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EDUC 2112 Foundations of Education

Chapter 11: Educational Theory in American Schools:

Philosophy in Action

Dr. Stewart

EDUC 2112 Foundations of Education

Philosophy Provides the Foundation for Educational Theories

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Philosophy -- Theory

z Educational theory is the application of philosophy to the classroom.

z Organization of Curriculum z Manner of Instruction z Character of school environment z Grading and testing (assessment) z Varies from school to school and state to state

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Authoritarian / Nonauthoritarian

z Idealism / Realism z Pragmatism / Existentialism

Convergent / Divergent Thinking

z One Possible Answer z Possibility of Many Answers

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Authoritarian

z Purpose of education is to train pupil's minds so they can deal with intellectual concepts of life.

z Mastery of facts and information z Any child can learn any subject at any level

if the subject matter is properly presented z "Mastery Teaching"

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Authoritarian

z Attention to test scores z Grade level achievement z P.A.S.S z Accountability z More traditional teaching strategies z Convergent Thinking--One answer to

question, and the teacher has it!

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Authoritarian--Idealism

z Learning Focus--subject matter of the mind: literature, history, philosophy, religion

z Curriculum goal--same education for all

z Teaching method--lecture, discussion

z Character development--imitation

z Aesthetic development--study of masterworks, values of past heritage

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Authoritarian--Realism

z Learning Focus--subject matter of physical world: math, science

z Curriculum goal--Mastery of laws of the universe

z Teaching method--mastery of information and skills: lecture, recitation, demonstration

z Character development--rules of conduct

z Aesthetic development--study of design in nature

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Nonauthoritarian

z Mind is not just a muscle to be developed (John Dewey)

z Human beings are problem solvers who profit from experience

z Importance of the individual and personal awareness

z Interest aroused through student inquiry

z Divergent thinking--possibility of multiple answers to question

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Nonauthoritarian--Pragmatism

z Learning Focus--social experience

z Curriculum goal--creation of new social

order

z Teaching method--problem solving, project

method and development

z Character development--group decision making in light of consequences

z Aesthetic development--participation in art project based on cross-culture and universal

values

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Nonauthoritarian--Existentialism

z Learning Focus--subject matter of personal choice

z Curriculum goal--personal freedom and development

z Teaching method--Individual exploration: discovery method

z Character development--development of individual responsibility

z Aesthetic development--personal view of

the world, self-initiated activities

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Relationship of Philosophies to Educational Theories

z Idealism

? Perennialism & Essentialism

z Realism

? Behaviorism & Positivism

z Pragmatism

? Progressivism & Reconstructionism

z Existentialism

? Humanism & Constructivism

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Eight Educational Theories

z Perennialism z Essentialism z Behaviorism z Positivism z Progressivism z Reconstructionism z Humanism z Constructivism

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Perennialism--(Idealism)--Basic View

z Principles of knowledge are enduring -"Everlasting"

z Stress the time-honored ideas, the "Great Works", and the ability to reason

z The intellect must be nourished by contact with ideas

z Truth resides in the nature of the things rather than n the sensory aspects of things.

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Perennialism--Focus of Learning

z Discipline the mind z Learner assumed to be rational and

spiritual person z Reading, Writing, Recitation,

Computation are considered important z Stress "Higher-Order Thinking Skills"

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Perennialism--Curriculum

z Early schooling best directed toward preparing children for maturity--3Rs

z Secondary school level directed more toward "intellectually elite"

z Vocational training for less gifted z Strong use of Great Books Program

? Hutchins and Adler ? Studying the works of the leading scholars of

history is the best way to a general education

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Essentialism--(Idealism)--Basic View

z Formulated by William C. Bagley--1938 z Common Core of information and skills

needed z Three basic principles of Essentialism

? Core of information ? Hard work ? Teacher-centered instruction

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Essentialism--Basic View

z "Back to the Basics" z Not so intent on transmitting underlying

basic truths z Advocate teaching that will help a person

live a productive life today z Therefore this "core" of information can

and will change

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Essentialism--Focus of Learning

z Transmit cultural heritage z Develop good citizens z How?-z emphasize core of fundamental

knowledge and skills z develop sound habits of mental discipline z demand respect for authority in a

structured learning situation

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Essentialism--Focus of Learning

z School is a place where children come to learn what they need to know, and the teacher is the person who can best instruct students in essential matters

z Role of teacher is "imparter of knowledge" z Role of student is "learner"

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Essentialism--Curriculum

z Subject matter of symbol and content (Idealism)--laws of nature and universal truths of the physical world

z Literature, history, foreign language, religion

z Lecture, required reading, memorization, recitation, examinations

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Essentialism--Curriculum

z Truth is defined as observable fact, therefore field trips, laboratories, A/V materials and nature studies

z Subject matter is the core of education z School is the curator of knowledge

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Essential Schools Movement

z Theodore Sizer z Strip away the nonessentials z Focus on students "using their minds well" z Does not specify what specific content is

essential z Essential schools required to analyze what

curriculum should be and change the curriculum to emphasize this core.

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Behaviorism--(Realism)--Basic View

z "Control the environment and you will control the individual's behavior"

z B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) z followed Pavlov z suggested that human behavior also could

be explained as responses to external stimuli

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Behaviorism--Basic View

z Share common belief that a student's misbehavior can be changed and reshaped in a socially acceptable manner by directly changing the student's environment.

z All people will attempt to avoid experiences and stimuli that are not pleasing and will seek experiences that are pleasing and rewarding.

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Behaviorism--Focus of Learning

z Behavior is determined by environment, not heredity

z School environment highly structured z Curriculum based on behavioral

objectives z Knowledge is best described as behaviors

that are observable

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Behaviorism--Curriculum

z Mastery of Facts z Empirical evidence is essential--Scientific

methodology z Develop learning environments that lead

to desired behaviors in students for which they are rewarded and will be motivated to continue

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Behaviorism--Reinforcement

z Positive reinforcement z Negative reinforcement z Some believe negative reinforcement is

ineffective z Punishment z "Extinguished"

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