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Your Philosophical Heritage

An Exercise to Determine Your Educational Philosophy
Find out to which philosophy you adhere. To what extent does each statement apply to you? Please check ())corresponding number that
suits you. Rate yourself 4 if you agree with the statement always, 3 if you agree but not always, 2 if you agree sometimes, and 1 if you dont agree at
1. There is no substitute for concrete experience in learning.
2. The focus of education should be the ideas that are as relevant today as when they were first conceived.
3. Teachers must not force their students to learn the subject matter if it does not interest them.
4. Schools must develop students capacity to reason by stressing on the humanities.
5.In the classroom, students must be encouraged to interact with one another to develop social virtues such as
cooperation and respect.
6. Students should read and analyze the Great Books, the creative works of historys finest thinkers and writers.
7. Help students expand their knowledge by helping them apply their previous experiences in solving new problems.
8. Our course of study should be general, not specialized; liberal, not vocational; humanistic, not technical.
9. There is no universal, inborn human nature. We are born to exist and then we ourselves freely determine our
10. Human beings are shaped by their environment.
11. Schools should stress on the teaching of basic skills.
12. Change of environment can change a person.
13. Curriculum should emphasize on the traditional disciplines such as math, natural science, history, grammar,
14. Teacher cannot impose meaning; students make meaning of what they are taught.
15. Schools should help individuals accept themselves as unique individuals and accept responsibility for their
thoughts, feelings and actions.
16. Learners produce knowledge based on their experiences.
17.For the learner to acquire the basic skills, s/he must go through the rigor and disciple of serious study,
18. The teacher and the school head must prescribe what is most important for the students to learn.
19. The truth shines in an atmosphere of genuine dialogue.
20. A learner must be allowed to learn at his/her own pace.
21. The learner is not a blank slate but brings past experiences and cultural factors to the learning situation.
22. The classroom is not a place where teacher pour knowledge into empty minds of students.
23. The learner must be taught how to communicate his ideas and feelings.
24. To understand the message from his/her students, the teacher must listen not only to what his/her students are
saying but also to what they are not saying.
25. An individual is what s/he chooses to become not dictated by his/her environment.

Interpreting your scores; if you have 2 answers of 2/4 in numbers:

1,3,5,7 ------------------------------------- you are more of progressivist
2,4,6,8 ------------------------------------ you are more of a perennialist
9,15,20,25 ------------------------------- you are more of an existentialist
10, 12 -------------------------------------you are more of a behaviorist
11,13,17,18 ----------------------------- you are more of an essentialist
14,16,21,22 ------------------------------you are more of a constructivist
19,23,24 ----------------------------------you are more of a linguistic philosopher
If you have 2 scores of 4 in several of the 7 clusters, you have an eclectic philosophy which means you put the philosophies together. If
you scores are less than 4, this means that you are not very definite in your philosophy. Or if you scores are less than 3 in most of the items, this
means your philosophy is quite vague.
After you have gotten an idea on the philosophy/ies you learn, let us know more about each of them

Source: Bilbao, Purita P, Corpuz, Brenda B., Llagasm Avelina T, & Gloria G. Salandanan. 2012. The Teaching Profession, 2 nd Edition. p.4-6.

Seven Philosophies of Education

1. Essentialism
Why Teach this philosophy contends that teachers teach for learners to acquire basic knowledge, skills and values. Teachers teach not to
radically reshape society but rather to transmit the traditional moral values and intellectual knowledge that students need to become model citizen.
What to Teach? Essentialist program are academically rigorous. The emphasis is on academic content for student to learn the basic skill or the
fundamental rs reading, riting, rithmetic, right conduct as these are essential to the acquisition of higher or more complex skills needed in
preparation for adult life. The essentialist curriculum includes the traditional disciplines such as math, natural science, history, foreign language, and
literature. Essentialist frown upon vocational courses. Or other courses with watered down academic content. The teachers and administrator decide
what is most important for the student to learn and place little emphasis on student interests, particularly when they divert time and attention from the
academic curriculum.
How to Teach Essentialist teachers emphasize mastery of subject matter. They are expected to be intellectual and moral models of their students.
They are seen as fountain of information and as Paragon of virtue, if ever there is such a person, to gain mastery of basic skills, teachers have to
observe core requirements, longer school day, a longer academic year
2. Progressivism
Why Teach progressivist teachers teach to develop learners into becoming enlightened and intelligent citizens of a democratic society. This group
of teachers teaches learners so they may live life fully NOW not to prepare them for adult life.
What to teach the progressivists are identified with need based and relevant curriculum. This is a curriculum that responds to students needs
and that relates to students personal lives and experiences.
How to Teach --Progressivists accept the impermanence of life and inevitability of change. For the progressivists , everything else changes. Change
is the only thing that does not change. Hence, progressivists teachers are more concerned with teaching facts or bits of information that are true
today but become obsolete tomorrow, they would rather focus their teaching on the teaching of skills or processes in gathering and evaluating
information and in problem solving. The subjects that are given emphasis in progressivists schools are the natural and Social sciences. Teachers
expose students to many new scientific, technological, and social development, reflecting the progressivists on that progress and change are
3. Perennialism
Why Teach We are all rational animals. Schools should, therefore, develop the students rational and moral powers. According to Aristotle, if we
neglect the students reasoning skills, we deprive them of the ability to use their higher faculties to control their passions and appetites.
What to Teach the Perennialist curriculum is a universal one on the view that all human beings possess the same essential nature. It is heavy on
the humanities, on general education. It is not a specialist curriculum but rather a general one. There is less emphasis on vocational and technical
education. Philosopher Mortimer Adler claims that the Great Books of ancient and medieval as well as modern times are a repository of knowledge
and wisdom, a tradition of culture which must initiate each generation. What the Perennialist teachers teach are lifted from the Great Books.
How to Teach the Perennialist classroom are centered around Teacher. The teachers do not allow the students interest or experiences to
substantially dictate what they teach. They apply whatever creative techniques and other tried and true methods which are believed to be most
conducive to disciplining the students minds. Students engaged in Socratic dialogues, or mutual inquiry sessions to develop an understanding of
historys most timeless concepts.
4. Existentialism
Why Teach the main concern of the existentialists is to help students understand and appreciate themselves as unique individuals who accept
complete responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and actions Since existence precedes essence the existentialist teachers role is to help
students define their own essence by exposing them to various paths they take in life and by creating an environment in which they freely choose
their own preferred way. Since feeling is not divorced from reason in decision making, the existentialist demands the education of the whole person,
not just the mind.
What to Teach In an existentialist curriculum, students are given a wide variety of options from which to choose. Students are afforded great
latitude in their choice of subject matter. The humanities, however are given tremendous emphasis to provide students with vicarious experiences
that will help unleash their own creativity and self-expression. For example, rather than emphasizing historical events, existentialist focus upon the
actions of historical individuals, each of whom provide possible models for the students own behaviour.

How to Teach existentialist methods focus on the individual. Learning is self-paced, self-directed. It includes a great deal of individual contact with
the teacher, who relates to each student openly and honestly. To help students known themselves and their place in society, teachers employ values
clarification strategy. In the use of such strategy, teachers remain non-judgmental and take care not to impose their values on their students since
values are persona.
5. Behaviorism
Why Teach Behaviorist school are concerned with the modification and shaping of students behaviour by providing for a favourable environment,
since they believe that they are a product of their environment. They are after students who exhibit desirable behaviour in society.
What to Teach Because behaviourists look at people and other animals as complex combinations of matter that act only in response to
internally or externally generated physical stimuli, behaviourist teachers teach students to respond favourably to various stimuli in the environment.
How to Teach behaviourists teachers ought to arrange environmental conditions so that students can make the responses to stimuli. Physical
variables like light, temperature, arrangement of furniture, size and quantity of visual aids have to be controlled to get the desired responses from the
learners. Teachers ought to make the stimuli clear and interesting to capture and hold the learners attention. They ought to provide appropriate
incentives to reinforce positive responses and weaken or eliminate negatives ones. (Trespeces, 1995)
6. Linguistic Philosophy
Why Teach to develop the communication skills of the learner because the ability to articulate, to voice out the meaning and values of things that
one obtains from his/her experiences of life and the world is the very essence of man. It is through his/her ability to express himself/herself clearly, to
get his/her ideas across, to make known to others the values that he/she has imbibed, the beauty that he/she has seen, the ugliness that he rejects
and the truth that he/she has discovered. Teachers in the learner the skill to send messages clearly and receive messages correctly.
What to Teach Learners should be taught to communicate clearly how to send clear concise messages and how to receive and correctly
understand messages sent. Communication takes place in three (3) ways verbal nonverbal, and paraverbal. Verbal component refers to the
content of our message, the choice and arrangement of our words. This can be oral or written. Nonverbal component refers to the message we send
through our body languages while paraverbal component refers to how we say what we say the tone, pacing and volume of our voices.
There is need to teach learners to use language that is correct, precise, grammatical, coherent, accurate so that they are able to communicate
clearly and precisely their thoughts and feelings. There is need to help students expand their vocabularies to enhance their communication skills.
There is need to teach the learners how to communicate clearly through non-verbal means and consistently though para-verbal means.
How to Teach the most effective way to teach language and communication is the experiential way. Make them experience sending and receiving
messages through verbal, non-verbal and paraverbal manner. Teacher should make the classroom a place for the interplay of minds and hearts. The
teacher facilities dialogue among learners and between him/her and his/her students because in the exchange of words there is also an exchange of
7. Constructivism
Why Teach to develop intrinsically motivated and independent learners adequately equipped with learning skills for them to be able to construct
knowledge and make meaning of them.
What to Teach the learners are taught how to learn. They are taught learning processes and skill such as searching, critiquing and evaluating
information, relating these pieces of information, reflecting on the same, making meaning out of them, drawing insights, posing questions,
researching and constructing new knowledge out of these bits of information learned.
How to Teach in the constructivist classroom, the teacher provides students with data or experiences that allow them to hypothesize, predict,
manipulate objects, pose questions, research, investigate, imagine, and invent. The constructivist classroom is interactive. It promotes dialogical
exchange of ideas among learners and between teachers and learners. The teachers role is to facilitate this process.

Source: Bilbao, Purita P, Corpuz, Brenda B., Llagasm Avelina T, & Gloria G. Salandanan. 2012. The Teaching Profession, 2 nd Edition. p.6-12.