The purpose of this article is to utilize events of the author's past personal experiences and M. Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception to interpret A. S. Neill's claim that students should have the power ”to subordinate their thinking to their feeling.” The implication of this kind of claim will also be discussed for teaching in the research.Using personal experience, this article illustrates that ”reflection bears upon an unreflective experience” and that ”sufficient perception is the precondition of valid thinking concerning the world around.” This is the position used to argue for the primacy of perception, and the point of Neill's claim that students should have the power to subordinate their thinking to their feeling could also be clarified from this perspective.The intrinsic reason of Neill's advocating for subordinating thinking to feeling is that he found a profound and authentic knowing would call for an action afterwards. However, the knowing needs to be nourished by a real teaching. Instead of regulating ”feeling” by ”knowing,” the teaching should emphasize ”feeling so” before ”knowing so.” This kind of teaching would also lead for a Copernican revolution in education which will take care of learners' subjectivity, perceptions, and practices accordingly.
- A. S. Neill
- Primacy of perception