Educational Philosophy: The Intellectual Foundations of American Education
What is Philosophy? • The study of theories of knowledge, truth, existence, and morality
Philosophy and Teacher Professionalism • All professions have philosophical underpinnings. • Educational philosophy is one important aspect of teacher’s professional knowledge.
Philosophies of Education • Perennialism • Essentialism • Progressivism • Social Reconstructionism
Perennialism • An educational philosophy suggesting that nature, including human nature, is constant. • Roots in both Idealism and Realism • Rigorous intellectual curriculum for all students, classic works
Essentialism • An educational philosophy suggesting that a critical core of knowledge and skills exists that all people should possess • Roots inIdealism and Realism • Back to basics movements • Standards, testing • What is essential can change
Progressivism • An educational philosophy emphasizing curricula that focus on real-world problem solving and individual development. • Roots in Pragmatism • Constructivism • John Dewey
Social Reconstructionism • Philosophy that believes schools and teachers should address social problems and work toward improving society. • Discussion is the primary teaching method. • Curriculum includes topics that reflect social issues. • Criticized for using schools for political purposes and abandoning intellectual pursuits.
Practice • Evaluate the educational philosophy of the following teachers: • http://www.davis.k12.ut.us/staff/sbaylis/speech2.html • http://www.davis.k12.ut.us/staff/mharrison/ • http://www.rmjr.weber.k12.ut.us/teacherpages/jackson.htm • http://www.wsdstaff.net/~spotokar/video/index.htm
Standards and Essential Knowledge • The current emphasis on standards is based largely on essentialism, the belief that there is a critical core of knowledge all students should master. • Advocates of standards (and essentialism) believe that the major role of schools should be to ensure that all students master a core of knowledge. • Critics of standards (and essentialism) respond that most crucial knowledge is learned through rote memorization, soon becoming forgotten or inert, and fails to influence students’ current or future lives.
Normative Philosophy • Guides the teachers actions • The way a teacher teachers is guided by our beliefs about the way a student learns.
Behaviorism • Behavior is determined by influences in the environment • If reinforced, the behavior will continue • If punished, the behavior is less likely to occur.
Constructivism • Students actively construct their own understanding of a topic. • Questioning • Experiments • Analyzing data or events
Humanistic Psychology • Emphasis is on the growth and needs of the “whole” person- physical, social, emotional, thinking, and aesthetic. • Belief that all people instinctively attempt to be all they’re capable of being- to be self actualized. • Create learning communitites
Philosophies of Education in Urban Environments • Because of the challenges involved in urban teaching, developing a coherent philosophy of education is even more important. • Beliefs, both positive and negative, about urban learners can have profound influences on urban teachers and the way they teach.
Developing Your Philosophy of Education • Philosophy can guide practice and help you explain and defend your educational goals. • The process of developing a philosophy begins with examining your own beliefs about teaching, learning, and students. • An analysis of educational philosophies can assist teachers in forming their own personal, and probably eclectic, personal philosophy.