of Machines (1925-6) contained the saying, ‘A good modern machine is an object of the highest aesthetic value – we are aware of that’.13 For evidence of this the Modernists looked to the USA, where an unselfconscious functionalism had been put into practice by pioneers like Samuel Colt and, in particular, Henry Ford. Ford brought the concept of standardisation to his car plant, with results that were seen as almost astonishing. His moving meeting line system, which involved specialised stages of fabrication and identical parts, had enabled him to dramatically increase car production. His success was such that industrialists and manufacturers across the world were adopting these methods.
Theoretically, their goods were now readily available and continually depreciating in price, even as profits soared. Paul Greenhalgh has observed that Modernists recognised the need to embrace technology for these reasons of economy and availability. It was the means by which Modernism could be promoted worldwide. In addition, the standardisation advocated by Ford would facilitate rapid construction and maintenance.14 Therefore, the example of Ford and others encouraged the Modernists to view the machine as the absolute ideal of functionalism. This can be confirmed by reference to Le Corbusier.
Much of Le Corbusier’s manifesto Vers une architecture (1923) is dedicated to promoting the architectural virtues of the machine. His famous declaration, ‘The house is a machine for living in,’15 often misunderstood, meant that the guiding principle for architects should be to make the house as well suited to its purpose as was a machine. This reiterated the argument that functionalism was more important than appearance. In order to progress, he believed, it was necessary for architects to abandon the notion of traditional styles and decorative effects: ‘Architecture has nothing to do with the various ‘styles’ [They are] sometimes pretty, though not always; and never anything more.’16 this implies that he saw the aesthetic, not as just another style, but as the very substance of architecture. Instead, he drew parallels between architecture and the ‘Engineer’s Aesthetic’, arguing that engineers were to be praised for their use of functionalism and mathematical order. As a consequence, architects were encouraged to emulate engineers and adopt these principles in order to attain harmony and logic in their designs. To reinforce this argument the illustrations of Vers une architecture celebrated the functional and architectural unity of Canadian grain stores, ships, aeroplanes and automobiles.
From a present day perspective his principles are better illuminated by his architecture, since these illustrations (e.g. the Caproni Triple hydroplane) seem rather old. The Maison Dom-Ino (1915) was an early example of his Engineer’s Aesthetic: three identical planes are suspended above each other by steel columns, a method of construction that frees the walls of their load-bearing purpose, and allows his concept of the ‘free façade’ to be introduced. An external staircase communicates between each level, and its location permits an unprecedented space and clarity in the plan. The components were all to be standardised and pre-fabricated, which would allow for rapid construction. This house was therefore a product of Le Corbusier’s intention to apply the principles of mechanical mass production to domestic architecture.
However, a substantial body of criticism (e.g. Greenhalgh, Sparke) has argued that this functionalism of Modernist theory was not based in reality. The machine aesthetic remained just that, as few of the designs were capable of being standardised. For example, the Grand Comfort chair by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand was neither functional nor standardised. It required no less than eighteen welds and three materials, making it expensive and capable of production only by craftsmanship. Le Corbusier’s pavilion L’Esprit Nouveau featured door handles supposedly derived from car or aeroplane handles. These were not standardised but had to be made individually.
At the Bauhaus, Marianne Brandt’s tea service (1928/30) embodies the machine aesthetic with its geometrical, angular forms, but, again, these features made it unsuited to machine production. For this reason, virtually no products of Modernism were mass-produced, at least until the style was modified and practised on an international level in what became known as the International Style. For the pioneer phase, mass production remained a metaphor that could not yet be emulated.17
A further dimension which has not yet been discussed is the political function of the machine aesthetic.
This was hinted at in Loos’ belief that it improved the domination of the worker, but here the importance was on the labour-saving potential of the machine. Loos celebrated the aesthetic because, theoretically, it reduced the hours of effort required of the worker by avoiding unnecessary ornament. This line of reasoning even occurs in the theories of the politically unsure Le Corbusier, whose Freehold Maisonettes of 1922 used mechanical applications and ‘good organisation’ derived from machines to reduce the need for human labour, and thus alleviate the workloads of servants.18 It did not necessarily follow in either case, however, that the machine could serve as an instrument for social liberation.
This possibility was not fully explored until the influence of Modernism had spread and produced a diversity of practitioners. To the increasingly machine-orientated Bauhaus Moholy-Nagy imparted his belief that the machine was inextricably linked with socialism because it was an absolute. He wrote: ‘Before the machine, everyone is equal – I can use it, so can you . . . There is no tradition in technology, no consciousness of class or standing. Everybody can be the machine’s master or slave.’19
This belief was widespread amongst Modernists, with Theo Van Doesburg being another notable exponent. Van Doesburg praised the machine as a medium of social liberation, and denied that handicraft possessed this capability, since handicraft, ‘under the supremacy of materialism,’20 reduced men to the level of machines. But as Charles Jencks has observed, Van Doesburg’s enthusiasm for the machine went beyond its labour-saving potential, it was also based upon its ‘universalising, abstract quality.’21 In Jencks’ outline, the machine’s impersonality enforces equality between its users, which in art would lead to the universal and the abstract. The result would be the realisation of a collective style that was universally valid and comprehensible, based as it was upon the abstract forms of the machine.
Paul Greenhalgh suggests that such an internationalism was central to Modernists’ theory and was an inevitable condition of their quest for a ‘universal human consciousness.’22 In order to achieve this, national boundaries had to be disposed of, as well as those between disciplines (such as fine art and design) and political classes. Greenhalgh confirms that the abstract, geometrical aesthetic appealed to Modernists because it could be used as a common language through which different nationalities could arrive at uniform solutions, thereby dissolving national boundaries. ‘In its exclusion per se of language, abstraction was the aesthetic which enabled the ethic, internationalism, to be realised.’23
Though he does not use the term, the aesthetic Greenhalgh refers to is that of the machine, since it is derived from and (theoretically) tailored for machine production. I would therefore argue that Modernists associated the aesthetic with internationalism, not only because of its abstract quality, but also because its origins in the machine imbued it with the universal quality that Moholy-Nagy and Van Doesburg recognised in this source.
The practical use of the machine aesthetic’s political function is best illustrated by the Russian Constructivist movement.
It is perhaps surprising that an aesthetic originating from the machine – the foundation of capitalism – could flourish in the political climate following the Communist revolution. Loos’ idea of the machine as labour-saving device was, of course, central in resolving this dilemma, as was the social liberation and classlessness revealed by Van Doesburg and Moholy-Nagy. Also instrumental, no doubt, was the fact that, in this era, Russia was still largely a rural, peasant country possessing no heavy industry. The negative aspects of the machine would therefore have been less obvious than the myths of its glorious effects.
In this climate of rural poverty and political fervour, the machine seemed capable of transforming society, and the aesthetic became the perfect metaphor for revolution and nation-wide progress. Since this made the aesthetic an invaluable resource for Communist propaganda, many of the leading designers were commissioned to create works that mythologized the revolution.
Significantly, this situation did not only involve the government manipulating design to its own ends; many of the artists and designers were equally committed to the idea that they could serve the new society. The Constructivist movement was so named because its members saw it as their task to ‘construct’ the environment for a new society in the same way that engineers constructed bridges and so on.25 Proletkult promoted the unity of science, industry, and art: Vladimir Tatlin, for example, believed design was linked to engineering, and saw the designer as an anonymous worker building for society. Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International (1919-20) reflects this ethos.
This projection for a 400m tall tower (only a scaled-down model was built) clearly represents the union of art and construction – its sculptural form of two intertwining spirals and a soaring diagonal component is rendered in a lattice construction suggestive of engineering. As well as resembling a machine, the tower actually functioned as one: it featured four transparent volumes that rotated at different speeds (yearly, monthly, daily and hourly). These were intended to house government offices for legislation, administration, information and cinematic projection.
It should be pointed out that none of these reasons for interest in the machine aesthetic were mutually exclusive, and individual Modernists did not adhere to it for any single reason. Each partook, to some extent, of most of them. The enthusiasm of the European Functionalists also involved the political interest observed in Constructivism. At the same time, an element of the Futurists’ romantic fascination can be detected in the thinking of Le Corbusier, the Bauhaus, and all those for whom mass production remained out of reach.
In conclusion, as case after case demonstrates, the Modernists’ enthusiasm for the machine aesthetic continued to be of an ideological rather than a practical nature. The machine was embraced as an idea by designers who failed to grasp the realities of mass production. Since their aesthetic was therefore inspired by the machine but not adapted to it, in many cases this actually impeded its realisation. This is highlighted by the examples of Futurism, Constructivism and even aspects of the Bauhaus, where numerous schemes could not be put into practice. However, the importance of the machine aesthetic within Modernism should not be underestimated; it was practised so widely, indeed constituted an International Style, precisely because it was deemed to be the ideal and most logical way of realising the central tenets upon which Modernism was founded. These included truth, internationalism, function, atonement with the age, and so on. The belief that the aesthetic was universally valid is reflected by the great variety of uses to which it was applied, such as Utopian, political, economic etc. For this reason it is no exaggeration to say that, for the Modernists, it was not a question of aesthetics at all, but of a Machine Ethic.

Role of Nature in the Evolution of Modern Cities

My dissertation aims to explore the importance of nature to an urbanite living the fast pace yet numbingly routine life in this concrete jungle. There is no one definition to the relationship of man & nature in the urban context of a city and requires a multi-fold exploration to arrive at any conclusion. My exploration begins with a study of the history and evolution of urban landscape vs. natural landscape in cities. Followed by, research on the effectiveness of existing arrangements of the green relief pockets found in the city and their relationship with urbanism in the city. This forms the basis of research for future propositions made by critics and professionals, leading to any comments that can be made on the relevance of improvement and alterations of the urban morphology. Through this layered researched, I aim to better understand the urban morphology in light of integration of natural relief spaces into the urban landscape and its impact on the urbanites and their social behaviours.

Role of Nature in the Evolution of the Modern Cities

In the modern era of development (19th to 20th century), the growth of urbanization [1] and the modern cities has been a very rapid process. Contrary to the past where human dwellings have peacefully coexisted with nature [2] (Refer to Figure 1), recently there has been a change of pattern. The new architectural layout of the human settlements is a network of cold concrete jungles with little concern for the role of nature in the urban landscape.

Modern cities came as an answer to the population growth after the industrial revolution [3]. Cities grew larger; became the back bone of the economy and following the movement of modernism, [4] came the alterations in the lifestyle of urban dwellers. Exponential growth of construction of high – rise buildings, modern homes etc. replaced and destroyed the natural landscape, paving way for more steel and concrete establishments.

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This was the age of ‘man over nature’ [5], where urban planners [6] followed the philosophy of generic patterns, with no attention to localized environments and natural landscapes. Nature was a malleable entity, carved, flattened, relocated and artificially recreated to accommodate the requirements of the built created by man. [7]
Therefore, the concept of green relief spaces and the importance of natural landscape is either; simply not considered, or an afterthought, treated as sheer ornamentation to the buildings. Leaving the cities, which house the larger numbers of population [8], with nothing more than hints of green spaces; causing man to lose all connections to his origins, i.e. nature, ‘ […] there were few who believed in the importance of nature in a man’s world, few who would design with nature’ [9]
Karachi faired not very different from this general description of modern cities. Furthermore, being the largest revenue producer and biggest of the few metropolitan cities of Pakistan, it entertains a high influx of rural-urban migration. [10] In order to accommodate the rampant expansion in numbers the city is growing beyond bounds (Figure 2) and destroying surrounding natural landscape in the process. [11]

These studies of the context of natural landscape within the urban landscape lead me to research of how this current composition of the urban landscape impacts its user.

Urbanism; Between the Urbanite and the Urban Landscape

The first text under discussion ‘A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception’, [12] a paper that uses the word play to ‘ […] interpret the idea of sociability and sensibility’, [13] and highlights the ability of architecture to limit human perceptual [14] interaction.
It touches upon various topics under the category of urban spaces of cities, their architecture and their influence on people. The feature corresponding to my particular field of study is the attempt to understand how the architectural composition impacts the everyday life of the urban dweller. The research proposes use of, new mapping techniques of Psychogeography [15] in the squatter settlement of Istanbul (Pinar Mahalle), as they reflect the, ‘ […] Personal routes, discoveries, psychological distances, and expressions […]’ [16]of the player under observation. This brought forth two main areas of focus; the mundane cycle of everyday life experiences and the limited ‘multi-sensory perception in urban experience’ [17]
Psychogeography, the collision of psychology and geography [18] is used as the method of reviving the urban experience of everyday life, in a manner that it arouses a sense of playfulness and awareness within the players, i.e. the users of the space. This playful enthusiasm gives way to the, ‘Theory of Drive’ [19] which tests the geographical bounds limiting perception. [20] The dimensions of the boundaries of, ‘ […] social attractions and emotional zones of the urban geography’ [21] need to be recognized so they may be extended to accommodate the players.
One dominant theme that stands out in the paper is the need for intervention or adaption of existing urban spaces to create more than just a visual experience, ‘Instead of mere vision, or the five classical senses, architecture involves several realms of sensory experience which interact and fuse into each other.’ [22] This ability of architecture needs to be explored and integrated in design at the urban level so within these crowded cities some level of interaction and intimacy may be developed.
However, if these measures are not taken, people will remain stuck in a rut, detached from one another, missing out on common benefits and compromising on a complete multi -sensory perception of spaces.
The second short coming of the urban landscape highlighted by this paper is the cold, stagnant composition of the environment. The design format and layout is mundane, monotonous and lacks any form of relief space, visual or physical. Thus, the dire need of change in the existing format of these cities is made apparent.
Findings of this paper are limiting in terms of contextual relevance, however, couple of arguments discussed above are not far from the truth of Karachi’s cityscape. Furthermore, the methods employed for research can be carried forward as part of primary research techniques [23].
The paper also highlights the role of architectural design and layout of the city as a core participant in the game, defining the lifestyle of the players. Baig [24], supports this argument by saying;
‘It is not people alone who generate the city’s ethos; rather the inanimate objects, such as the urban landscape, also contribute towards forming the urban spirit.’ [25]
The, ‘urban mizaaj’ (i.e. urban landscape) is dependent on the opportunities of lifestyles presented to the people by the, ‘inanimate objects’ [26] around them. The largest percentage of inanimate objects of any city is buildings and their connections i.e. architecture, thereby under the theory of Architectural Determinism, [27] built environment becomes the chief dictator of social behavior and interactions. [28]
After understanding the impact of the urban landscape on human lifestyle, the next category attempts to research the relationship of the urbanite and the natural landscape; in order to establish whether some of the gaps of the above discussed relationship can be filled through the addition of natural landscape.

Relationship of the Urbanite and Nature

As the modern cities continue to progress towards a tech -savvy [29] future the modern man’s isolation from nature continues. Our technophilia [30] and technophobia [31], i.e. the love and fear of technology drives us to desire such a strong command over technology, that it becomes our slave. However, our increasing dependency on the technological advancements has reversed roles, and man has become a slave to technology. Robert Thayer [32], states that our love for technology can be demonstrated by, ‘current residential landscape, dominated by house, driveway and garage’ [33] along the wide roads built to encourage the use and ease of automobiles. We then hide behind a green façade and proceed to live through this dense technological support system. [34]
The result of this isolation is the occurrence of the term ‘solastalgia’; the pain experienced when we withdraw from a natural place we love and cherish [35].Louv, in his books further argues the need for interaction between man & natural landscape and the consequences of lack of this interaction. In his first book, ‘Last Child in the Woods’ [36], he put forward the disadvantages on the development of children due to lack of exposure to, ‘Vitamin N’ (N – Nature) [37], causing a syndrome of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ [38]. This is not a medical diagnosis but it is used to create awareness of the detrimental effects of this divide. These theories stemmed many outdoor class room programs and incorporation of interaction with nature for children has now become a more popular idea. [39]
However, the impact of the book had a far more reaching impact than just the restructuring or new experimental techniques of education; it also stimulated the nostalgia of many adults. Adults either reminisced the memories of a different childhood, from that of their children or related to the symptoms of the alienation from nature.
He further supports his argument with simple examples such as, “Depressed people who were prescribed daily outdoor walks improved their moods compared to patients walking in a mall. Alzheimer patients exposed to natural light fluctuations experienced less agitation and wandering.” [40]
The deficiency that Louv discusses in his works highlights the importance of ‘Vitamin N’, to enhance our physical and mental health. This concept can now be tied back to the discussion in the previous section of relationship between urbanites and the urban landscape. The flaws in the urban landscape are having a detrimental effect on the city dwellers and can be countered with the integration of the natural landscape in the cityscape.
Testing this argument further, the next section entails a study of the connections lost between man, nature and cities; if there is a need to reconnect and how these connections maybe made?

Man and Nature within the Urban Landscape

My next text, ‘Design with Nature’, [41] begins with a comparison of the city and the countryside and the stark differences between the two. When exhausted with the over whelming city one retreats to the soothing country side. However, as much as urbanites crave the relief found in the countryside they need the city, whether for compulsion of work or to fulfill the need to be part of the fast pace life, thus, they are drawn back to it. This reflects the divide in the feelings of man, torn between the roads leading to city and countryside, coining the query of the author of this book, ‘It is my investigation into a design with nature: the place of nature in a man’s world […]’ [42]
The author writes from personal experience of having grown up in the industrial years of Glasgow and highlights the pros and cons of the city vs. the countryside. From the beginning, the book distinguishes the two poles; nature vs. built, with man caught in the middle. This brings forward a very important field of thought, “ […] if we can create the humane city, rather than the city of bondage to toil, the choice of city or countryside will be between to excellences, each indispensable, each different, both complementary, both life – enhancing, man in nature.” [43] This extract highlights the machinelike, cold character of a city discussed in the first part of this research and how an escape to the countryside is merely a bandage solution. Therefore, it proves the need of integration of landscape within the urban context of the city.
Ian L. McHarg [44] categorizes the city and landscape architecture into multiple chapters, giving a detailed design methodology of incorporating nature in urban planning, its application and its need for implementation; by displaying the connections man finds within nature. Within these the more prominent section is of ‘The City; Process and Form’ [45], where the author explores the relationship of the built environment with nature and how when the two are paired together they do not compromise their potential but rather enhance it. He speaks about how the morphology of human settlements should be moulded along the natural morphology. For example, when guidelines for stair treads can be defined, there should be rules against building on flood plains. [46]
‘We are becoming a land of great cities. Villages are stationary or receding; cities are enormously increasing […]’ [47]
Similar to McHarg’s thoughts on, ‘city of bondage to toil, the choice of city or countryside’ [48], Ebenezer Howard [49] at the beginning of his book, Garden Cities of To-morrow [50], talks about two magnets, the town and the country but in his analysis he proposed a simple cure, ‘Human society and the beauty of nature are meant to be enjoyed together,the two magnets must be made one’ [51]. Thus, resulting in the third magnet the ‘Town – Country’ [52]

Garden Cities of To-morrow goes on to giving model plans (Figure 4) and details for a workable system of town- country that developed with a central park at its heart. These ideas and proposals were put forth with the aim to combine the best of both worlds, bridging the gap of the rural with the industrial city. [53]

Critics consider Howard’s proposed system a rather utopian solution to urban problems, nevertheless, while the plans proposed may not be ideal, the ideas can still be translated into new derivations.
Bringing the research closer to home, to the city of Karachi, research work concerning open green spaces, neighborhood parks, nature belts etc. is being done.
‘Urban Open Green Spaces are an important agent contributing not only to the sustainable development of cities but are considered as one of the most critical components in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life especially of urban communities’ [54]
Muhammad Mashahid Anwar in his paper, ‘Recreational Opportunities and Services from Ecosystem Services Generated by Public Parks in Megacity Karachi-Pakistan’ [55] sheds an interesting light on people’s perception and views on the various public green spaces of Karachi. Anwar carried out a survey, with audiences of two varying income groups and neighbourhoods, Defense Housing Authority and Gulberg Housing town. Results showed people’s intent to use green public spaces, their willingness to pay if it ensures a clean well maintained environment and the most popular usage of these public parks to be, nature appreciation, light exercise such as walking and relaxation. The overall survey proves people’s knowledge about the subject and their concern for it, as majority recognized its advantages of lower air temperatures, counter to air pollution, aesthetic enhancement, recreational output etc. [56]
The above texts study the urban settings of cities and the role of nature or the lack of nature in these cities. Psychogeography help determine boundaries of sociability of spaces and multi-sensory experience while ‘Design with Nature’ [57] and ‘Garden Cities of To-morrow’ [58]highlights the need of the multi-sensory experience to feed off nature. Therefore, an overlap of these multiple layers can put forth a picture of how Karachi’s urban form can incorporate ‘nature’ interventions, by redefining the urban landscape composition.

[1] Urbanization: the process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more and more people begin living and working in central areas. [].
[2] Kaveh Samiei, ‘Architecture and Urban Ecosystems: From Segregation to Integration’, The nature of cities (New York City ,Sound Science LLC, Posted: May 26, 2013) [Last accessed: 12th March 2014]
[3] Response to, ‘The growth of modern industry from the late 18th century onward led to massive urbanization and the rise of new great cities, first in Europe and then in other regions, as new opportunities brought huge numbers of migrants from rural communities into urban areas.’ Samiei, ‘Architecture and Urban Ecosystems: From Segregation to Integration:Separation of City and Nature’, The nature of cities.
[4] Modernism: a 20th-century divergence in the arts from previous traditions, esp in architecture. []
[5] Zahra Bidarigh Mehr, ‘Nature through the Ages’ SASTech GUILAN UNIVERSITY: The necessity of inspiring from mature in architecture (5th edition, Iran, 12th May 2011):4.
[6] Urban planning: thebranchofarchitecturedealingwiththedesignandorganizationofurbanspaceand activities []
[7] Ebenezer Howard. Garden Cities of To-morrow.
[8] Urban areas hold, 52.1 percentage of the world’s population. ‘World Urbanization Prospect: The 2011 Revision’ United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division’, (October 2012)
[9]Ian L. McHarg, Design with Nature (United States, 1969):City and Countryside.
[10]Unknown author,‘The rising rural-urban migration’. (Updated: 1st September 2008, 12:00am) [Lase accessed: 6th January 2014].
[11] Sayed, ‘The population of Karachi has doubled in 15years’. The Express Tribune.
[12] Hasibe Akin and Tamer Sermet Ozgur, ‘City through Play / A Research on Design and Space: A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception’ Architectural Design Master Programme in Ä°stanbul Technical University (2012-2013 fall term)
[13] Akin and Ozgur, ‘A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception: Abstract’, p1.
[14] Perception: The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. []
[15] Psychogeography; “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals “. Guy Debord, ‘An introduction to a critique of urban geography’(1955).
[16] Akin and Ozgur, ‘A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception: Reconstructing the Urbanism: The Play Element in City Life’, p5.
[17] Akin and Ozgur, ‘A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception: Maps, Journeys and Games in the Squatter Settlement’, p7.
[18] Akin and Ozgur, ‘A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception: Reconstructing the Urbanism: The Play Element in City Life’, p2.
[19] Theory of Dérive [literally: “drifting”], a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances. Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll.
Guy Debord, ‘Theory of Derive1956’ Situationist International Online # 2 (December 1958) []
[20] Response to‘ […] Psychogeography seeks to overcome the process of “banalization” by which the everyday experience of our surroundings becomes one of drab monotony.’
Akin and Ozgur, ‘A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception: Reconstructing the Urbanism: The Play Element in City Life’, p2.
[21] Akin and Ozgur, ‘A Game on the Urban Experience and Limits of Perception: Reconstructing the Urbanism: The Play Element in City Life’, p2.
[22] Juhanni Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses (West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Limited, 2005): 25-30.
[24] Noman Baig (PhD Anthropology, University of Texas). A doctoral student at Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity: Department of Religious Diversity.
[25] Noman Baig. ‘Mizaaj of the City’ (Unknown): 1.
[26] Response to ‘…buildings, individually and collectively… are able to recognize society: that it exists and has a certain form.’
Bill Hillier & Julienne Hanson, The Social Logic of Space (London: Cambridge University Press, 1984): p2.
[27] Architectural Determinism: a social theory which postures that all human behaviour can be derived interactions with one’s surroundings.
Varghese, ‘Architectural Determinism’, Housing People and Places: p1.
[28] ‘Urban form is dynamic, ever-unfolding through dialogues of statement and response. These dialogues are articulated by individuals and by groups, who, in transforming the city and nature, are themselves transformed.’
Unknown, ‘Special Addition: Nature, Form and Meaning’ LANDSCAPE JOURNAL, Vol.7 No.2 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1988): 108.
[29] Tech savvy: knowinga lot aboutmodern
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The Tate Modern: History and Development

Institutions in the Arts and Media: Galleries and the rise of the art market – Focusing on the Tate Modern. (UK)
The dazzling success of the Tate Modern has threatened to overwhelm Tate Britain(formerly the Tate Gallery.) But, says Tate Director Nicholas Serota, Brit art was thriving long before Hirst et al renewedLondon’s international status. (Taken from The Timeout Guide to Tate Britain, Nov 2001.)
In his Foreword to Tate Modern: The Handbook, Director Lars Nittve writes: every museum is unique; Tate Modern’s individuality lies not just in its collection or its location…but also in its architecture.
Indeed, what was once known as the Tate Gallery has undergone a major overhaul. There are now four branches: two in London (one at Millbank; the Tate Modern at Bankside; one in St. Ives; and one in Liverpool). According to Nittve, “the Tate at Millbank used to be the big mother ship, where everything sat-curators, administration, conservation, etc. Now we’re moving to something more like a federation.”

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This paper will take a close look at the Tate Modern, first exploring its singular history and its architectural uniqueness. We will then focus on the wealth and variety of its collection, which is divided into four basic themes: landscape, still life, history painting, and nudes. Finally, we will examine the Tate Modern in the the larger framework of contemporary art and media, taking note of its influence on the UK art market, and measuring its status in the international art world.
History of the Tate Modern
Nicholas Serota was appointed Director of the Tate at Millbank in 1988, and shortly after this decided to embark on a number of modifications. In an attempt to re-establish the original architectural integrity of the Millbank building, Serota decided to remove all signs of artifice. He decided to obliterate the false ceilings and temporary walls. He also decided upon a major reorganisation of the collection.
Welcome as these changes may have been, they also brought to light the fact that there was simply not enough space to implement all these changes if the museum were to remain in its current setting. This eventually led to the decision to expand, a move which has had far-reaching effects in the art world, not just in the UK but internationally.
The search for a new site ultimately led to the old Bankside Power Station. Originally designed and built after the Second World War, the Bankside Power Station was the work of Giles Gilbert Scott, a respected British architect. Scott also designed the [now defunct] power station at Battersea, as well as the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. He is best known, however, as the designer of the once ubiquitous telephone box (Craig-Martin, 14).
Michael Craig-Martin, one of the trustees assigned to investigating potential sites for the new Tate, notes that:
The Bankside building was notable for its plain red brick exterior and the powerful symmetry of its horizontal mass bisected at the centre by a single tall, square chimney. The building was articulated on three sides by a series of immense, well-detailed windows. The only decoration came from the brickwork crenellation along the building’s edging, cleverly mitigating its great bulk (Craig-Martin, 14-15).
The discovery of the Bankside Power Station opened up new vistas for the trustees of the new Tate. First of all was the issue of size: the Bankside Power Station was larger than any of them had imagined. Adjusting their expectations to include such a vast space opened up an entirely new perspective as well as a world of possibility.
Second, of all, building yet they had assumed that they would be commissioning abuilding yet here was the power station, basically intact. They now had to consider the possibility that there would be no need to raze the existing building and start over what if they were to work with the existing structure, and make changes as needed? This, clearly, would be a break from the way things were traditionally done. Thus, after visiting the Bankside Power Station, the trustees’ vision of what the new gallery could be began to change, and their preconceived notions were replaced by exciting new concepts (Craig-Martin, 15).
The existence of so many positive factors convinced the trustees that the Bankside site was the best choice as the new site of the home of modern art. Not only were the possibilities were inviting; also to be considered was the location, which was ideal; the possibility of development; and the interest and support of the local government.
Location was certainly a major consideration; this London location boasted first-rate transport facilities, including the new tube station at Southwark. In addition, there was the possibility of a river bank connection with the Millbank gallery(Craig-Martin, 15). And the local Southwark Council wasted no time in acknowledging the potential impact this could have on the local community, an area much in need of a financial and industrial boost: The local council, Southwark, recognising the potential impact of the Tate project on development and employment in this largely run-down area, enthusiastically supported it from the start (Craig-Martin, 15).
Architectural Design
Relocation to the Bankside site meant opened up a wealth of opportunity for the Tate. Forstarters, the vast size of the building meant that the Tate would be able tomore than double its capacity for showing its collection as well as housing major large-scale temporary exhibitions (Craig-Martin, 15). Beyond this, the possibilities seemed even more exciting: even after expansion, there would be a vast expanse of untouched space, leaving the possibilities for continued growth and capacity for even greater acquisitions wide open.
But questions of how to approach and re-design this space still had to be sorted out. DirectorNicholas Serota enlisted the assistance of Trustee Michael Craig-Martin andsculptor Bill Woodrow to visit some of the newer museums of contemporary art onthe Continent, and to consider them critically from our point of view asartists (Craig-Martin, 17). In this way, Serota helped to best utilize the newspace, with an eye on art, rather than architecture.
After visiting a number of modern museums, Martin and Woodrow found that for the most part,modern museums better served the interests of architects and architecture than those of art and artists. Clearly the interests of art were not the primary consideration of those chosen to design the space that would best showcase it. Many architects clearly considered designing a museum to be a prime opportunity for high-profile signature work. On the other hand few architects seemed truly to understand or be interested in the needs of art (Craig-Martin, 17).
They reported these findings to Serota and the other trustees, with the ultimate result that there was a shift in the thinking behind the architectural approach. Now, the central concern of the design of the new building would be to address the needs of art through the quality of the galleries and the range ofopportunities, both sympathetic and challenging, for showing art. While seeking the best possible architectural solution, we determined that the project would be art led not architecture led (Craig-Martin, 17).
The decision ofthe trustees was not a popular one in many circles. Architects in particular felt deprived, seeing the decision only in light of their own potential growth or lack thereof: Some, seeing this as the betrayal of a unique architectural opportunity for London, interpreted it as the result of a loss of institutional nerve (Craig-Martin, 17).
Ultimately, Herzog & de Meuron were selected to be the architects. They were the only ones whose design managed to keep the building intact without making major changes to its basic structure, to appreciate the beauty and value already inherent in the existing structure: Herzog & de Meuron’s was the only proposal that completely accepted the existing building its form, its materials and its industrial characteristics and saw the solution to be the transformation of the building itself into an art gallery (Craig-Martin, 17).
Indeed, as pointed out by Insight Guides: Tate Modern has captured the public’s imagination in a quite unprecedented way, both for its displays and its building, which establishes a magnificent presence on the South Bank (194).
The Collection
Insight Guides states that the arrangement of the collection makes it both more accessible to, and more popular with, the general public (194). Instead of achronology, the work is organized by a four separate (though admittedly overlapping) themes. The displays replace a single historical account with many different stories of artistic activity and suggest their relationship to the wider social and cultural history of the 20th and early 21stcentury (Insight Guides 194).
The four themes are, basically: landscape, still life, history painting, and nudes.
Within each of these broad themes it is possible to explore a rich syntax of intention and strategy, (Blazwick & Morris, 35).
When one thinks of landscapes, a variety of scenes may come to mind: waves crashing on a rocky beach; a horizon of dark, menacing clouds; skyscrapers silhouetted against a sunset. As Blazwick & Morris point out, the genre of landscape is primarily understood as a representation of a natural or urban scene, which might be topographic, metaphoric or sublime (35). At the Tate Modern, however, the genre of landscape has been reconceived to include the zone of the imaginary, uncanny dreamscapes, symbolic visualisations of anxiety and desire (Blazwick & Morris, 35).
As Jennifer Mundy points out, landscape is an ambiguous term and can have several overlapping meanings: much of its resonance derives from the often uncertain boundary between nature and culture, the objective and the subjective (42). Thus a landscape may be a faithful rendering of the physical world, such as the dreamy middle-class countrysides of Impressionism. Or it may be symbolic rendering of an interior landscape, such as the more obscure works of the Surrealists.
The Tate Modern’s Landscape collection tries to reflect the range and diversity of this genre, while also addressing the complex threat of modern technology. As Mundy notes,today the threat posed to the environment by modern technology and the growth of the human population has made the natural landscape a topical, even urgent, subject for art (50).
StillLife/Object/Real Life
Paul Moorhouse posits that among the many radical developments in the visual arts during the last hundred years, one of the most significant has been the extraordinary growth and transformation of the genre known as still life (60). By the period of Cubism, still life no longer meant an apple on a plate, but rather the complexity of the relationship of the objects to each other and to the viewer: The inertness of such objects as a glass, a bottle, a pipe or a newspaper provided a perfect vehicle for evoking the complex phenomenological relationships between such artefacts, the surrounding space and the viewer perceiving them (62).
The Tate Modern’s collection is a reflection of the evolution of the form referred to as still life, and which today defies definition. According to Moorhouse, this fusion of the actual and the symbolic has created the conditions for a remarkable vitality and diversity in contemporary art (68), a vitality and diversity reflected in the Tate Modern’s ever-changing representations of the genre.
The concept of history/memory/society is wide-ranging and ambitious, perhaps intentionally so. Public morality, politics, ideology, idealism and suffering among other themes still preoccupy artists today comments Jeremy Lewison (88). The Tate Modern collection attempts to represent these themes as they are expressed in modernity, while reflecting the continuum in which they necessarily exist. Clearly this is an ambitious task, considering the multitude of methods used to express and relate these concepts across the ages.
The study of history has descended to the micro level, posits Lewison, adding that it has been, in a sense, democratised. History is no longer solely the provenance of leaders and heroes; it is rather, in the hands of the common individual. The artists of today have followed a similar course, Lewison suggests, and, by employing the same strategies, by opening themselves to techniques and concepts derived from the human and social sciences, artists today address issues relevant to contemporary life (88).
Among the most ancient man-made objects recognisable as belonging to the category that we callart are small naked human figures carved from stone or ivory posits SimonWilson (96). Clearly, as humans we are obsessed with representations of the body and this has been reflected throughout history.
The final decades of the twentieth century have seen remarkable changes in the concept of the human body. Significant advances in technology, combined with the lengthened lifespans of our population, have spurred a re-thinking of what the body is indeed, at times it has seemed to become objectified. These changes are of course reflected in art.
As Wilson points out, during this time period artists began to use their own body as the expressive medium, initially creating necessarily ephemeral works in the form of what became known as Performance art (104). This, in conjunction with use of various media such as film, video, and still photography, is all part of the Tate Modern’s programme in accurately capturing and representing this genre.
The Tate Modern and the International Art World
The success of the Tate Modern may have initially seemed to eclipse the Tate Britain however, a response like this surely had to have been expected. The selection of Giles Gilbert Scott’s Bankside Power Station as its new home was itself a newsworthy event. The subsequent choice of Herzog & de Meuron as architects caused considerable buzz in the art world and the country at large. Therefore it issmall wonder that when it finally opened its doors, the world was indeed dazzled by the Tate Modern.
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Tate Britain, writes in the Foreward to Humphrey’s book:
the creation in 2000 of Tate Modern and Tate Britain as distinctive entities with the Tate organisation, were initial steps towards the renaissance of Millbank. Now, with many new galleries for displays and exhibitions, and with a future programme setting our collections withina plethora of new contexts, national and international, our role here as the world’s centre for the study and enjoyment of British art may emergewith fresh clarity…
There is, however, no doubt that the Tate Modern will play an influential role in the art world. It is unique in conception, as noted earlier, because it was carefully designed to meet the needs of the artist, as opposed to those of the architect. As Craig-Martin pointed out, while seeking the best possible architectural solution, we determined that the project would be art led not architecture led(17).
In addition, there is the simple, yet vitally important issue of size and space alone. The discovery of the Bankside Power Station opened up new vistas for the trustees of the new Tate. Bankside Power Station was larger than any of them had imagined, and the process of adjusting their expectations to include such a vast space opened up an entirely new perspective. Not only were the possibilities were inviting; also to be considered was the location, which was ideal; the possibility of development; and the interest and support of the local government.
Beyond the mere physical properties such as architecture and size are the ways in which these attributes are utilised. The vision of the Tate Modern thus far seems to be on the cutting edge. The best museums of the future will…seek to promote different modes and levels of ‘interpretation’ by subtle juxtapositions of ‘experience’ writes Nicholas Serota. He further asserts that the best museums will contain somerooms and works that will be fixed, the pole star around which the others will turn…in this way we can expect to create a matrix of changing relationshipsto be explored by visitors according to their particular interests and sensibilities (54-55).
As Deuchar hassaid, we no longer choose to relate a single narrative of British art and culture, but to explore a network of stories about art and about Britain, with our collections at its core (Foreward to Humphreys’ book). And has Nittve has pointed out “the Tate at Millbank used to be the big mother ship, where everything sat curators, administration, conservation, etc. Now we’re moving to something more like a federation (Frankel).
The Tate Modern, the necessary extension of this core, may in fact be viewed as a pole star in itself, at the forefront of the modern art scene, with a world of limitless potential ahead.
Reference List
Adams, Brooks, Lisa Jardine, Martin Maloney, Norman Rosenthal, and Richard Shone. 1997. Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection. London: Royal Academy of Arts.
Blazwick, Iwona and Frances Morris. 2000. Showing the Twentieth Century. In Tate Modern: The Handbook, eds. Iwona Blazwick and Simon Wilson, pp. 28-39. Berkeley: U of CA Press with Tate Gallery Publishing Limited.
Craig-Martin, Michael. 2000. Towards Tate Modern. In Tate Modern: The Handbook, eds. Iwona Blazwick and Simon Wilsonpp. 12-23.Berkeley: U of CA Press with Tate Gallery Publishing Limited.
Frankel, David. April 2000. Art Forum. Accessed May 26, 2005.
Humphreys, Richard. 2001. The Tate Britain Companion to British Art. London: Tate Publishing.
Insight Guides: Museums and Galleries of London. 2002. Basingstoke, Hants: GeoCenter InternationalLtd.
Lewison, Jeremy. 2000. History Memory/Society. In Tate Modern: The Handbook, eds. Iwona Blazwickand Simon Wilsonpp. 74-93. Berkeley: U of CA Press, with Tate Gallery Publishing Limited.
Massey, Doreen. 2000. Bankside: International Local. In Tate Modern: The Handbook, eds. Iwona Blazwick and Simon Wilsonpp. 24-27.Berkeley: U of CA Press with Tate Gallery Publishing Limited.
Moorhouse, Paul. Still Life/Object/RealLife. 2000. In Tate Modern: The Handbook, eds. Iwona Blazwickand Simon Wilsonpp. 58-73. Berkeley: U of CA Press with Tate Gallery Publishing Limited.
Mundy, Jennifer. 2000.Landscape/Matter/Environment. In Tate Modern: The Handbook,eds. Iwona Blazwick and Simon Wilsonpp. 40-53.Berkeley: U of CA Press with Tate Gallery Publishing Limited.
Serota, Nicholas. 1996. Experience or Interpretation: The Dilemma of Museums of Modern Art. WalterNeurath Memorial Lectures, London: Birkbeck College.
Shone, Richard. 1997. From ‘Freeze’ to House: 1988-94. In Sensation: Young British
Artists from the Saatchi Collection. London: Royal Academy of Arts.
Wilson, David M., ed. 1989. The Collections of the British Museum. London: British MuseumPress.
Wilson, Simon. 2000. Nude/Action/Body. In Tate Modern: The Handbook, eds. Iwona Blazwick and Simon Wilsonpp. 94-107. Berkeley: U of CA Press with Tate Gallery Publishing Limited.

Influence of the Theory of Scientific Management in the Design of the Modern Organisation

Illustrating your analysis with examples, including those from the course syllabus, examples raised in the case-study/seminar discussions and examples from your own private research, discuss the influence of the theory of Scientific Management in the design of the modern organisation, making reference to both its strengths and weaknesses in relation to its impact on organisational design.

in the early 1900’s Frederick Winslow Taylor contributed the Scientific management theory, its often called the Taylorism. This theory is based on analysing and synthesizing the workflows of the organisation, to improve the economic efficiency as well as the labour productivity (Taylor, F.W., 2004). This theory was considered as one of the best and initial effort where science was applied to management and engineering of process. The chore of Taylor’s theory was that they followed the technique of breaking the work process into sub-tasks or least possible units with an intention to regulate the most efficient method for accomplishing a particular task (Fischhoff, B., 2000).

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Scientific management theory has four main principles. First of all, the scientific study of doing work, should replace the traditional guesswork methods (rule-of-thumb methods). Secondly, the workers are selected, trained and developed their skills for specific task in a professional way Instead of leaving them train themselves. Thirdly, the developed method should be followed, tested and give individuals clear instructions on what they have to do, then supervise them while they do it. Finally, the managers should apply the principles of the scientific management to planning the organisation’s work (Taylor, F.W., 1914).

Scientific management is based on focusing on efficiency and productivity. To approach this management is based on measurement of what can be done better and how, monitor to ensure targets are met and control through analysis (Haber, S., 1964).

This theory has several important advantages, to begin with,

Enhanced the productivity as it concentrates on steady improvements in business operations. Enhancement is achieved by the cooperation between managers and workers. Secondly, the Employees become specialists in their field as they do the same task repeatedly; this makes it easy for the manager to have control over employees. Thirdly, Inaccuracy is decreased as the theory is based on experiment and observation for context-specific solutions. With better planning and decision making, accuracy is achieved (Locke, E.A., 1982.).

Further strength of this theory, the mechanization and latest use of technology in production of goods enhances productivity as well. Since there is enhanced large scale production, there is a decrease in per unit cost of production (Wren, D.A. and Bedeian, A.G., 1994). In addition to that, scientific management has multiple different strength points, for example; quick decision making, triple benefits for the consumers: (Consumers pay fewer prices, the ability to get best quality products and to attain a better living standard), incentive is considered in order to enhance productivity and provide high wages for employees and the  piecework pay system is followed, Efficiency increased by scientific selection and training methods, Best use of resources and development, scientific management is beneficial to the nation, and the work is carried out in less production time, as well as, good working conditions, a proper atmosphere, and the owners and investors benefitted from the Large scale production.

Finally, since there is a healthy relationship between management and labours, hence they have a cordial and harmonious relationship with one another (Dean Jr, J.W. and Bowen, D.E., 1994).


A good example for the scientific management advantages is Henry Ford when he applied Taylor’s principles in his automobile factories ( 10th October 2013). To explore this in depth, in 1903, Henry Ford launched the Ford Motor Company, each car was produced by teams of skilled laborers, and, working together, these groups collectively spent over 12 hours building each car (EyeWitness to History, 2005). This process was very expensive and time-consuming. After that Ford recognized the benefits that Taylor’s theory could bring to his operations and took full advantage of his expertise and strategies. As a result, the auto industry has continued to thrive throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, making use of new efficiencies and cost reductions, and leading to regular improvements to manufacturing processes across all industries.

That is to say, the assembly-line process enabled Ford to produce cars more quickly, and at more affordable rates. By 1924, as a result of his advanced production methods, Ford had sold 10 million Model Ts.  Also, Ford’s assembly line resulted in a mass-market demand for automobiles and changed mass-manufacturing processes across many products and industries (Charles, E., My Forty Years with Ford (1956); Banum, Russ, The Ford Century 2002).

Another example which explore the effect of the rewarding system in the organisation outcome as motivation factors and offers competitive salaries is Virgin. It also offers bonus schemes, such as its ASPIRE field pay and reward scheme. as a forward-thinking business, it understands the importance of different motivational factors. It offers additional benefits including private health care, life assurance, company pension scheme and staff saving schemes. The opportunity to progress within the company is also an important factor, for example, Benjamin joined Virgin Media in 2011 and went from

apprentice to service technician and then network engineer in just 18 months. As he says: ‘Six months after gaining my apprenticeship I moved up to a new role. I think this shows how the company is supporting my ambitions.’ (McDonald, M.H., De Chernatony, L. and Harris, F., 2001.)

Lastly, from my own experience when I was working in KFC restaurant, I recognised the powerful effect of this theory of how the work is going in there, the work was done in very fast time, actually the burger maker can prepare one sandwich in just 60 seconds, he is well trained do to that. Every single staff has their own specific work. This make the work to be very easy for us, as we were well trained with high skills.

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On the other hands, scientific management has some negative limitations like the other theories, the following are some of them, first of all, it’s requires a huge capital which is a costly system and requires more money for planning department, training of workers, and standardization. Secondly, the managers take up control of the employees, so they will lack creativity, and they repeat the same task, their chore is meaningless, monotonous, and tedious which reduces employee motivation. Thirdly, it leads to less productivity. Although the plan ahead is an advantage, it makes the work inflexible and rigid. Moreover, with this scientific approach the employees may feel underestimated and alienated which may increase the absenteeism rate. (Donaldson, L., 1990).

There are more cons for this theory such as, the routine activity may make the employees feel more dissatisfied, This activity makes work mechanistic and treats the workers like machines, it’s also not suitable for teams and groups, Since management takes complete responsibility, there is a reduction in workers role into rigid and adherence procedures where the workers have no idea, there is not chance for any realistic bargaining regarding the wage rates, in addition to increase the chances for financial loss (Aufhauser, R.K., 1973).

Furthermore, unemployment is considered as a major weakness point as men are been replaced by machines, and increase the stress level, moreover this theory is focus on narrow application and applied for certain factories where the performance is measured in a quantitative manner. Finally, this approach is time consuming as it requires complete reorganizing and mental revision of the organization (Nelson, R.H. and Fairfax, S.K).

From my own experience in KFC, although this theory has achieved different beneficial effect, it makes us feel u we are machines doing the work without any chance to create or to make our own personality, and this was the main reason why I left the work there. 

In conclusion, scientific management theory has a wide range of varieties in which several factories have used it, and like any theory, it has multiple pons and cones. Hence it is suggested to make a complete research about the theory and review if it would be suitable for the organization and later adopt it.


Aufhauser, R.K., 1973. Slavery and scientific management. The Journal of Economic History, 33(4), pp.811-824.

( October 2013). “Henry Ford: A Century of the Assembly Line”. Retrieved on the 10th October 2013 from:‐24440563.

Charles, E., My Forty Years with Ford (1956); Banum, Russ, The Ford Century (2002); Brinkley, Douglas, Wheels for the world: Henry Ford, his company, and a century of progress, 1903-2003 (2003).

Dean Jr, J.W. and Bowen, D.E., 1994. Management theory and total quality: improving research and practice through theory development. Academy of management review, 19(3), pp.392-418.

Donaldson, L., 1990. The ethereal hand: Organizational economics and management theory. Academy of management Review, 15(3), pp.369-381.

EyeWitness to History, 2005

Fischhoff, B., 2000. Scientific management of science?. Policy Sciences, 33(1), pp.73-87.

Haber, S., 1964. Efficiency and uplift: Scientific management in the progressive era, 1890-1920. University of Chicago Press.

Locke, E.A., 1982. The ideas of Frederick W. Taylor: an evaluation. Academy of Management Review, 7(1), pp.14-24.

McDonald, M.H., De Chernatony, L. and Harris, F., 2001. Corporate marketing and service brands-Moving beyond the fast-moving consumer goods model. European Journal of Marketing, 35(3/4), pp.335-352.

Nelson, R.H. and Fairfax, S.K., 1995. Public lands and private rights: The failure of scientific management. Rowman & Littlefield.

Taylor, F.W., 1914. Scientific management. The Sociological Review, 7(3), pp.266-269.

Taylor, F.W., 2004. Scientific management. Routledge.

Wren, D.A. and Bedeian, A.G., 1994. The evolution of management thought.

The Father of Modern Education in Contemporary Curriculum

John Amos Comenius: The Father of Modern Education in Contemporary Curriculum

 The European Renaissance produced advances in art, literature, science, and mathematics at a level unprecedented since the ancient classical civilizations. Following on the heels of the Renaissance, the Reformation led to Protestants seeking to educate youth so that they could read scripture and Christian teachings, to ensure indoctrination and the continuance of their beliefs.

The contentious relations between the Catholic Church and the Protestant movement led to many Protestant clergy, philosophers, and supporters being exiled from Catholic territories. John Amos Comenius was one such philosopher and teacher who wrote extensively regarding the structure and needs of education. In addition to his education philosophy, Comenius was the last appointed bishop of the Moravian church. Because of his Protestant leadership, he was exiled from the Papal states, including his modern-day Slavic homelands (Laurie & Bardeen, 1892). Even though exiled, he remained solidly sought after from England to Poland, and indeed has been named the Father of Modern Education (Sloboda, 2018). His ideals, while radical during his lifetime have become the foundation for the American education system. Using the introduction page to his Didactica Magna or The Great Didactic (1635/1907), I will outline his principles of education, how contemporary curriculum reflects those principles, as well as how they speak to the future of the field.

Comenius’ Universal Education Ideal

Hamilton (2015) writes that Comenius’ “assumptions about the delivery of knowledge nourished the origins, ideology and appeal of modern schooling” (p. 591). Perhaps one of the most influential treatises on education, the title page to The Great Didactic (Comenius, 1635/1907) reads:

The Great Didactic: Setting forth The whole Art of Teaching all Things to all Men or A certain Inducement to found such Schools in all the Parishes, Towns, and Villages of every Christian Kingdom, that the entire Youth of both Sexes, none being excepted, shall Quickly, Pleasantly, & Thoroughly Become learned in the Sciences, pure in Morals, trained to Piety, and in this manner instructed in all things necessary for the present and for the future life, in which, with respect to everything that is suggested, Its Fundamental Principles are set forth from the essential nature of the matter, Its Truth is proved by examples from the several mechanical arts, Its Order is clearly set forth in years, months, days, and hours, and, finally, An easy and sure Method is shown, by which it can be pleasantly brought into existence. (p. 3)

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The first item on Comenius’ agenda was to establish his belief in universal education. In a work of over 300 pages, his first statement following the title was an advocacy for all people to have access to a full education. Traditionally, literacy and a classical education had only been the privilege of the male children of wealthy families. Comenius (1635/1907) believed education was the right of all children, regardless of gender or social class. Comenius was not alone in his desire to see universal education; the second wave of Reformation philosophers bought into this concept with him (Laurie & Bardeen (1892). The premise was that both boys and girls should be educated so that they could better understand Christian scriptures and lead pious lives. Because of Comenius’ (1635/1907) view of the Mother-school discussed later, women needed to be fully literate and educated in all principles so that they could become the first teachers of their children. At a time when most people groups, including the dominating Catholic church, did not value education for girls or lower-class children, Comenius became a champion for education for all. While there were other voices supporting the education of girls so they would be literate to aid in the raising Christian children (Maviglia, 2016), Comenius (1635/1907) supported a full education of all people.

 Hamilton (2015) connects the very root of the word education to the idea of universal education. He interestingly outlines that “the Latin etymology of the word education denotes a process of ‘leading out’; pedagogy is its classical Greek synonym; and ‘upbringing is its closest English translation” (p. 578). He goes on to claim that the idea of “schooling” is unique to human institutions, but an education synonymous with upbringing is a universal principle to the natural order of life—all animals bring up their young with knowledge to survive in the world.

Therefore, using his supposition, to deny any group the right to a full education is unnatural and ultimately unacceptable.

In addition to educating both boys and girls, Comenius (1635/1907) wanted to do away with class distinctions within the school environment (Comenius, 1635/1907; Maviglia, 2016). He supported children of all social classes being grouped together in classrooms, so they could learn from each other. Most aristocratic and upper-class families did not engage in what existed of public education during the Reformation. Comenius (1635/1907) envisioned an integrated public gymnasium—the German word for secondary school (Laurie & Bardeen, 1892).

Subject Matter

If we were to impose Pinar’s (2009) question of “What knowledge is of most worth?” to Comenius’ worldview, then three categories emerge: Christian piety and spirituality, the liberal arts, and the sciences, with natural science of the upmost importance. The penultimate goal of education for Comenius (1635/1907), was to invoke the divine and bring learners to a better knowledge of their place in creation.

Pinar et al. (2008) reinforce Comenius’ central focus on the divine. While I do not wish the religious aspect of his work to be my primary focus in exploring his work, to exclude it would be an egregious—even sacrilegious—omission. Because so much of Christianity’s doctrines focus on good, righteous, and holy behavior, that was a main goal of education for writers and pedagogues during the Reformation (Maviglia, 2016; Menck, 2001).

Liberal arts education. Comenius (1635/1907) acknowledges the value of the liberal arts education that had been the staple of European education since at least the beginning of the Renaissance. As articulated by Laurie and Bardeen (1892), these subjects include grammar (including the native language, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew), dialectic, rheotric, arithmatic, geometry, music, and astronomy (p. 147-148). Comenius envisioned these subjects flowing sequentially since the linguistic subjects are necessary for understanding the maths and sciences, and math is a prerequisite to comprehending music and science.

Several hundred years after Comenius (1635/1907) writes of both rich and poor learners having access to a liberal arts education, Jane Addams instituted a summer school using a liberal arts curriculum for the working class of Chicago in 1891 (Pinar, 2015, p. 224). Pinar (2015) discusses Addams’ work within the context of her giving her life to public service. Comenius (1635/1907) too saw the lives of teachers as given in service to education. Both Addams and Comenius believed that access to a full spectrum of knowledge would give learners—both child and adult—knowledge which would translate into practical skills; these skills would provide the capability to think critically and to apply knowledge in ways which would improve the lives of the learners.

Spirituality.  Returning to the introduction to The Great Didactic, Comenius (1635/1907) wanted learners “instructed in all things necessary for the present and for the future life” (p. 3). His Christian beliefs in a Heavenly life after death as the reward of salvation and a life morally lived drive the spiritual imperative inherent to his entire educational model. Comenius (1635/1907) believed that through education, students could reach their ultimate spiritual potential. Phillips (2012) argues that “the myth of our potential…lures us into the future, but without letting us wonder why such lures are required” (p. xiii). If a primary goal of education—both historically and contemporaneously—to help students reach their full potential as scholars and individuals is a myth as Phillips (2012) suggests, then Comenius (1635/1907) would encourage teachers to lure learners toward their spiritual potential until the student intrinsically desires education and God and has not doubt of its value.

Because Comenius saw teachers as a guide to spiritual revelation, he wanted for learners, from a very early age, to seek (his version of) religious truth since “knowledge, virtue, and religion are the contents of education and they are not offered to students from the outside, but they represent the nourishment caused by an inner need. In these terms, culture becomes a ‘call’ to which all human beings must respond in order to know God, themselves, and the world” (Maviglia, 2016, p. 62). From this stance, then, the call to religious knowledge and revelation is not a clarion call which cannot be ignored, but rather an invitation. However, Comenius (1635/1907) believes that all students who have the opportunity to observe moral, virtuous, Christian behavior will come to follow the precepts of his spiritual beliefs.

In contrast to Comenius’ (1635/1907) religious inclinations, Said (1994) argues that “the true intellectual is a secular being. However much intellectuals pretend that their representations are of higher things or ultimate values, morality begins with their activity in this secular world of ours” (p. 120). Comenius did value the early acquisition of morality and ethics from mimicking the behaviors from adults. In that sole aspect can the two viewpoints reconcile. However, for Comenius (1635/1907), the world was not a secular place at all; the world was the creation of his God and therefore everything in it, including the morals and ethics he hoped to educate into learners, was divine.

Renaissance and Reformation artists relied on art itself to convey religious meaning. Menck (2001) also explores the Comenius’ Orbis Sensualium Pictus, a textbook primer created to use in the Mother-school describe later. Menck (2001) concludes that the insight into the religious iconography pictures joined with the German and Latin accompanying text gives a sense of the social context surrounding Comenius’ work—specifically that religious instruction is capable through pictures independent of written language.

The divine aspects of the world were held in great mysticism for Reformation philosophers than for modern Christians. Comenius (1635/1907) claims that every action of Jesus’ life had a mystical meaning (p. 105). While mysticism threads itself through his writings (Laurie and Bardeen, 1892; Maviglia, 2016), he was able to maintain his mystic beliefs while also writing concretely about education, reflecting a synthesis between the mystical heritage of earlier Christianity and the emerging Realism of the Renaissance and Reformation. 

Synthesizing the polarizing viewpoints of contemporary art and spiritual mysticism, Morris (2016b) argues that “artwork can lead to mystical experience. Painting, playing a musical instrument, reading poetry, getting tattooed can all open the door to the mystical” (p. 71). While Comenius (1635, 1907) would probably frown upon tattoo as an artform, he surely believed in the power of contemplating art to inspire a spiritual experience.

Morris (2016b) further argues that “being spiritual or being a mystic does not mean that you do not live in the world; it means you live more deeply in the world. Rather than transcending the world through mystical ideas, one should move more deeply into the mess that is our reality. Prophetic thought is not ungrounded thought” (p. 83). Comenius (1623/1998; 1635/1907) could not separate his mystical spirituality from the natural, real world. In considering his views on spirituality and the importance of natural sciences, he considered the natural world to be the very grounding force which brought his faith into reality.

I find it interesting that Comenius continally puts the liberal arts ahead of the sciences, but never to the exlcusion of them. During my time in eudcaiton, I have seen the empahasis of STEM classes, to the point my literature classes had the least access to technology and even print sources of any other academic discipline within the schools I taught. I have struggled with this disparity and the neglect the humanities and arts have felt in the past two decades. Without the ability to read and comprehend, how may a student learn about the sciences? About the ever-changing field of technology? The students I have taught struggle to connect the historical concepts in literature to the history classes they have taken. Because we do not contextualize all academic subjects in the same knowledge sphere, students compartamentlaize individual course material, and thereby fail to form a cohesive framework for their learning to coagulate wholistically.

A study by Krupa and Confrey (2017) showed that students—particularly minorities and students in high-need schools—performed much better on mathematics exams when taught through an integrated approach. When algebra and geometry were not presented as discreet disciplines, students were able to score higher than students who were taught subject matter separately. While using a standardized test to numerically evaluate a student’s learning is problematic (Pinar, 2004), Krupa and Confrey’s (2017) study still strongly suggests that students can grasp mathematical subjects when they are taught integrated. 

Nature as teacher. I find it difficult to separate the natural from the spiritual regarding Comenius. Two hundred years after the Slavic pedagogue wrote, the American Transcendentalists would again strongly invoke the power of nature as a teacher. Thoreau went into the woods at Walden Lake and philosophized on the problems with education and how they may be remedied by a relationship with the natural (Thoreau, 1985, Willson 1962). Ironically, during his stint as a school teacher in Canton, Massachusetts, his observations aligned with Comenius’ ideal classroom. Thoreau saw students punished for learning and wanted no part of that authoritarian system. He wanted students to learn for the love of it. He also found the classrooms to be uninviting and intellectually stifling to the imagination (Willson 1962). Comenius (1635/1907) described classrooms with artwork and pictures, comfortable seating arrangements, and access to nature.

Granted, Comenius (1635/1907) did not wish to transcend the physical world. He did however want learners to appreciate the natural world and all the knowledge it had to offer. Morris (2016a) writes of “eco-poesis” in which “scholars read, write, and think in relation-to-the-world. Thus, reading, writing, and thinking are ecological acts” (p. 389). Comenius (1635/1907) very much belived in the didactic power of nature in addition to its inherence to the learning processes involved in thinking and understanding the world’s operation—that the harmony of nature (Maviglia (2016) could be the greatest teacher.

If learners absorb truth and knowledge from nature, then Abram’s (1997) belief in language being inherent to non-human animals (p. 77-78) would mesh well with Comenius’ philosophies. Morris (2016b) agrees and argues that “most people pay little attention to the world, to nature and its creatures” (p. 149). We can learn from animals—they should not be discounted as less than humans but appreciated for the divine we can glean. Comenius (1635/1907) repeatedly refers to humans as animals, and not derogatorily or as a synonym for ignorance. Rather he values all creatures and considers humans as part of the natural order of earth’s animals. He also refers over 30 times to creatures in The Great Didactic (Comenius 1635/1907), mostly referring to animals and their contribution to natural education.

Structure of Schools

The Great Didactic clearly set forth Comenius’ (1635/1907) vision for the structure of education, from the birth of a child through university. He titled each of his schools and alloted each six years of instruction—so this sequential education would nearly comprise the 25 years Comenius claimed it takes for the human mind and body to fully mature. Within the following levels of education, Comenius believed that “learning proceeds sequentially [not unlike “mastery teaching in the U.S….] at the pace indicated by students’ abilities. For the first time, the pedagogical focus shifted to the individual” (Pinar et al., p. 810). Whereas contemporary education forces learners into grade-level distinctions and leaves little room for individualized rates of learning, Comenius (1635/1907) envisioned a more open educational structure that would allow students to progress at individualized rates. With that in mind, he still allotted six years per school division as a guideline.

The Four Schools. The first of Comenius’ (1635/1907) schools is the Mother-school, where a child would be taught the basics of language use, counting, interaction with the natural world (natural science), as well as family, spiritual, and community relationships. Comenius contends that every home should have a Mother-school, and this foundation for a child’s education is vital to his future learning. The parents, family and community are responsible for fostering a child’s curiosity and foundational literacy (Laurie & Bardeen, 1892) until the time comes for him to learn from master teachers.

Ages 6-12 would see a learner in Vernacular chool, or grammar school. Much the same as the American model of the elementary school, these six years would teach learners the basics of their native language, natural science, mathematics, religion, and ethics. Comenius (1635/1907) envisions a school day of four sections, two each before and after a lunch break. For the Vernacular school, he proposes no more than four daily classes, with the afternoon for repetition of the morning’s new informaiton (p. 272). He also proposes that textbooks should be course-specific, written plainly, inviting so as to instill in students a love of reading. At this stage, students gain an increasing handle on language skills so that the mastery of their native language will segue into learning classical languages and philosophies when they move on.

After the Vernacular school, students would enter the Latin school, or gymnasium, the equivalent to American secondary school. Comenius (1635/1907) is adamant that students at this level receive instruction in all of the (contemporaneous) liberal arts—so that a learner may master philosophy—and all the sciences (p. 274). By the time a student completes his gymnasium, he or she should be well versed in any discourse needed for practical living and philosophical understanding.

Comenius (1635/1907) adds a chapter in his The Great Didactic on university level learning as well. While that is not the main purvue of his reform, he felt obligated to address the full spectrum of education. Again, his vision for university is evident in higher education today. He suggested Latin school teachers to recommend students who show th hightest aptitude for learning as a profession to universities which would then require an entrance exam to ensure academic standards were maintained across scholars from various provinces. For learners who progress to study university, they would be mentored and taught by masters who would then oversee oral comprehensive exams and ultimately a dissertation which would needs past muster from interdisciplinary faculty. Also, Comenius advocated for university students to travel extensively, since visiting other places would only contextualize their learning.

Within the four school models, Comenius argued that all learners have a place. Over 300 years later, the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990, policymakers sought to improve educational experiences for students with disabilities. Learning disabilities and learners with exceptional capabilities were included in the legislation. The first three hundred or so years of American education ignored, miseducated, or undereducated many students who fit into the legal categories set forth in IDEA. Comenius (1635/1907) stated throughout his works his belief that all people can learn, regardless of intellectual ability. He believed that the very culture of his school models would improve the lives of any learners, even the ones who had less scholastic aptitude. He writes, “Let none be denied unless God has denied him sense and intelligence” (Comenius, 1635/1907, p. 67).

 Play versus the Puritan work ethic. William Doll (1979) expounds on the dichotomy which exists within the Puritan heritage of American schools. The work ethic ascribed by the Puritans did not allow for children to play. Play is not a form of frivolity which does not accomplish the Puritanical goal of holiness. The irony in the Puritan mindset is this: Comenius was a major influence in the Reformation, and he had influence in both England and Holland—the very locations from which Puritans left to come to America. Granted, the Puritans wanted to purify the Anglican and European Protestant churches, so perhaps their eschewing of the idea of learning as play fits with the adage idle hands are the devil’s workshop. If play was considered idleness, then encouraging play rather than work would be heresy for Puritans.

Doll (1979) contends (from a post-structuralist stance) that as American society moves from an industrial to a post-industrial society, that play and leisure, in the vein of Ancient Greece, are becoming more important as the struggle of a hand-to-mouth industrial existence wanes. Additionally, he recounts Dewey’s emphasis on the connection between play and work, and how that connection is crucial in the early development of young learners—play has the same influence as play upon a learner when learning is the outcome of that play.

 Comenius (1635/1907) agrees that children learn best through play in their early education. In laying out his ideal for the physical spaces within a school, he notes that there should be an outdoor area on the school grounds for students to play in nature since both play and immersion in nature are integral parts of education (p. 179-180). He goes on to assert that learners should have the opportunity to play at various professions, skills, and occupations so they may explore those areas which interest them when choosing vocations or considering higher education.

 Another benefit of the work-play relationship lies in the continual occupation of the mind. For Comenius, (1635/1907), the imperative of constant activity causes learners to “learn to endure toil if they are continually occupied, either with work or with play” (p. 214). He purports that whether a child chooses a career involving manual labor or one of higher learning and thinking, the play they work at will lead to useful skills and relationship building which will benefit the child as s/he grows up.

Learner-Centered Education

Comenius (1635/1907) contends for lofty pedagogical goals:

Let the main object of this, our Didactic, be as follows: To seek and to find a method of instruction, by which teachers may teach less, but learners may learn more; by which schools may be the scene of less noise, aversion, and useless labour, but of more leisure, enjoyment, and solid progress; and through which the Christian community may have less darkness, perplexity, and dissension, but on the other hand more light, orderliness, peace, and rest. (p. 4)

The most striking phrase of this mini-manifesto at the beginning of The Great Didactic is the phrase “teachers may teach less, but learners may learn more.” Independent thought, independent from teachers. That is the mark of a student-centered classroom.

At the risk of unintended irony, I am inserting a note regarding textbooks in a section about learner-centered education. Hamilton (2015) and Menck (2001) refer to Comenius as the inventor of the modern textbook. He called for the use of ability level specific texts in every subject matter to be available for learners. He also purported that those texts should be vertically aligned so that learners could build on prior knowledge as their studies progressed. Indeed, he advocated picture books in homes to teach children from infancy of the world around them. Sloboda (2018) notes that Comenius encouraged that “newly conceived educational aids and books should be prepared. A fundamental example of this is Comenius’s language book Orbis Sensualium Pictus, which Encyclopedia Britannica labelled as the oldest picture book (comic book) for children already in 1887” (p. 8). Comenius believed that textbooks should be visually interesting because learners learn through what they see—not just the written word. This visual interest is an extension of the Renaissance penchant for art and the visual aesthetic, but it also aligns with the contemporary pedagogical practice of accommodating multiple modalities in learning, specifically visual learners. In the quote at the beginning of this section, he expresses a desire for students to learn and learn contentedly. He saw interesting textbooks as a means to that end. Therefore, his view of textbooks does align with the conceptualization of a learner-centered environment.

Phillips (2012) sagely writes, “Without frustration there can be no satisfaction” (p. 14) and that frustration “suggests a future” (p. 14). The frustrator seeks to cause change in the person frustated. Applying this concept to pedagogy, teachers cause frustration to cause students to learn. If a student is frustrated by a new concept or a realization of their ignorance on a subject which they wish to learn more of, then the student becomes an independent learner who can access the teacher as a guide to the information. Frustration creates a desire for resolution, but that necessitates finding a solution. Problem-solving is a primary skill that learners need to hone in order to apply knowledge to situations outside of the classroom. Some of the best teaching moments I have witnessed within the walls of my own classroom have been when students’ interest piqued by a concept I introduced and they wanted to discover deeper information on their own.

  Comenius (1635/1907) reiterates the concept that students should remain occupied by work or play repeatedly in The Great Didactic. He belived that continual action would generate better learning, which in turn would discourage inactivity and laziness. Said (1994) extends that belief by arguing that “thinking of the intellectual vocation as maintaining a state of constant alertnetss of a perpetual willingness not to let half-truths or received ideas steer one along” (p. 23). Comenius believed in absolute truth within the framework of his relgious beliefs. He expressed his desire for education to lead to truth so that learners—and future adult Christians responsible for more future learners—would not be deceived by the evil and anti-Christian sentiments he perceived in the world.

Returning to Comenius’ goal of perpetuating Christian morality, Menck (2001) acknowledges that goodness and morally correct behavior must be contextualized to the time and place specific to a work. He then explores how teachers influence learners to achieve moral instruction, concluding that teachers “tell stories and they compose pictures, simple ones at the beginning, more complex ones later on. And, they methodically arrange classrooms in such a way that the product of classroom work is convincing to the pupils’ minds, so that they are prepared willingly to act in a humane way in the outside world” (p. 271). While Menck (2001) echoes Comenius’ outline of the psychological impact and intellectual arrangement of the classroom, it also begs the comment that the physical arrangement of a learning space is important to Comenius (1635/1907). Classrooms should be comfortable spaces for students to explore texts, including space for play for younger students. Seating arrangements should encourage discussion and collaboration among students and with teachers as they facilitate learning.

In a learner-centered classroom, the teacher facilitates, but also impacts students through behavior as well as bias and autobiographical influence. Comenius (1635/1907) argued that because teachers weild that influence, that teachers should be of high moral standards and knowledgable in the disciplines which they teach. Salvio (2007) describes “education’s social imagination” by saying “my specific interests cohere around acts of disavowing old emotions that haunt the pedagogical landscape at the very moment that new ideas are broght forth through learning and teaching” (p. 15). He warns that teachers need to be mindful of their influence on learning—how they shape or stagnate or strengthen it. When crossed with the relgious agenda within Comenius’s pedagogical ideal—that is for teachers to be paragons of virtue, Salvio’s caution echos a Moravian bishop’s worldview.

Salvio (2007) also recounts a writing workshop in which Anne Sexton and John Holmes participated which fostered utual critique and group growth, not traditional master-student relationship (p. 96-97). While Comenius (1635/1907) did not see younger students as equals to their instructors, he does address the mutual benefit to both instructor and student at the univeristy level.

An Exiled Pedagogue from the Reformation Aligns with the Present and Future

Said (1994) writes, “There is a popular but wholly mistaken assumption that being exiled is to be totally cut off, isolated, hopelessly separated from your place of origin” (p. 48). Perhaps since so much of the Old Testament revolves around exile, and Christ himself was exiled from his own hometown of Nazareth, leaders of the Reformation, like Comenius, considered a mark of pride to thrive in exile, just as the fathers of their faith did (Laurie & Bardeen, 1892). Abram (1997) explains that the first written alphabet was contemporaneous the Hebrew captives’ exodus from Egypt (p. 195). The alphabet allowed the recording of cultural religious beliefs and histories, many of which are of exile—the banishment from the Garden of Eden, slavery in Egypt, wandering the wilderness. Comenius lived much of his life in exile. Indeed he was the last Moravian bishop because, like the Israelites before them, the Moravians found themselves exiled from their homelands..

 Recent curricular connections to Comenius. In What is Curriculum Theory? Pinar (2004) outlays three guiding principles in curriculum studies during the last five decades. First is a focus on the “project of understanding, which involves the concept of curriculum conversation” (p. 19). With his prolific writing and publications, Comenius very much was in the curriculum conversation of his day, and he continues to hold his place. He sought to see an equitable educational system to improve the lives of students and the communities in which they lived.

Part of the contemporary conversation revolves around standardization of curriculum. In his article “Race to the Top and Leave the Children Behind,” Tanner (2013) argues that the prevalence of standardized testing driving educational decision-making has caused a regression to the “skill-kill-drill” (p. 5) pedagogy of the 1800s. In contrast, Comenius wanted to use subject matter taught in school to interconnect all disciplines within the schematic of a learner’s knowledge—inviting a more wholistic view of the world and how the academic subjects interrelate. Tanner (2013), in criticizing the contemporary trend of segregating subjects claims, “No subject should be purely ‘academic’. All studies should connect with the life and nature of the learner, thereby generating working power to go on learning.

No education reform can succeed if the curriculum ignores or violates the psychosocial nature of the learner and the democratic prospect” (p. 9). The literal re-forming of the education process that Comenius hoped to inspire collates well with the reform Tanner (2013) encourages—the return to a wholistic curriculum and do away with the specialized charter schools provided in the Race to the Top legislation. He claims America’s success in education is proven by the track record of our economic growth, social mobility, and the desire of people around the world to come to American universities to capstone their educations.

Pinar’s (2004) second principle is that “as educators, we should not simply be out for social engineering, but we should look at curriculum to understand it as a whole. Second, is an intellectually independent…and academic field dedicated to understanding, and based primarily on research and theory in the humanities and the arts, not upon the social and behavior sciences” (Pinar, 2004, p. 19). And third, Pinar (2004) calls for “a shift from the emphasis on teaching…to curriculum, especially interdisciplinary configurations” (p. 19). Comenius’ (1635/1907) educational model cannot be separated from wholistic education, the humanities, or interdisciplinary studies. Those principles are the very foundations of his entire paradigm and thousands of pages of work that have been reprinted in numerous languages.

Applying a reformationist’s beliefs to the future of literacy. Pinar (2004) claims that “by imagining the future, the future becomes the present” (p. 126). I argue that Comenius’ (1635/1907) entire The Great Didactic is his imaginings of the future of education—a future in which education is universal, in which learners become better members of their communities, in which knowledge increases exponentially.

Even beyond my assertions, however, Sloboda (2018) makes the bold assertion that a seventeenth century pedagogue advocates for modern media literacy. In The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, Comenius (1623/1998) writes in the tradition of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress—an allegorical pilgrimage in which the main character seeks spiritual revelation. Sloboda (2018) superimposes his view of media literacy onto Comenius’ allegory:

Comenius notices the rise of newspapers in Europe in the late 16th century. In his Labyrinth of the World, he welcomes a pilgrim into a city full of whistlers and various sounds of their whistles. The whistling is a metaphor for various types of news and newspapers (and the ‘whistlers’ are paper-boys or journalists). Comenius notes that some whistling tones are pleasant and other are obtrusive; he warns the reader of this. He also warns of reception behaviour where people seem to try to listen to as many ‘whistles’ as possible, and mainly to the most pleasant-sounding ones. According to Comenius, this could be dangerous. On the other hand, he notes that avoiding the tones of the whistles could be harmful, too. One should know at least some of the whistling sounds. With this metaphor, Comenius formulates something that we would nowadays call media literacy. (p. 6)

At its core, media is simply the mode through which information is distributed. The primary media for information dissemination during Comenius’ life was print. Indeed, “Comenius wrote one hundred and thirty-five books and treatises, most of which were translated during his lifetime into all the languages of Europe and several languages of Asia” (Warner 2017/2015). The written word obviously held value for Comenius. Therefore, it stands to reason that Sloboda (2018) draws on Comenius’ value of information dissemination and applies it to the changing media forms we have today. He notes that Comenius advocated for school newspapers, a trend that resurfaced in the early 1900s. If Comenius had such a pansophic view of education (Maviglia, 2016; Sloboda, 2018), then he would very likely support the integration of media literacy into contemporary education. Additionally, I argue that Comenius would value media literacy and media education because, especially with the increasing technicality, media literacy is interdisciplinary. It draws on writing, rhetoric, as well as mathematics and science aspects of technology.

While discussing the historical context of media, it is worth noting that the vast barrage of media available today continues to influence public opinion and policy makers in an unprecedented and exponential capacity (Sloboda, 2018; Tanner, 2013). Educational theorists and practitioners must continue to evolve the field to suit the needs of the ever-changing face of the learner. Our learners of today and tomorrow are not in Christian-European classrooms of the Reformation. Maviglia (2018) claims that Comenius’ “pedagogy was not a mere expression of the refusal of traditional education, but rather and more fundamentally it was the product of a new understanding of the concepts of man and life, in which the ration and scientific explanation played a major role” (p. 58).  Therefore, it logically follows that as humanity continues to increase in the concepts of life—as new technologies, scientific studies, and intellectual theories form—that education should continue to morph to better serve the needs of future generations.

While I am fascinated with the concept of a seventeenth century bishop a proponent of contemporary media literacy, I think his focus on literacy itself offers a remarkable contrast to the current trend I see with my students. Reading comprehension is decreasing, and books hold less appeal as students have constant access to screens that provide more visual stimulation. As American education moves toward another seemingly endless wave of reform, I would like to see a return to an emphasis on literacy. All other academic disciplines are dependent upon a learner’s ability to read and comprehend the material which he is given to read and learn—even if that material is presented in a digital format. After all, the availability of digital texts gives scholars access to a wealth of information that people like John Amos Comenius could only dream of.


Abram, D. (1997). The spell of the sensuous. NY: Vintage.

Bunyan, J. (2012). The Pilgrim’s Progress. Crownhill, Milton Keynes: Authentic Media. Retrieved from direct=true&db=e700xna&AN=880604

Comenius, J. A. (1623/1998). The labyrinth of the world and the paradise of the heart. (H. Louthan & A. Sterk, Trans.). NY: Paulist Press.

Comenius, J. A. (1635/1907). The great didactic. (M. W. Keatinge, Trans.). London: Adam and Charles Black. Retrieved from 09/ cu31924031053709.pdf

Doll, W. E. (1979). Play and mastery: A structuralist view. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 2(1), 209-226. Retrieved from article/ view/748/pdf

Hamilton, D. (2015). The beginning of schooling–as we know it? Journal of Curriculum Studies, 47(5), 577–593. Retrieved from

Krupa, E. E., & Confrey, J. (2017). Effects of a reform high school mathematics curriculum on student achievement: Whom does it benefit? Journal of Curriculum Studies, 49(2), 191–215.

Laurie, S. S., Bardeen, C. W. (1892). John Amos Comenius, bishop of the Moravians: His life and educational works. Syracuse, N.Y.: C. W. Bardeen.

Maviglia, D. (2016). The Main Principles of Modern Pedagogy in “Didactica Magna” of John Amos Comenius. Creative Approaches to Research, 9(1), 57. Retrieved from =aqh&AN=120666107

Menck, P. (2001). The formation of conscience: a lost topic of Didaktik. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 33(3), 261–275. 00220270010014560

Morris, M. (2016a). Curriculum studies guidebooks: Concepts and theoretical frameworks. Volume 1.  NY: Peter Lang Publisher.

Morris, M. (2016b). Curriculum studies guidebooks: Concepts and theoretical frameworks. Volume 2. NY: Peter Lang Publisher.

Phillips, A. (2012). Missing out: In praise of the unlived life. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

           Pinar, W. F., Reynolds, W. M., Slattery, P., Taubman, P. M. (1995). Understanding Curriculum: An Introduction to the Study of Historical and Contemporary Curriculum Discourses. New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

Pinar, W. F. (2004) What is curriculum theory? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.

Pinar, W. F. (2009). The worldliness of a cosmopolitan education: Passionate lives lived in public service. NY: Routledge.

Pinar, W. F. (2015). Educational experience as lived: Knowledge, history, alterity. NY: Routledge.

Said, E. W. (1994). Representations of the intellectual. NY: Vintage.

Salvio, P. M. (2007). Anne Sexton: Teacher of weird abundance. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Sloboda, Z. (2018). Considering historical (dis) continuities of media (literacy) education in the Czech Republic for the future approach. Communication Today, 9(1), 4–19. Retrieved


Tanner, D. (2013). Race to the top and leave the children behind. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45(1), 4–15. .2012.754946

Thoreau, H. D. (1985). A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers; Walden, or, Life in the woods; The Maine woods; Cape Cod. R. F. (Sayre, Ed.) New York, N.Y. The Library of America.

Warner, C. D., et al. (1917/2015). Johann Amos Comenius (1592–1670). Library of World’s Best Literature. New York: Warner Library Co. Retrieved from library/ prose/1412.html

Willson, L. (1962). Thoreau on Education. History of Education Quarterly, 2(1), 19-29. doi:10.2307/367333


Passive Ventilation of Modern and Traditional Malay Houses

Comparing the Passive Ventilation Style of Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort With the Common Traditional Malay House in Malaysia.
The objectives of the research is to compare the passive ventilation style of Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort with the common Traditional Malay House in Malaysia. The research questions are what are the comparison of passive ventilation in Modern Malay House in Belum with the common Traditional Malay House. Secondly. how does the orientation of building affect the passive ventilation. Finally. How does the the passive ventilation system works for Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort and Common Traditional Malay House in Malaysia. These are the list of methodology that being used to help my research. Site observation at Belum Rainforest Resort. internet research. articles and books. My analysis of methodology is by studying and comparing the details of these two houses that are related to the passive ventilation. The result is i found that Modern Malay House in Belum is lack of details that contribute to passive ventilation system. Common Traditional Malay house is still the best since it gives spotlight more on the passive ventilation. In a nutshell. house that focus more on the passive ventilation are much better since it reduce the humidity and produces a good thermal comfort in a building. In future. i hope that people will design buildings that concentrate more on the passive ventilation rather than design.
What is Architecture ? The definition of Architecture is the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings. Architects are the one who runs the world. They create an enjoyment story in every building that they design so that the world would not be as boring as it is. When it comes to architecture world it is super wide and it consist of many different styles and techniques. Every country have their own styles of designing to express their country ‘s uniqueness. One of the best design in the world is the building that meet the need and pretty much response to the climate. Also. It needs to know about the microclimates and the climate zone. know the basic physiology of human thermal comfort. reduce the loads and enhance visual comfort by controlling the sun. Thermal mass are used to improved the comfort efficiency and to pick a space-conditioning strategies that are climatic responsive. Vernacular architecture is one of the architecture style that take seriously on all of this criteria when designing a building. Vernacular Architecture is being refer as a traditional buildings that are designed to meet the local climate and culture. They design with using a deep understanding together with a respect towards the nature. Vernacular architecture can be called as a sustainable architecture as well since it are also built to sustain the environment without destroying it. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve time after time to reflect the technological. reflect the historical context in which it exist. reflect the cultural and also reflect the environment. This style of architecture used the local resources and available energy and materials. so it can refer accordingly to the climate. site and culture. The most common basic function in vernacular architecture is to shield and protect from the weather conditions.

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Passive cooling system can not be separate from the vernacular architecture as they are greatly related together. Passive cooling is a building design approach that targets on the heat gain control and heat dissipation in a building in order to improve the indoor thermal comfort with lower or zero energy usage. A good orientation of a building. proper design layout and system used in a building will allow the passive ventilation system be in the building. Ventilation is the main criteria in passive cooling system as it is the one that move the air from outside building to the inside so that it can improve the thermal comfort of a building. And my case study is to compare the passive ventilation of Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort , Perak with a common Traditional Malay House in Malaysia.
2.0 – An Overview of the Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort. Perak. Malaysia
As stated on Malaysia’s online website. Malaysia is a country that being classified as a country that have a hot climate and humid tropical climate with all months above 18 degree Celcius. Belum Rainforest Resort is the place which I picked for my case study. Belum Rainforest Resort is located on the northern part of Malaysia and just below the boundary of the other country which is Thailand. Belum Rainforest Resort is located in the middle of jungle which is surrounded by the water element from the Lake of Banding or Tasik Banding.
This make the place a great become as a great place for the passive cooling design.

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The Malay House in Belum was design to be modern but yet still maintaining the basic element of Traditional Malay House. The photo below is one of the Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort.

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The similarity of this modern malay house with the traditional malay house in Malaysia is they used completely 100 per cent wood as the main material for construction.
3.0– What are the Comparison of Passive Ventilation on the Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort with Common Traditional Malay House in Malaysia ?
A traditional Malay House produce the ventilation by applying many of full length windows and doors at the body level. ( Yuan, 1987: 76 ). Hassan and Ramli ( 2010 ) conclude that Huge openings on Malay house walls produce high air intakes outside to lowering the performance of stack effect. The below diagram stated clearly that. most of the outdoor and indoor temperatures were higher than 28 degree Celcius with the humidity level in the house is higher than 60 per cent and the wind speed in Malay house flow in about 0.3 m / s to 3.4 m / s.

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There are several comparison that can be found in Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort. The Modern Malay House in Belum were design using a timber construction. Most of the timber construction are not solid if to compare to a concrete construction due to being build piece by piece. Since it is build piece by piece so it will have a small gaps between a piece and a piece of wood. This small gaps is one of the strategy in passive cooling system. The function of the small gaps is to allow the movement of air into the house so that it could ventilate and automatically improve the indoor environmental quality. Most of the traditional malay house have this thing but if to compare to the modern side of malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort. it does not have this thing. It does not have small gaps on the wall and floor. the small gaps only can be seen on the outside of the house which is on the balcony’s floor. This is not good since it blocks the air from entering into the house. The unique thing about the Malay house is that it is built on stilts. This approach in many ways has several benefits from a thermal, functional and safety point of view. The raised floor, which is built higher than the ground, can catch winds of a higher velocity ( Yuan. 1987 : 71 ). and the use of timber planks for the floor, which have gaps between them, can bring the air into the inner space.

The Balcony area that contain small gaps for air ventilation purpose.

The inner side of the building which does not contain any floor gaps and wall gaps.
Other than that. during my site observation I found that there is no ventilation through roof joint that can be found in the house. This ventilation through roof joint also contribute in Passive Cooling Design. It makes the house produce a large movement of air into the building through the roof joint. Traditional Malay House really focus on the opening so that they can have a good thermal comfort without producing energy that we do not need such as electricity. Also. without opening through the roof joint the stack ventilation system will obviously not happen.

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– How does the Passive 

Ventilation  System Works for Modern Malay  house in Malaysia and Common Traditional Malay House in  Malaysia ?

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The floor plan above shows the floor plan of the Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort.

Common Traditional Malay House Floor Plan
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Both Modern Malay House and Traditional Malay House are randomly arranged. This is to ensure that the wind velocity in the houses in the latter path of the wind will not substantially being reduced. Stack ventilation is the flow of air from outside which enter into the building and goes out from the upper side of a the building. Stack ventilation use different temperature to move the air. Hot air increases due to the lower pressure occur. It is sometimes being called as a buoyancy ventilation. The below diagram shows how the stack ventilation basically works.

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Stack ventilation is one of the unique ventilation system that happen in a traditional malay house. Based on my observation on the modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort. I found that there is no stack ventilation happens on this house since there is no opening through the roof joint for the air to go out. The other problem is this house does lifted up a bit by the stilt but the other problem is that there is no floor gaps for the air to come in from below. This modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort does not have the stack ventilation effect  compare to the original traditional malay house. The traditional malay house use the stack ventilation effect to cool the inner side of the house. Stack ventilation makes the movement of the air flow and enter from the opening on the downside and the side of the house. Then the air slowly transfer to the upper side of the house and goes out through the openings on the roof joint.

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Even the modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort does not use the stack ventilation system. they use the other system of ventilation which is the cross ventilation system . Cross ventilation system is obtain when there is windows on the both sides of the room. This caused the air to flow across the space. Since the wind comes the most on the side of the building. Openings on the sideway really helps the modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort to give a better thermal comfort. The cross ventilation system is good since it reducing the energy consumption in a building. The below diagram shows the cross ventilation system that happens on modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort.

The arrows on the diagram above shows the air movement that flows into the house.
Other than that ,the unplanned arrangement of the Traditional Malay House is really important as it gives contribution in reducing the risk of the strong winds. ( Hanafi. 1994 ). Settlements that are along the coastal areas experience great wind speed than the inland religions. ( Hanafi. 1994 ) Traditional Malay House are usually detached and it dispersed the units with ample external space. This is to allow the fresh air circulation occurs in the building. (Hanafi. 1994 ).

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Photo above is the rough arrangement of modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort. The arrangement are based on the linear concept and which it is applying the same concept as the traditional malay house in Malaysia.

– How does the orientation of the building affect the passive ventilation?

Building orientation are really important in malay traditional house. For religious reasons. most traditional Malay houses are oriented to face Mecca(east – west direction) , which indirectly minimizes the area of exposed walls to direct solar radiation during theday (Yuan. 2011). The building orientation also does help in providing good sun shading. and also a good ventilation system. Normally. the Malay Kampong House will be orientate according to the east – west orientation. This orientation function as letting you to harness the daylight and take control of the glare along the long façade of the building. It will reduce the glare from the setting sun or even from the rising sun. One more reason on why east – west orientation is the best orientation is because of it ensures the building to get a better thermal comfort. The photo below show that the not so accurate wind diagram that being taken from the

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Based on my research study I found that most of the wind comes from the Northwest and Northeast side. There is least air comes from the northern and the southern side. This orientation system works pretty well since the modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort are orientated using the east west orientation. The window on the modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort that located on the side of the house is openable so this can make the wind to flow into the building and circulate in good way. The below photo shows the orientation of the modern malay house in Belum Rainforest Resort.

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Building that are surrounded by the water element are good for passive cooling design. What I found is Belum Rainforest Resort is surrounded by a big lake which is the Tasik Banding . This Tasik banding contribute pretty well in making the house cooler and achieve the correct standard of thermal comfort. The wind which flow from the Northwest side brings the cool air from the lake and directly enter the building.

– Conclusion

In a nutshell. Malaysia is a country that are meant to be as a hot climate country with a high humidity level. Houses in Malaysia that will be design or already been designed by people need to follow the Malaysia ‘ s climate to achieve a good thermal comfort. Modern Malay House in Belum Rainforest Resort are lack of the original features that suppose to have in every Traditional Malay House. People that design the malay house in Belum are not concentrating on the features anymore. in fact they are more in terms of creating a new building with using a different way to achieve the thermal comfort. The house might look like a malay traditional house when you look it from the farthest distance. but it is totally different when you come closer and study about the details of the house. Modern Malay House in Belum are lack in terms of passive ventilation contribution. The house pretty much does not apply the basic elements of a traditional malay house which is to have the wall gaps and small gaps between the timber for the air to move into the building. This is such a waste since this small features is actually really make the building to achieve a very good environmental indoor quality. The ventilation through the roof joint also is a good thing when it comes to express the stack ventilation system. Since traditional malay house don’t use the electricity more often than a normal building. this stack ventilation really works in every traditional malay house because it reduce the energy consumption and automatically reduce the living cost. Also. stack ventilation makes the traditional malay house to get a maximum ventilation from almost every side of the house which the wind are basically come from the bottom. middle and even from the upper side of the house. Other than that. the layout arrangement in malay house will contribute in making the place become more comfortable. Layout arrangement is one of the criteria in vernacular architecture. this layout arrangement will contribute on the flow of the wind. Last but not least it is important as well to orientate the building in a proper direction. The proper building orientation will make the building to receive a good sun shading device. better air ventilation system so that the building would not be hotter on the inside.

Modern Conservation and the History of Colonial Hunting and Tourism

Modern Conservation is directly descended from colonial hunting and tourism.

To be able to understand how early hunting and tourism came to become what we now know as modern conservation one must understand the early periods of romanticism and how they came to influence new attitudes towards nature and encourage conservation. Romanticism was/is an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. (Britannica, n.d.)

The English Romantic Period contained many descriptions and ideas of nature- this manifested to Northern America where famous writers also promoted scenic and aesthetic views of nature. All these authors discuss in varying degrees, the role of nature in acquiring meaningful insight into the human condition. (Sofi, 2013)

They recognized distinct categories of scenic nature and terms like “beautiful,” “picturesque,” and “sublime” were used to describe landscape types, all of which were anticipated to provoke uplifting—though differing—emotional responses in people. (Chapman, n.d.) This essay will cover how several prominent individuals who were both hunters and world travellers helped jump-start the conservation and formed one of the most known conservation agencies in the world.

Hunting is defined as “the pursuit of, and the capture or kill of, prey.” As such, hunting is a part of every animal’s life where they are either predators or prey. (Robinson, 1986)

Throughout prehistory and historical times, humans’ survival depended upon their ability to hunt successfully. Their ability to hunt contributed to their survival, but the hunt may have been as much a mythical and religious act. (Loveridge, et al., 2006) identifies three different types of hunters, based on motivation:

(i)                   subsistence hunters, who seek to acquire food and other useful products for themselves and their immediate families;

(ii)                 market or commercial hunters, who seek to acquire animal products to sell for profit; and

(iii)               recreational hunters, who enjoy the practice of hunting as a sport or leisure activity.

The 19th century was also the period where industrialization and democratisation. This changed the patterns of travel and tourisms significantly and prepared the path for mass tourism and an extensive tourism industry. Hunting and tourism would later play a huge impact to what conservation is today.

In Britain the nineteenth-century hunting cult had an extraordinary range of cultural manifestations. As the century progressed the hunting cult was transferred overseas (MacKenzie, 1988) (Southern/Eastern Africa and India), often searching for “genuine” wilderness which was still being highly emphasized by the European and American romantics. Across the world, in North America, the late 18th century, there was no such thing as ‘conservation ethic’, but rather a complete disregard for the future of wildlife resources that persisted into the nineteenth century. (Jim, et al., 2013) During those dark times, market hunters drove wildlife to near extinction apparently proving the validity of Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. (Hardin, 1968)

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Tourists in the form of hunters killed prodigiously and wrote best-selling books about their exploits. They combined two Victorian enthusiasms, for natural history and for shooting as sport. (Adams, 2004) Their trophies started to grace walls in illustrious Victorian houses, and their specimens the collections of public and private museums. The sale of ivory and other products provided a valuable subsidy for their expeditions, and sometimes substantial profits. (Adams, 2004)

The debate surrounding Darwin’s Origin of Species transformed insights regarding the human nature relationship. The image of humans as divinely created beings was replaced with the realisation (or possibility) of affinity with animals. (Jepson & Whittaker, 2002) Cruelty to animals was seen as disturbing, not only because of what it did to the victims, but also because of what it implied about human nature.

Hunters quickly recognised the destruction their sport could inflict on large mammal populations. The killing of animals lost economic and achieved ritual significance. The well-publicised wave of extinctions in the second half of the nineteenth century, including the sudden extinction or near-extinction of once abundant species, such as the Passenger Pigeon, the vast North American Bison herds (Jepson & Whittaker, 2002) and the visible game exhausted fields of South Africa in many ways became a wakeup call for naturalists. Sportsmen began to criticize the excessive destruction of animal stocks and argued for preservation measures to promote the survival of species and continued hunting for sport. By the end of the nineteenth century, concepts of nature as a robust preordained system of checks and balances had been replaced by the notion of delicate and intricate systems sensitive to human interference. (Jepson & Whittaker, 2002)

Africa often being referred to as the “lost Eden”, was the main target of the newfound conservation practices for the British. In a sense, conservation had existed when the Southern Cape was under Dutch colonisation where animals such as vermin and hippos were protected however, ideas on wildlife conservation in British colonial Africa were borrowed from the world of English aristocratic rural estates even as the institution died out in England. (Neumann, 1996 ) (Neumann, 1997)

Edward North Buxton (September 1840 – January 1924)

Early groups of organized hunters were instrumental in providing the political support to implement many of the laws that coalesced into the system of conservation we have today (Jim, et al., 2013) The central character in the first decades of the Society was Edward North Buxton. (Prendergast & Adams, 2003) By the late 1800’s he had already demonstrated commitment to conservation in the UK. Buxton was a hunter who held strongly that hunting ‘‘must not be done in such a way as to endanger the existence or seriously diminish the stock of game’’ he thought that it would be in the interest of “Real sportsmen” to keep some of the large mammals protected. Buxton argued that even if game preservation cost money, all necessary sacrifices had to be while there was still time. (Adams, 2004) In 1900, he called a conference with all the colonial African powers which included Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and France in London. (IUCN, 2004) This conference resulted in the initiation of the 1900 Convention for the Preservation of Animals, Birds and Fish in Africa and although it was never enforced, it signified history’s earliest agreement on nature conservation. The creation of the first successful conservation agency was in 1903 by a group of British naturalists and American statesmen in Africa. This agency was called Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire (SPWFE) and was a logical extension to Buxton’s views on wildlife preservation in Africa. (Prendergast & Adams, 2003)

Many key founders of the famous hunters’ the organization the Shikar Club were SPWFE members. These included P.B. Van der Byl, Sir Alfred Pease, Lord Hindlip, F.C. Selous, and Abel Chapman who were widely known hunters and politicians. From the outset, the Society had to contend with allegations from certain groups that it was merely a sportsman-hunter’s lobby group. Sir Peter Scott (1978) points out that the Society was portrayed as composed of ‘‘penitent butchers’’ sportsmen who, having had their fill of hunting in their younger days, now wished to repent for past deeds by preserving game at the expense of others. (Prendergast & Adams, 2003) The Society pursued, rather uncomfortably, to balance an official ideology about the compatibility between properly conducted sport hunting and the preservation of large and a desire to portray itself as a scientific society.

Edward North Buxton built his model of preservation upon a belief that a share of the revenues from hunting licences could help pay for effective game protection by well-qualified staff. He argued that reserves could even create a profit (SPWFE, 1907)

Theodore Roosevelt Jr (October 1958 – January 1919)

On the opposite side of the globe was President Theodore Roosevelt born in 1858 in New York City, he was the son of Theodore Roosevelt Sr., a founder of the American Museum of Natural History; also playing a big part in what we now call modern conservation. Theodore was a passionate hunter, he loved the thrill of tracking and chasing game and the skill in marksmanship. Roosevelt’s path to importance in the cause of wildlife preservation began, strangely enough, with a retaliation he experienced at the 1885 publication of Hunting Trips of a Ranchman where he documented his hunting expeditions and recorded his kills.

Theodore Roosevelt organized the Boone and Crockett Club in 1887 by assembling some of the powerful and influential conservation-minded people of the day – many of them hunters. (Boone and Crockett Club, 2017)

The establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 was ground-breaking, however, the nation’s first national park existed in name only. Yellowstone’s borders, uses, and purposes were ill-defined or non-existent. Its wildlife and other resources were being plundered and there were plans to build a railroad to cross through the heart of the park. The Club worked diligently to secure Congressional legislation that added over four million acres to the Park, blocked the railroad, and established laws enforced by the U.S. Army to protect the park against poaching and timber extraction -among other things. (Boone and Crockett Club, 2017)

The club over decades continued to establish more national parks, 1900 Lacey Act named after a club member essentially brought the end to commercial hunting and hunting laws were officially kept in place. (Forest Legality Initiative, n.d.) Canada and Europe closely followed the examples of North America. As president later on, (1901 to 1909) Roosevelt also provided federal protection for almost 230 million acres of land. (Dray, 2018) He then appointed as the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service the visionary Gifford Pinchot, who shared his philosophy of natural resource conservation through sustainable use, and he convened four study commissions on conservation for policymakers and leading authorities to shape thought about the then-new field of conservation. (Theodore Roosevelt Association, n.d.)


What is now referred to as the wildlife conservation was created by travellers and hunters and arose out of the massive wildlife destruction in the nineteenth century (Sandlos, 2013). Hunters have been the cornerstone of this success from the beginning. Wildlife thrives whenever and wherever it is seen as valuable to human beings. (Geist, 2006) noted: with self-interests in wildlife, hunters become concerned, active spokesmen for and supporters of wildlife, and experience shows that wildlife will then flourish. Hunters did start from a more selfish place, where ideas of preservation were merely for the purpose of keeping the remaining animals in order to be able to exercise game further throughout the years. However, as the influence of Darwin was more understood, more of the population began to think of their actions and how what they really said about human nature. Naturalists, politicians and scientists began to take more initiative and two decades later much had been done already as compared to the previous century. The romantic era also influenced the love for nature throughout the 18th and 19th century and allowed the masses to fully appreciate wilderness. The Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire now known as FFI (Flora and Fauna International) further on helped establish Kruger National Park in 1926, and became a founding member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1948. The Boone and Crockett Club later had one of the most influential people as their members – Aldo Leopold for example, who developed the “land ethic” which was a call for responsibility to the world. These stepping stones were all influenced by colonial travellers and hunters.


Adams, W., 2004. Shooting as an argument for conservation. In: Against Extinction: The Story of Conservation. New York: Earthscan, p. 37.

Adams, W. M., 2004. Good Hunting. In: Against Extinction: The Story of Conservation. New York: Earthscan, p. 21.

Boone and Crockett Club, 2017. Conservation Preservation. [Online] Available at:[Accessed 15 11 2018].

Boone and Crockett Club, 2017. History of Boone and Crockett Club. [Online] Available at:[Accessed 15 11 2018].

Britannica, E., n.d. Romanticism. [Online] Available at:[Accessed 17 11 2018].

Chapman, A. E., n.d. Nineteenth Century Trends in American Conservation. [Online] Available at:[Accessed 15 11 2018].

Dray, P., 2018. How This Photo of Theodore Roosevelt in Hunting Gear Helped Jump-Start the American Conservation Movement. [Online] Available at:[Accessed 18 11 2018].

Forest Legality Initiative, n.d. U.S Lacey Act. [Online] Available at:[Accessed 2018 11 17].

Geist, V., 2006. The North American model of wildlife conservation: A means of creating wealth and protecting public health while generating biodiversity. In: Gaining Ground: In Pursuit of Ecological Sustainability. s.l.:s.n., pp. 285-293.

Hardin, G., 1968. The Tragedy of the Commons. Science, 162(3859), pp. 1243-1248.

IUCN, 2004. An Introduction to the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural resources, Bonn: IUCN.

Jepson, P. & Whittaker, R. J., 2002. Histories of Protected Areas: Internationalisation of Conservationist Values and Their Adoption in the Netherlands Indies (Indonesia). Environment and History, 8(2), pp. 129-172.

Jim, H., Valerius, G. & Wishart, W., 2013. The role of hunting in North American wildlife conservation. International Journal of Environmental Studies, Volume 70.

Loveridge, A. J., Reynolds, J. C. & Milner-Gulland, E. J., 2006. Does sport hunting benefit conservation?. In: Key Topics in Conservation Biology. s.l.:s.n., pp. 224-240.

MacKenzie, J. M., 1988. The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation and British Imperialism. 1st ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Neumann, R., 1996 . Dukes, Earls and ersatz Edens: aristocratic nature preservationists in colonial Africa. Environment and Planning. Society and Space,, Volume 14, p. 79–98.

Neumann, R., 1997. Primitive ideas: protected area buffer zones and the politics of land in Africa. Development and change. Volume 28, p. 559–82.

Prendergast, D. K. & Adams, W. M., 2003. Colonial wildlife conservation and the origins of the Society for the. Oryx, 37(2), p. 252.

Prendergast, D. K. & Adams, W. M., 2003. Colonial wildlife conservation and the origins of the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire (1903–1914). Oryx, 37(2), p. 253.

Robinson, W., 1986. The case for hunting. In: Advances in animal welfare science . Washington, DC: s.n., pp. 273-281.

Sandlos, J., 2013. The Shared Conservation History of Canada and the United States.. International Journal of Environmental Studies,, p. 45.

Sofi, N., 2013. Treatment of nature by romantic poets. Journal Of Humanities And Social Science , 17(6), p. 81.

SPWFE, 1907. Minutes of proceedings at a deputation of the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire. s.l.:s.n.

Theodore Roosevelt Association, n.d. The Conservationist. [Online] Available at:[Accessed 18 11 2018].


What Are the Key Differences Between Modern Western and Chinese Education?

Both the West and East have long histories of education, teaching and learning; the practices of which have been shaped by either side’s culture and traditions over millennia. The rich and complex educational histories of both China and the West have long been kept somewhat separated. However, recent history has seen some convergence of these different educational philosophies and beliefs, highlighting differences, as well as bringing change—notably in the Chinese system. This essay will discuss these key educational differences from a cultural and philosophical perspective, then analyse their effects of each on individuals and society.

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The nature and aims of an educational system can reveal a lot about, taught content and teaching methodology. According to (Chen, 2018) Xueji, or 學記—China’s earliest records of learning—outlines principles for Confucian education practices; this is referred to as learning ‘dao’ or ‘the way’. The Xueji suggests that aim of education is to instil attitudes or ideas in humanity via the guidance of a teacher. The Western education stands somewhat in contrast to this idea. Western education has its roots in ancient Rome (Hassan & Jamaludin, 2015), and is based on heavily on the idea of rational thinking, rather than the passing of knowledge. The Western educational philosophy is less teacher cantered like the East, and instead more active. As (Hassan & Jamaludin, 2015) explains, students are encouraged to share ideas, opinions, discuss and solve problems with peers (p.3). Both educational philosophies have their merits, however they set out to achieve different objectives. The more teacher driven Eastern Philosophy operates with the Confucian school of thought that suggests gaining moral insight to oneself in the context of nature and the community is of the utmost importance. Where the west strives for knowledge accusation and the betterment of oneself.

According to (David, 2017) within the Eastern educational philosophy, often the person in the position of teaching or leading, is shown great respect by students (p.24). As the knowledge is passed down from teachers, questioning the knowledge of, or suggesting that one’s teacher may be wrong, can be seen as a sign of disrespect. From a western perspective however, not questioning or being involved in a discussion may result in the teacher believing the student is not engaged or is lacking understanding (David, 2017). This particular difference highlights the difference in the key aims of both philosophies.

Confucian thought as outlined in the Xueji text sates that, students should learn through constantly practicing what they have learned through self-cultivation and social interaction (Chen, 2018); a style of leaning and thought base for which differs significantly Western methodologies. The memorisation and reiteration of learnt information through self-study fits with the passive and non-participatory behaviour that is often observed in modern day East Asian and especially Chinese students (David, 2017). Aspects of these traditional methodologies have filtered through into China’s modern education system, even after a number of major reforms, such as the introduction of the ‘Four Modernizations’ by Deng Xiaoping.

These particular round of reforms saw industry and technical skills became the focus higher education; differing from the early traditional philosophy of exploring virtues and moral insight as a major focus. This intern had positive implications for Chinese society in terms of living standards, economic growth and development (Chen M. , n.d). Also with these reforms came the re-introduction of Gaokao.—the university entrance exam. With the reintroduction of this exam, students from all over, regardless of background were given an educational opportunity based on test scores alone.

The Gaokao exam is often regarded as one of the world’s most intimidating exams due to the extreme pressure candidates are under. The exam is “a prerequisite for undergraduate university education, it is a chance of a life time for a decent career or meritocracy. And in this sense, its significance far exceeds education or schooling itself” (Ruiqing, 2013, p. 13). Because the result of this exam can essentially reroute the path of ones future, the pressure students are under in order to gain entrance into a prestigious university and then on to better living and working conditions in future, it is simply unmatched in the West (Chen J. , 2018).

According to (Yuan, 2019) New Zealand students “have more opportunities to demonstrate their capacity and potential” because their exam results do not decide 100% of their future. This statement is thought provoking in terms of the number of Chinese students that may be missing out on reaching their full potential, entirely due to nature of the education and assessment system in place. Not only is it heart-breaking for the students who don’t meet the requirements; the potential loss in productivity and creativity that Chinese society so desperately needs, may lie in those particular students who haven’t had the chance to prove themselves. In order to prepare for this exam memorisation is essential. It is ingrained in Chinese high school culture to spend hours per day and undergo immense stress, not only for the student but for the students family, as their child gears up for the exam (Ruiqing, 2013). As mentioned by (Paulo , 2019) “if stress is around for a prolonged period of time this may result in the weakening of the immune system and later on cause high blood pressure, fatigue, and depression”. According to (Ruiqing, 2013) the claims that Paulo has made about health issues arising as a direct result of Gaokao are common place and one of the areas that are constantly under scrutiny.

The implications of Gaokao don’t just stop after the exam is over. Because the education system is geared toward memorisation and passive leaning, students could see issues in later life with a lack of critical thinking and problem solving skills. The claim is “that the prevailing construction of “Chinese students” as uncritical, is to be explained by a deficient domestic education system”. (Lu, 2017, p. 11).

Discussion and debate may have been overlooked in the Chinese education process, thus, the manifestation of deeper meaning and real world application may not eventuate form learned materials (Lu, 2017). The discussion by (Fei, 2019) also alludes to the lack of critical thinking in the Chinese education system; “in china, students study for the grade and result”. This shows that students motivation is set on studying for grades, rather than knowledge itself.  Knowledge is essentially the essence of all education albeit West or East. It is clear that “memorisation is a signature practice of Chinese teaching and learning, which is further taken to be a manifestation of traditional Chinese educational philosophy and methods” (Di, 2017, p. 443). This shows how deeply engrained this practice is and why it is becoming an issue for the Chinese economy and society.


Chen, J. (2018). Chinese Philosophy on Teaching and Learning: Xueji (学记) in the Twenty‐First Century. . Educational Theory, 68(1), 119–126.

Chen, M. (n.d). From 1949 to post-Mao China: An analysis of Chinese education reforms and their influence on societal development in China. Retrieved from www.academia.ed:

David, R. (2017). Reframing the Debate on Asian Students and Critical Thinking Implications for Western Universities. Journal of Contempory Issues in Education, 12(2), 18-33.

Di, X. (2017). (2017) Educational philosophy – East, West, and beyond: A reading and discussion of Xueji (學記). Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49:5, 442-451.

Fei, L. (2019, April 10). Week 6-7. Retrieved from Week 6-7 discusion fourm.

Hassan , A., & Jamaludin, N. S. (2015). Approaches & Values in Two Gigantic Educational Philosophies: East and West. Philosophy of Education, 7-22.

Lu, S. &. (2017). Debating the Capabilities of “Chinese Students” for Thinking Critically in Anglophone Universities. Education Sciences, 7-22.

Paulo , F. (2019, April 5th). Week 6. Retrieved from Week 6-7 discusion fourm.

Ruiqing, D. U. (2013). Gaokao in Chinese Higher Education to Go or not to Go? Acta Universitatis Danubius: Communication (2), 13., 13-15.

Yuan, a. (2019, April 11). Week 6-7. Retrieved from Week 6-7 discusion fourm.


Perception of the Elderly in Modern Society

Aging is the normal process of time-related change which begins with birth and continues until death. These changes include how a person feels and functions with respect to physical or mental competences. It is important for individuals to increase their knowledge and understanding of aging so as to prevent ageist behaviours, discrimination and maltreatment of the elders in our societies today. The public’s perception of older adults is very unpleasant and can implant fear into individuals who are approaching the retirement age. This pessimistic view of being old not only makes younger people’s evolution into older age one of misery, but this despondency is mentally projected out towards the elders of our society (HubPages, 2012). This essay therefore, examines the factors that may perhaps be accountable for the perception of the elderly in societies today, theoretical perspective, effects of ageism on the elderly and suggestions that can change society’s negative perspective toward aging and to promote positive images.

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Constantly babies are being born around the world, as well as persons moving into retirement. According to Michelle Barnhart, Researcher, Oregon State University, on a day to day basis approximately 10,000 individuals in the United States turns 65 years old and this is an indication that it is time for them to retire. Most developed countries have generally accepted the chronological age of 65 years as the definition of an ‘older person’ (WHO, 2009). Apart from chronological age, an individual’s age can be determined by examining biological, psychological and socio-cultural processes (Cohen, 2002). The elderly population seems to be increasing significantly, due to the fact that more and more people are attaining the retirement age (65 years) and are living longer.
In societies today the elderly is seen as less valuable since their individualism, self-reliance, and independence would have been altered. This is due to the fact that with the aging process there is a possibility that one may experience some form of health complications or chronic disease, as a result of the physical changes taking place in the body. Elders are frequently faced with stereotyping where individuals repeatedly perpetuate bogus information and negative images and characteristics concerning them. Some elderly are perceived in a positive light from time to time because they are actively involved in the community, loyal, sociable, and warm. Nonetheless the negative perceptions are more dominant, for instance; older people are often stereotyped as being unhealthy or always sick, decreased psychological functioning, unappealing, sexless, negative personality traits, miserable, lonesome and excluded from society. Stereotypes may be as a result of an individual’s negative personal experience, myths shared throughout the ages, and a general lack of current information. Older adults are labeled with negative statements such as; wrinkled, cranky, crotchety, inattentive, forgetful, fragile, feeble, stuck in the past, past their prime, or a burden on society.
There are a lot of factors that may be responsible for the modern day perception of the elderly. An individual’s age, gender, level of knowledge, interaction with old adults and how frequent, cultural influences, modernization and the media are all factors that may influence how the elderly is perceived by members of society. Additionally, there are a lot of misconceptions about older adults since most people are not knowledgeable about aging. These misconceptions include: most older adults cannot live independently, chronologic age determines oldness, most elderly persons have diminished intellectual capacity or are senile, all older people are content and serene, all older persons are resistant to change and older adults cannot be productive or active.
The functionalist theory looked at how the different parts of society work together in order for it to function smoothly. With respect to the elderly, functionalists believe that the elders are one of society’s fundamental groups. However, the disengagement theory states that withdrawal from society is a normal behaviour portrayed by the aging individual. This is so because the elderly experiences a reduction in both their physical and mental level of functioning, hence they expects at some point in time they will die, resulting in withdrawal from individuals and society (Cummings and Henry 1961). Additionally, theactivity theory seeks to explain that activity levels and social involvement are key aspects in replacing what was lost and went on further to say it is the key to happiness (Havinghurst 1961; Neugarten 1964; Havinghurst, Neugarten, and Tobin 1968). To expound, it is said that the happiness of an elderly depends on how active and involved he or she is, the more active, the happier they will be. Lastly, thecontinuity theory explains that the elderly who remain active and involved during their elder years do so by making particular choices in order to preserve stability internally and externally. This is an attempt to maintain social equilibrium and stability by making future decisions on the basis of already developed social roles (Atchley 1971; Atchley 1989).
Conflict theorists’ stated that society is essentially unstable in view of the fact that it shows favour to the more powerful and wealthy individuals while marginalizing everyone else. There is always a competition for power and limited resources among social groups; hence the elderly population struggles with other groups resulting in conflicts. Conflicts are evident in Trinidad and Tobago with respect to the senior citizens pension; at age 65 all individuals qualify for the $3,000.00 pension, while on the other hand those who are entitled to a National Insurance Pensions qualifies for a smaller percentage of the senior citizens pension.
The Modernization theorydeveloped by Sociologists Donald Cowgill and Lowell Holmes proposes that industrialization and modernization are the main reason why the elderly looses power and influence in society (Cowgill and Holmes 1972). Sociologist Donald Cowgill’s states in his theory that there is a relationship between ageing and modernization; older men and women in less technologically advanced societies tend to yield more economic and social power than those in more industrialized countries (Cowgill 1986). Prior to industrialization, it was seen where the younger generation cared for the elderly in their society due to the strong social bound they had. Nowadays, it is evident that in various households the number of family members is under five (5); extended families are replaced by nuclear families. Individualism have become a characteristic of our civilization despite the traditionally collectivist nature of some cultures because of changes associated with all modern societies. In an individualistic industrial society, caring for an elderly relative is seen as a voluntary obligation that may be ignored without fear of social censure (Openstax College, 2012). However, research shows that even though modernization and industrialization lead to socio-cultural changes, the importance of family and respecting and valuing the elderly in certain cultures may be limited but still remains a priority.
David Hackett Fischer (1977), an American historian, like modernization theorists he also believes that the status of older people has declined over time. However, he further stated that, before modernization and industrialization could take place in the United States the decline in the elderly being powerful had already began. According to the Encyclopedia of Aging (2002), Fischer further argued that between 1800’s and 1900’s the cultural transformation took place when citizens became interested in the principles of independence and egalitarianism. These behaviours were influenced mainly by the standards of the French Revolution. These new cultural values are accountable for the lower statuses of elders in the US and by extension Western societies today. For this reason, our elderly are no longer treated with the respect compared to log ago and this is where ageism is seen and ageist behaviours being demonstrated towards the older individuals in society.
Ageism generates unnecessary fear, waste, illness, and misery (Palmore, 2004); hence it has an impact on both society and culture, even though most individuals are not aware of it. Ageism and ageist attitudes is one of the factors that can contribute to elder abuse by creating a fertile environment in which the abuse can develop, leading to age discrimination, and devaluing and disempowering older people. The elderly themselves feels less valuable to society because of society’s perception of them. The youth centric culture in which we live describes us as lacking compassion for the elderly, the affinity to “shoot” our weak and wounded, us versus them mentally and the impression that one’s value is based on what one can add to society (Holman, 2010). In Western culture, more so the United States, they are obsessed with the youths of their country. On the other hand, other cultures will respect and even worship older individuals for their wisdom. Tan et al. (2004) argued that a sample of younger people in China held more positive attitudes towards all categories of older people when compared with findings from studies in the US, Singapore and Trinidad. In general, society considers the children to be the future generation and they are worth fighting for. However, they will think twice when it comes to fighting for the elderly because in their view they have already lived their lives and are no longer as valuable to society.
The role of the media in supporting ageism is that it mostly celebrates and encourages the younger individuals, which perpetuates ageist images and stereotypes. Children are more susceptible to the penalty of negative media images and introduction to stereotypical portrayals of the elderly can alter their views of the actuality of aging and the elders in our society. This would definitely affect the way the youth intermingle with the elders. Television, print media (books, newspapers, magazines, and advertisements) are all considered a major and insidious cause of influence on the public’s perceptions of older people and ageing. In the media the elderly often represents and portray the roles of older characters, which reflect ageing stereotypes. Television especially, plays a momentous role in influential public outlook on the elderly, and it is often held responsible for bringing about negative stereotypes of ageing.
Television characters can both deliberately and automatically create standards of social comparison and role models for viewers (Kessler et al. 2004). Aging is often associated with balding, graying or thinning hair, and wrinkling of the skin. The media in trying to sell their product or service often reflect ageism by depicting the physical changes and unattractiveness of the elderly resulting in older people being stereotyped as ugly. Physical appearance, mainly facial features do play an important role when it comes to defining a person as old. However, the youths tend to find it hard in accepting that these changes must take place with the aging process. The television is viewed by almost everyone in society and it is a fact that older people are often underrepresented. It is concluded that the media is a relevant approach for showcasing stereotypes of how older people and how ageing is portrayed.
In Trinidad and Tobago the Government have tried implementing support systems for its elderly population such as senior citizens pension ($3,000.00 monthly), which increases with the change in Government. Additionally, public assistance and disability grants are available to not only the elderly but all those in need. The elderly who have not yet reached the age of 65 to qualify for the pension and is at a disadvantage due to illness or complications caused by the aging process can benefit from these grants. Also, bus passes are available to all senior citizens (age 65 and above) where the elderly can travel for free on board any Public Transportation Service Corporation (PTSC) Buses throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Added to this, they are entitled to travel for free on the Port Authority Inter Island Ferry Service. From my observation, most of the elderly population do welcome the initiative and take advantage of these services offered to them. However, a few of them refuse to accept the bus pass and free boat ride as they see it as a form stereotyping. I do understand their point of view as to why they prefer to have their age kept a secret; this is due to the society in which we live where the elderly often faces ageism and ageist behaviours from the younger citizens. In light this; it is my opinion that not enough is being done to ensure that the senior citizen population has a bright and enjoyable future.
The perceptions the public hold of older people can impact on the elderly in employment, education, health services, and the overall treatment of older adults. These perceptions are determined and influenced by many different factors such as: modernization and industrialization of society; age; gender; lack of knowledge and misconceptions, as well as the media. It is seen that perceptions of the elderly can impact their lives positively but mostly negatively. On the positive side, the access to social and employment opportunities, as well as access to health services is evident. On the other hand, negatively it resulted in stereotypical behaviours and ageism, which further lead to social exclusion and isolation of the elderly, as well as elder abuse. It is also evident that ageism can definitely lead to marginalization and degradation of the elderly in our societies today.
The World Health Organization states that with the growth of the elderly population there is an increase in many new social, political, and economic challenges (WHO 2002). I believe that the government must intervene and develop strategies and implement policies or laws to ensure that older people are treated fairly and with respect. For example, there is a family obligation towards the care of older people enshrined in law in China with punishments for adult children who fail to support a dependent parent, Tan et al. (2004). This will guarantee that the elders can and do live a better quality of life because at the end of the day they would have contributed to the society in which we now live.
I recommend that groups or campaigns be set up so as to ensure the elders in our societies are valued and respected by providing, caring and protecting them from ageism and elder abuse. This will further promote how the elderly have contributed to society and developed new initiatives in which they can add more valuable contributions to society. In these groups ageing educational programmes should be implemented and geared towards all age groups of society, more so to those groups that portray negative attitudes towards older people, for example; the youths and men. These programmes should also branch over to schools in our society, both primary and secondary so as to target children and adolescents with respect to ageism seeing that it is not innate but is developed over time.
Additionally, education programmes could also be implemented in the community; for example health centers, community centers, and youth groups to specifically target those areas where the general public’s attitudes towards ageing and older people are most negative including attitudes towards older people’s health, body image, sexuality, mental ability, personality and social involvement. The first step is education to address their lack of knowledge and then to bring about awareness of the elders contribution to society so as to ensure they are well respected and accepted by members of society. These community educational programmes should consist of some older people so as to ensure elders feels valued and acknowledged rather than isolated or socially excluded. Involvement in these community activities will also allow for enhancement of their quality of life. Contact with these elderly people would definitely address all the misconceptions and stereotypes and establish successful to improve the perceptions of older people and ageing.
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