Philosophies of Education

Philosophical positions and statements of purpose

Tools of Philosophers (1 0f 3)

Axiology is the study of values; it asks the question of “What is good?” From axiology, we arrive at an understanding of “What is good?” We get ethics from the study of axiology

Tools of Philosophers (2 of 3)

Epistemology—”How do we know what is true?” This is a live question today—Do we listen to standardized test results to determine how much students know, or read their portfolios?

Tools of Philosophy (3 of 3)

Metaphysics is somewhat related to epistemology and asks the question “What is real?” Are the things that are real only the things that can be touched and measured? Behaviorists vs. existentialists

1962-Transmit the cultural heritage Transform the culture Maximize human potential .Purposes for Education     Hilda Taba.

1. Worthy home membership Vocational competence . 4.The Seven Cardinal Principles (1 of 2) The Seven Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education Commission on Re-organization of Secondary Education (1918). 2. Health Command of fundamental processes 3.

5.The Seven Cardinal Principles (2 of 2) The Seven Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education Commission on Re-organization of Secondary Education (1918). 7. 6. Citizenship Worthy use of leisure time Ethical character .

.But what do these mean?  Meaning comes from at least six philosophical positions that “filter” or influence how people perceive educational events.

Essentialism   Almost an entire generation in America has grown up under essentialism. Essentialism is a conservative view of curriculum that holds schools responsible for only the most immediately needed instruction. .

Essentialism (2)   Essentialism avoids some of the waste inherent with experimentalism But it can become so conservative that it fails to truly educate .

     Emphasis on a traditional education Development of the mind Core curriculum Reality is based in the physical world Teacher-directed learning .

U. & World History  No vocational education!  . S. language arts  Mathematics. spelling.Reading.

 Standardized tests  Criterion referenced tests  Not as likely to require portfolios .

students listen  Punishment--attempted behaviorism but without expertise  .Using only text books  Seated row by row  Teacher lecture.

 Limit education’s responsibility--let industry teach vocational subjects  . spelling and measuring.Teach the basic civilized skills of reading.

 Writing     test Multiple choices True/False Binary-Choice Matching .

 All students will remember the basic information. .  All students will learn how to pass the test.

few required subjects. . Many electives.Experimentalism   Experimentalism is associated with a very broad but shallow curriculum. Experimentalism is friendly to educational research. and many new ideas come from it.

Experimentalism (2)    But experimentalism can be wasteful of resources It can also fail to follow through Accommodates fads too easily .

.Experimentalism   Experimentalist teachers like to tinker or experiment They don’t like to leave things the same all the time.

Classroom Management for Experimentalists   Don’t like bmod or assertive discipline Prefer more constructivistic approaches such as Discipline with Dignity .

What experimentalists would teach   Everything-anything that had any relation to students’ possible futures Has been accused of trying to do the home’s job .

Where experimentalism shines    When essentialism or perennialism have been in power for so long. school programs have become stagnant When school has become all work and no play When traditional methods have become ineffective .

Heavy orientation to the past 20 years--almost nil attention to the future .Perennialism    Perennialism was prevalent in the early seventies in U. Perennialism reveres the experience of teachers who have been there. S.

including the classics such as Plato an Aristotle They don’t like change. .Perennialism   Perennialists like to teach time-honored curricula.

S. History • Bookkeeping .Perennialism  They would include subjects such as: • Geometry • English literature • World Geography • Algebra • Trigonometry • Ancient Geography • World history • U.

Perennialist Evaluation Methodology    Teacher-made tests Standardized test Memory work (“mind is a muscle”) Spelling bees  .

but not necessarily expert. .Classroom Management   Assign seats in rows. with punishment and reward.  Set up classroom rules. Be strict.

Orientation Expected Self-contained knowledge-teacher is supposed to know all the answers  Teacher is the “fountain of all knowledge.”  Students are passive listeners  .

Reality Testing for Perennialists  Paper-pencil test   Recitation Standardized test .

Future Orientation for Perennialists  Expect future to continue in the same vein as the present  Belief that knowing the classics of the past will equip students for the future .

Perennialism plays well to traditional communities .Where Perennialism Shines    Perennialism does help to dampen the uncertain effects of the fads that come to education Not every new idea is a good one. or one that will even be effective.

Behaviorism   Behaviorism believes in a science of behavior that would shape the world into a better place to live Behaviorists to some degree rightfully claim that behaviorism naturally occurs in the world whether people acknowledge it or not .

What behaviorists believe   Behaviorists believe in a science of behavior\ They rely heavily on scientific studies of behavior and how behavior is .

What behaviorists would teach    Behaviorists are at least as concerned about how people behave as what they know They do not tend to be big innovators in curriculum They will however give a fair trial to any new curricula that someone else might write .

Where Behaviorism shines   Special ed situations. where students do not pick up on subtle cues about learning or behavior Alternative and problem schools .

Where behaviorism will come short   Situations where behavior is not so much the need as the learning of academic content Situations where students have internalized appropriate behavior and behavior does not need to be emphasized at the expense of scholarship. .

particularly historical. . to show that things are not going well now.Reconstructionism    Reconstructionists point to a time in the past when they believe that things were better They would re-create education to be like things were back during that time They cite research.

What reconstructionists believe   Reconstructionists point to a time in the past when they believe that things were better They would recreate education to be like things were .

” The subjects would be those that were taught during that time.What reconstructionists would teach    Reconstructionists would teach the subjects that were taught during that “golden age. If the 1960s. for instance. . they would teach usage of the slide rule.

One example of Reconstructionism   1946—right after the Second World War GIs wanted schools and society to return to what they were before Pearl Harbor .

Reconstructionists and technology   Their orientation is very much to the past They and perennialists do not react immediately and positively to new technology .

Existentialism      Existentialists celebrate the human existence Very subjective Emphasis on meaning within each individual May doubt external reality Emphasis on present .

What existentialists believe   Existentialists believe in the consciousness of the self They are very concerned with whether students find school to be a satisfying .

. . since not everyone would enjoy the same things They would emphasize selfesteem and a feeling of self-  They would include topics such as values clarification and ..What existentialists would teach   Not the same subjects to everyone..

An example of existentialism   1960— Summerhill School in England 1970s in some parts of America—self esteem. values clarification .

A healthy balance   Each of the six philosophies has something to offer The only hazard happens when one philosophy rules for a long period of time .

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