Social reconstructionism is a philosophy that emphasizes the addressing of social questions and a quest to create a better society and worldwide democracy. Reconstructionist educators focus on a curriculum that highlights social reform as the aim of education. Rather than “teaching as banking,” in which the educator deposits information into students’ heads, social reconstructionism saw teaching and learning as a process of inquiry in which the child must invent and reinvent the world.
For social reconstructionists and critical theorists, curriculum focuses on student experience and taking social action on real problems, such as violence, hunger, international terrorism, inflation, and inequality. Strategies for dealing with controversial issues (particularly in social studies and literature), inquiry, dialogue, and multiple perspectives are the focus. Community-based learning and bringing the world into the classroom are also strategies. 2. Existentialism
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Existentialism is often described as the belief in “existence before essence” — that is, that before any structure or form that dictates the nature of the world and humanity, we exist. Existentialists examine what it means to exist as a human being in the world, and existentialists believe that understanding who we are as human beings is the key to understanding the world. The term existentialism is a broad one; the diverse forms it takes generally have some common themes:
Existentialists think about and try to answer the question that Walker Percy asks, “Who am I and why am I here? ” I do exist, and what does that mean, if anything? Do I have a purpose in life, or does life have a meaning? Existentialism is more subjectively oriented than objectively oriented. Objectivity is certainty, material things, actual objects, what physically exists. Subjective truth is concerned with experience, perception, being, relationship, values, and these cannot be verified; they are never certain.
In addition, life is constantly a “becoming,” never a completed “end,” and so always open-ended and uncertain. A subjective viewpoint is also concerned with the “whole” person and relationship to others as whole – for who they are ontologically and unconditionally, not what they can do functionally (that is, not for their “use” to us or to the world). 3. Postmodernism Postmodernism is a general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others.
Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person.
In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal. 4. Pragmatism Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality.
Instead, pragmatists develop their philosophy around the idea that the function of thought is as an instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving. Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics—such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science—are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes rather than in terms of representative accuracy.
As discuss in the classroom, a few of the various but interrelated positions often characteristic of philosophers working from a pragmatist approach include: Epistemology (justification) Epistemology (truth) Metaphysics Philosophy of science Philosophy of language 5. Progressivism The term “progressive” was engaged to distinguish this education from the traditional curriculum of the 19th century, which was rooted in classical preparation for the university and strongly differentiated by socioeconomic level. By contrast, progressive education finds its roots in present experience.
Most progressive education programs have these qualities in common: Emphasis on learning by doing – hands-on projects, expeditionary learning, experiential learning, strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking, collaborative and cooperative learning projects, selection of subject content by looking forward to ask what skills will be needed in future society, de-emphasis on textbooks in favor of varied learning resources, emphasis on lifelong learning and social skills and assessment by evaluation of child’s projects and productions. 6. Essentialism
Educational essentialism is an educational philosophy whose adherents believe that children should learn the traditional basic subjects thoroughly and rigorously. In this philosophical school of thought, the aim is to instill students with the “essentials” of academic knowledge, enacting a back-to-basics approach. Essentialism ensures that the accumulated wisdom of our civilization as taught in the traditional academic disciplines is passed on from teacher to student. Such disciplines might include Reading, Writing, Literature, Foreign Languages, History, Mathematics, Science, Art, and Music.
Moreover, this traditional approach is meant to train the mind, promote reasoning, and ensure a common culture. The role of the teacher as the leader of the classroom is a very important tenet of Educational essentialism. The teacher is the center of the classroom, so they should be rigid and disciplinary. Establishing order in the classroom is crucial for student learning; effective teaching cannot take place in a loud and disorganized environment. It is the teacher’s responsibility to keep order in the classroom.
The teacher must interpret essentials of the learning process, take the leadership position and set the tone of the classroom. These needs require an educator who is academically well-qualified with an appreciation for learning and development. The teacher must control the students with distributions of rewards and penalties. 7. Realism Realism believes in the world as it is. It is based on the view that reality is what we observe. It believes that truth is what we sense and observe and that goodness is found in the order of the laws of nature. As a result, schools exist to reveal the order of the world and universe.
Students are taught factual information. Its educational goal is to train the intellect and the child’s moral development. It emphasizes on the basic skills. It also emphasizes on problem solving that is needed in today’s world. The teacher’s role is to deliver clear lectures and increase the student understanding with critical questions. 8. Idealism Idealism believes in refined wisdom. It is based on the view that reality is a world within a person’s mind. It believes that truth is in the consistency of ideas and that goodness is an ideal state to strive to attain.
As a result, schools exist to sharpen the mind and intellectual processes. Students are taught the wisdom of past heroes. Its educational goal is to train the intellect and the child’s moral development. It emphasizes on the basic skills. It also emphasizes on problem solving that is needed in today’s world. The teacher’s role is to deliver clear lectures and increase the student understanding with critical questions. 9. Perennialism This is a very conservative and inflexible philosophy of education. It is based on the view that reality comes from fundamental fixed truths-especially related to God.
It believes that people find truth through reasoning and revelation and that goodness is found in rational thinking. As a result, schools exist to teach reason and God’s will. Students are taught to reason through structured lessons and drills. Its educational goal is to train the intellect and the child’s moral development. It emphasizes on the basic skills. It also emphasizes on problem solving that is needed in today’s world. The teacher’s role is to deliver clear lectures and increase the student understanding with critical questions. EDUCATIONAL THEORISTS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS
1. Theorist: Comenius Theory: Pansophism (universal knowledge) Description: The idea that learning, emotional, and spiritual growth are interwoven. Proposed teaching through stimulation of the senses, not merely through memorization. Considered the “Father of Modern Education. ” 2. Theorist: Dewey Theory: Learning by Doing Description: Learning occurs through experience. 3. Theorist: Locke Theory: Tabula Rasa Description: The idea that individuals are “blank slates” on which teachers could “write” knowledge. 4. Theorist: Piaget Theory: Genetic Epistemology
Description: Developmental stages of child development: 0-2 years: “sensorimotor” – motor development 3-7 years: “preoperation” – intuitive 8-11 years: “concrete operational” – logical, but non-abstract 12-15 years: “formal operations” – abstract thinking 5. Theorist: Pestalozzi Theory: object lesson Description: involved exercises in learning form, number, and language. Pupils determined and traced an object’s form, counted objects, and named them. Students progressed from these lessons to exercises in drawing, writing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and reading. 6.
Theorist: Rosseau Theory: Naturalism Description: For Rousseau education does not mean merely imparting information or storing knowledge. It is not accretion from without. It is the development of the child’s natural powers and abilities from within. According to nature, Men and Things. Education from Nature: It consists in the spontaneous development of our endowment and faculties. i. e of child’s natural tendencies and interests. He gave it the top priority Education from Man: It consists in influencing our social contacts and various groups. He did not favor it at least in initial stages.
Education from Things: It consists in the acquisition of knowledge and information through contact with physical surroundings and our experience of dealings with the things. 7. Theorist: Montessori Theory: Montessori Method Description: a system of education for young children up to about 6 years old. It consists of allowing them to learn in an environment where the child’s learning process is through self-directed activities, with the teacher present only to remove obstacles in the environment, rather than to provide discipline or teach by rote.
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