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					   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
    Purposes for Education

   Hilda Taba,
    1962--
   Transmit the
    cultural heritage
   Transform the
    culture
   Maximize human
    potential
           The Seven Cardinal
            Principles (1 of 2)
The Seven Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education

Commission on Re-organization of Secondary Education (1918).

1.     Health

2.     Command of fundamental processes

3.     Worthy home membership

4.     Vocational competence
           The Seven Cardinal
            Principles (2 of 2)
The Seven Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education

Commission on Re-organization of Secondary Education (1918).


5.     Citizenship

6.     Worthy use of leisure time

7.     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
  Reading, spelling,
  language arts
 Mathematics, U. S.
  & World History
 No vocational
  education!
 Standardized
  tests
 Criterion
  referenced tests
 Notas likely to
 require portfolios
 Using only text books
 Seated row by row

 Teacher lecture, students
  listen
 Punishment--attempted
  behaviorism but without
  expertise
 Teach the basic
  civilized skills of
  reading, spelling and
  measuring.
 Limit education’s
  responsibility--let
  industry teach
  vocational subjects
 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.
       Experimentalism

   Experimentalism is associated
    with a very broad but shallow
    curriculum. Many electives, few
    required subjects.
   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
          Perennialism

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

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

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

   Teacher-made tests
   Standardized test
   Memory work (“mind is a
    muscle”)
   Spelling bees
Classroom Management

   Assign seats in rows.

   Be strict, but not
    necessarily expert, with
    punishment and reward.

   Set up classroom rules.
    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
     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.
   Perennialism plays well to
    traditional communities
           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.
      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, particularly
    historical, to show that things
    are not going well now.
What reconstructionists
        believe
    Reconstruction-
     ists point to a
     time in the past
     when they
     believe that
     things were
     better
    They would re-
     create
     education to be
     like things were
What reconstructionists
     would teach
   Reconstructionists would teach
    the subjects that were taught
    during that “golden age.”
   The subjects would be those
    that were taught during that
    time.
   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
      What existentialists
         would teach
   Not the same          They would
    subjects to            include topics
    everyone, since        such as values
    not everyone           clarification and
    would enjoy the        ....
    same things
   They would
    emphasize self-
    esteem and a
    feeling of self-
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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posted:10/23/2011
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