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Ch. 3 Philosophies of Schooling - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis

Ch. 3 Philosophies of Schooling - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis



Ch. 3 Philosophies of Schooling - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis

Ch. 3 Philosophies of Schooling - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis



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    Ch. 3 Philosophies of Schooling - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis Ch. 3 Philosophies of Schooling - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis Document Transcript

    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 81This book is protected under the Copyright Act of 1976. Uncited Sources,Violators will be prosecuted. Courtesy, National FORUM JournalsCHAPTER 3PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGCopyright © 2005William KritsonisAll Rights Reserved / Forever
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 82
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 83WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY?Many individuals have a philosophy embedded in their subconscious minds.Although one does not realize altogether that certain beliefs follow a selectedphilosophic approach, individual actions parallel certain philosophies morethan others. The following medium offers information concerning personalphilosophic beliefs so that a basic understanding can be obtained and apersonal philosophy developed. Please answer the following statements on theanswer sheet at the end of this section utilizing the scale:StronglyDisagree Disagree Neutral AgreeStronglyAgree|--------1------------------2------------------3-----------------4------------------5-------|1. The subjects of a school are the most important feature of an education.2. Schools should promote a teacher-centered environment in order toencourage effective learning.3. Education is a prerequisite for a student to understand life’s intentions.4. What students are taught should be determined solely by student interestand input.5. The deductive approach is the most effective method of teaching anysubject to students.6. Universal truth is an individual perception.7. If it happens, it is real.8. Disregard the past and you are destined to repeat it.9. A school’s curriculum should be determined by the specific needs of eachcommunity, where content is designed for the betterment of each student.10. Education should focus strongly on the development of reasoning skills ofstudents.11. Curricular content should center primarily on the scientific method forresolving dilemmas.12. Students should be free to explore their interests in whatever fashion theydesire.13. The climate in which one lives solely defines one’s behavior.14. All children can learn the same thing, but not at the same rate.15. Students should be placed in classrooms according to their individualabilities.16. All reform movements in education are basically the same.17. The curriculum for students should contain a specific nucleus ofinformation that is indigenous for all literate people.18. Ethical behavior and morality should be incorporated into a student’slearning process.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 8419. The curriculum of a school should not be decided by a small circle ofschool officials, but by all involved parties within the community.20. What is real is perceived differently by individuals, therefore no twothings can be the same.21. Learning by specified programs of material in sequence is paramount to achild’s education.22. Teachers need to give more individual assistance in the classroom.23. Students with a mental disability cannot learn the same subject matter asregular students and should not be placed in a regular classroomenvironment.24. Money is not the total answer to increased student achievement.25. Learning to read proficiently is the solution to the educational dilemma.26. Each individual in society must attain a specified body of knowledge tofunction properly.27. Student needs, experiences, and interests should be the determining factorwhen designing a school’s curriculum.28. A school’s curriculum should contain more electives for students tochoose.29. A complete curricular analysis for effective teaching should includescope, sequence, articulation, pacing, and, most importantly, reward orreinforcement.30. All teachers have an underlying concern for students and the learningprocess.31. Effective education begins at the home.32. Traditional education of the 1950s should be reinstated in the schoolcurriculum.33. Teachers should not teach in areas where their proficiency is belowaverage.34. More emphasis should be placed on “The Great Men” and “The GreatBooks” of past civilizations.35. The curriculum should be entirely a hands-on, practical approach.36. Student achievement cannot take place in a traditional, lecture-orientedformat.37. The environment is a tangible place where material is a solidrepresentation of what is.38. Students learn best in a one-on-one basis.39. Students, teachers, parents, and administrators should decide solely on thecurricular structure of a school.40. What works in one environment does not necessarily work in another.41. There should be a distinct division of subject matter, not the consolidatedcollection presently advocated.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 8542. Art/music appreciation should stress past contributions rather thanpractical applications.43. The teacher’s sole function in the classroom should be to guide studentsthrough problem-solving situations.44. A school environment should nurture students to find their roles insociety.45. Fool me once, shame on you–fool me twice, shame on me.46. Children are born with universal knowledge and it is the teacher’s job tobring forth that knowledge.47. The universe is made from scientific laws and the scientific process isdesigned to explain our existence.48. If it works, it is true.49. Enculturation is the primary function of education.50. A school’s curriculum should concentrate on long-range goals, not onimmediate concerns.51. A student should feel free to be inventive and communicate innercuriosities without the threat of reprimand.52. Individuals are first an introvert and second an extrovert.53. The scientific approach is the best approach to effectively understandexplained and unexplained phenomenon.54. Reality is what one believes.55. Teachers should always adapt and should be flexible in the learningenvironment.56. We learn best from experience.57. A strict, proven curricular format is necessary to ensure proper learning.58. Even though students learn at different rates, every student should beexposed to the same learning material.59. School environments should be void of any autocracy by the teachersand/or administration.60. Every child evolves at a different rate, both physically and mentally, andshould be free, without interference, to do so.61. Students learn best when given an incentive or reward.62. Students know what they need to know and should follow their beliefs.63. Teachers are in the best position to determine appropriate learningactivities.64. Our past dictates our future.65. Students do not do enough outside assignments for effective exposure tothe subject matter.66. The Socratic method of questioning should be utilized more in theclassroom to cultivate critical thinking skills.67. Student-to-student interaction is the best learning method.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 8668. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” because there is no standardizedscale for measuring beauty.69. Moral and ethical values are not inborn traits, but learned processes.70. Perceptions are everything in learning.71. Student success is a product of his/her environment regardless ofintellectual capability.72. Field trips should be utilized more often to enhance the learning process.73. All teachers of a given subject should teach the same content in order toestablish continuity of learning.74. Students learn by themselves under direct supervision of the teacher.75. Students learn better when grouped together than when separated forindividual investigation.76. Having a child feel good about himself/herself is more important thanwhat he/she learns.77. Standardized tests are the best measures of student achievement.78. There is no universal standard to describe beauty except in what oneperceives.79. A structured curriculum is best for students to learn.80. I hear and I forget–I see and I remember–I do and I understand.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 87ANSWER SHEETPlace each numbered response for the corresponding questions in theappropriate space below.ScaleStronglyDisagree Disagree Neutral AgreeStronglyAgree|--------1------------------2------------------3-----------------4------------------5-------|A B C D E F G H1.____ 2.____ 3.____ 4.____ 5.____ 6.____ 7.____ 8.____9.____ 10.____ 11.____ 12.____ 13.____ 14.____ 15.____ 16.____17.____ 18.____ 19.____ 20.____ 21.____ 22.____ 23.____ 24.____25.____ 26.____ 27.____ 28.____ 29.____ 30.____ 31.____ 32.____33.____ 34.____ 35.____ 36.____ 37.____ 38.____ 39.____ 40.____41.____ 42.____ 43.____ 44.____ 45.____ 46.____ 47.____ 48.____49.____ 50.____ 51.____ 52.____ 53.____ 54.____ 55.____ 56.____57.____ 58.____ 59.____ 60.____ 61.____ 62.____ 63.____ 64.____65.____ 66.____ 67.____ 68.____ 69.____ 70.____ 71.____ 72.____73.____ 74.____ 75.____ 76.____ 77.____ 78.____ 79.____ 80.____
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 88SCORINGStep 1Total points for each column and place in the appropriate blank below.A____ B____ C____ D____ E____ F____ G____ H____Step 2Place the total of each column in the corresponding blanks below.Major Philosophic Off-Shoots Major PhilosophiesColumn A = ____ Essentialist Column E = ____ BehavioristColumn B = ____ Perennialist Column F = ____ IdealistColumn C = ____ Progressivist Column G = ____ RealistColumn D = ____ Existentialist Column H = ____ PragmatistScores indicate your agreement or disagreement with a particular philosophicalpoint of view. The highest score indicates a more prominent consensus and thelowest score indicates a more prominent conflict. The highest possible scorefor any philosophical category is 50 and the lowest possible score is 10.Comparing the scores on the left to the scores on the right will offer aninteresting perspective concerning original philosophic views to the philoso-phic off-shoots. The participant is directed to corresponding sections within thetext for a review of philosophic convictions.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 89PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGKEY POINTS1. Philosophy is not a science; it is an attempt to understand the world.2. Educational philosophy is the application of formal philosophy to the fieldof education.3. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that deals with ultimate reality;epistemology focuses on knowledge, and axiology deals with the study ofvalues.4. Idealism, the philosophy of Plato, focuses on the search for truth.5. Realism, the philosophy of Aristotle, supports the notion that knowledgecan be gained through the senses and from deductive reasoning.6. Pragmatism is an American philosophy that is associated with humanexperience; John Dewey was a prominent pragmatist.7. Existentialism, an individualized philosophy, represents a radical departurefrom other schools of philosophy and focuses on the individual.8. Perennialism is an educational philosophy developed from realism, whilethe educational philosophy of essentialism is the basis for the back-to-the-basics movement in education.9. Progressivism is associated with problem-solving techniques, whilereconstructionism focuses on social reform.10. Basic philosophy and educational philosophy are directly related to whatoccurs in school classrooms.11. Philosophy directly impacts on curriculum and teaching practices.12. Some philosophies encourage a highly structured curriculum with closestudent monitoring, while others focus on limited structure and widefreedoms for students.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 90CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGA. OVERVIEWThis chapter provides basic information regarding philosophy and educationalphilosophy. It begins by discussing the basic philosophies, such as idealism andrealism, and then moves into a discussion of specific educational philosophies.B. KEY TERMS–DEFINITIONSANALYTICAL - allows the use of language to analyze words; currently thedominating activity of American and British philosophers; given to studying aproblem by breaking it down into its various parts.ANALYTICAL PHILOSOPHY - philosophy based on analytical activity.AXIOLOGY - area of philosophy that focuses on values.BEHAVIORAL ENGINEERING - a philosophy of education that focuses oncontrolling the learner’s environment.BEHAVIORISM - educational philosophy and practice that emphasizedreinforcing appropriate behavior or learning: includes the concepts of stimulusand response.ECLECTIC - selecting what appears to be the best doctrines, methods, styles,or philosophies.EPISTEMOLOGY - deals with knowledge; therefore, directly related to theinstructional methods employed by teachers.ESSENTIALISM - area of philosophy that believes a common core ofknowledge and ideals should be the focus of the curriculum.EXISTENTIALISM - philosophy that emphasizes individuals and individualdecision-making.IDEALISM - a philosophy that emphasizes global ideas related to moralteachings.METAPHYSICS - the branch of philosophy that deals with ultimate reality.ONTOLOGY - the study of what is real; the primary focus of metaphysicsdealing with what is real about material objects, the universe, persons, being,mind, existence, and so forth. Hard core reality.PERENNIALISM - educational philosophy that believes in the existence ofunchanging universal truths.PRAGMATISM - philosophy that focuses on practical application of knowledge.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 91PRESCRIPTIVE - attempts to establish standards for assessing values,judging conduct and appraising art: ordered with the force of authority.PROGRESSIVISM - educational philosophy emphasizing experience.RECONSTRUCTIONISM - educational philosophy calling for schools to getinvolved and support social reform.SPECULATIVE - considerate of possibilities and probabilities; philosophy isa search for orderliness applied to all knowledge; it applies systematic thinkingto everything that exists.SYNOPTIC - providing a general summary of data collected at many points topresent an overview.SYNTHESIS - assembling various parts into a whole; reasoning from self-evident propositions, laws or principles to arrive by a series of deductions atwhat one seeks to establish; enables educators to see the relationship of ideas topractice.C. SOME PRECEDING THOUGHTS1. What is Philosophy?Philosophy is the human being’s attempt to think most speculatively,reflectively, and systematically about the universe and the relationship tothat universe.Philosophy presents no proof; there are no theorems; there are noquestions that can be answered with yes or no.2. Why should educational philosophy be studied by prospective teachers?Studying educational philosophy can help teachers and other educatorsfocus on questions that are speculative, prescriptive, and analytical; it canhelp enlarge thoughts so better personal choices can be made; it helps inself-evaluation of beliefs and self-knowledge.3. What is the purpose of educational philosophy?The major role of philosophy in education is to help develop the educator’sthinking capacity.4. What are the three branches of philosophy?Metaphysics–deals with ultimate reality.Epistemology–deals with the nature of knowledge.Axiology–the study of values.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 925. What are the major schools of philosophy?Idealism–certain universal absolute concepts.Realism–work is governed by various laws, known or unknown.Pragmatism–primarily an American philosophy; scientific analysis,learning through experience.Existentialism–believe students should control much of what goes on.6. What are the major schools of educational philosophy?Perennialism–a developed form of realism; the universal aim of educationis truth.Essentialism–the three R’s should be the core of the curriculum.Progressivism–do not believe there is a need to search for eternal truths:emphasizes innovative education.Reconstructionism–calls for schools to get involved with and supportsocial reform.Behaviorism–manipulating people through the use of punishment andreward.Behavioral Engineering–control the learner’s environment to conditionresponses.7. Which schools of general philosophy gave rise to schools ofeducational philosophy?Idealism–Reconstructionism.Realism–Perennialism.Pragmatism–Progressivism, Essentialism.Existentialism–Pseudo or Authentic.8. What is the role of teachers?Just about anyone can read a teacher’s guide and present information in asensible order. Understanding why it is presented in a particular way, if itshould be presented in a particular way, or if it should be presented at allrequires a different kind of knowledge.9. How does educational philosophy influence teachers’ actions?Philosophy impacts education through both teaching methods andcurriculum. While some teachers use a hodgepodge approach to teaching,most consistently adhere to a certain philosophical approach, even thoughthey may not realize it. Their methods and curriculum usually can beassociated with a specific school of philosophy.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 9310. What is your philosophy of life?Philosophic Questions Branches of PhilosophyAre human beings basically good oris the essential nature of the humanbeing evil?What is the nature of reality?(Metaphysics–ontology)What causes certain events in theuniverse to happen?What is the nature of reality?(Metaphysics–cosmology)What is your relationship to theuniverse?What is the nature of reality?(Metaphysics–cosmology)What is your relationship to a higherbeing (God)?What is the nature of reality?(Metaphysics–ontology)To what extent is your life basicallyfree?What is the nature of reality?(Metaphysics–ontology)How is reality determined? What is the nature of reality?(Metaphysics–ontology)What is your basic purpose in life? What is the nature of reality?(Metaphysics–ontology)How is knowledge determined? What is the nature of knowledge?(Epistemology)What is truth? What is the nature of knowledge?(Epistemology)What are the limits of knowledge? What is the nature of knowledge?(Epistemology)What is the relationship betweencognition and knowledge?What is the nature of knowledge?(Epistemology)Are certain moral or ethical valuesuniversal?What is the nature of values?(Axiology–ethics)How is beauty determined? What is the nature of values?(Axiology–aesthetics)What constitutes aesthetic value? What is the nature of values?(Axiology–aesthetics)Who determines what is right, just, orgood?What is the nature of values?(Axiology–ethics)
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 9411. What are two essential needs individuals need to fulfill?1. To love and be loved.2. To feel worthwhile to self and others.12. What are the elements of Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues?1. Temperance – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoidtrifling conversation.3. Order – Let all your things have their place; let each part of yourbusiness have its time.4. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform withoutfailing what you resolve.5. Frugality – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e.,waste nothing.6. Industry – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cutoff all unnecessary actions.7. Sincerity – Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if youspeak, speak accordingly.8. Justice – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that areyour duty.9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much asyou think they deserve.10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.11. Tranquility – Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common orunavoidable.12. Chastity – Rarely use “very” but for health or offspring, never todullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace orreputation.13. Humility – Imitate Jesus and Socrates.Franklin attempted to take each of the above weekly and could repeatthe cycle four times yearly. By the end of thirteen weeks he wasimplementing all thirteen.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 95D. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES1. What is your philosophy of education?2. Relate your philosophy of education to a formal, general philosophy, andan educational philosophy.3. How does your philosophy of education impact your behavior in theclassroom?
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 96E. REVIEW ITEMSTrue-False1. Educational philosophy is rooted in general philosophy.2. The three main branches of philosophy are Metaphysics, Epistemology,and Axiology.3. Plato is considered the father of Idealism.4. The bases of Pragmatism lie in the progressive movement in the UnitedStates.5. Progressivism is based on the search for eternal truths.Multiple Choice1. The form of philosophy that establishes standards for assessing values,judging content, and appraising art is _______.a. analytic b. speculative c. prescriptive d. synthetic2. The branch of philosophy that focuses on knowledge is _______.a. Metaphysics b. Epistemology c. Axiologyd. Pragmatism3. The most American philosophy is _______.a. Idealism b. Realism c. Pragmatism d. Existentialism4. Perennialism, like _______, holds that subject matter should be the centerof education.a. Existentialism b. Realism c. Essentialismd. all of the above5. The emphasis in synoptic philosophy is in _______.a. seeing relationships b. discerning a gestaltc. removing inconsistencies d. all of the aboveF. PHILOSOPHIES OF EDUCATION – A Penetrating AnalysisSource: Kritsonis, W.A., & DeMoulin, D. (1996). Philosophies of education. Ashland, OH: BookMasters,Inc. Adapted with special permission.1. Foreword on Philosophies of Education.Education operates under the scrutiny of every leader and every citizen.All societies support education in some way, although not with the sameintensity. Schools are the reflections of a nation. Education affects each
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 97nation’s society and determines the status of the masses, as well as thestatus of the individuals.In early times, education was a means for survival; children were taughtthe necessary skills for living. Philosophers were sources of knowledgeand wisdom. Although they did not provide specific answers, philosophersoffered avenues for serious inquiry into ideas and traditions inrationalizing human actions. They suggested that solving problems couldbe achieved through critical and reflective thought, and the pursuit ofwisdom.Educational philosophy is a way of examining ideas, proposals, andrecommendations for learning and how best to use them in the educationalsetting. Philosophy of education, therefore, is the application of ideas oridea systems to educational problems. The study of philosophy helpseducators understand the best avenues for success, realizing that no clear-cut answers to philosophical problems are provided. It does not guaranteebetter thinkers or educators; however, it does provide assistance inthinking more clearly. The roles of philosophy include:a. to examine critically the intellectual tools of any given era;b. to suggest alternative methods of thinking;c. to develop sensitivity to the logic and language we use in constructingsolutions to problems in education and society.The purpose of this section is to serve the reader as a basic guide for betterunderstanding philosophy.2. Philosophical Thoughts of Encouragement.When you get into a tight place and it seems you can’t go on . . . hold onfor that’s just the place and the time when the tide will turn.Harriet Beecher StoweThe lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. UnknownIf there is no wind, row. UnknownHe only never fails who never attempts. UnknownOur greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall.Confucius3. Introduction to Philosophies of Education.People express opinions and maintain certain beliefs concerning what isright and what is good. These opinions have remained in a state of debateand occasionally in a state of confusion concerning interpretation.Individual philosophers have left supportive, yet contradictory marksthroughout the slow and tedious climb of philosophical expression. Many
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 98of these past thoughts and practices are operating in present-dayeducational settings. We, as humans, are still searching for the ideal,workable system that will satisfy the present and will be flexible for thefuture.The popular view of philosophy is perplexing. One side views philosophyin pure veneration and awe, while other sides view it with enjoyment oreven suspicion. Also, the popular view has been obscured in many of thethings philosophers themselves have expressed about philosophy.The word “philosophy” comes from two Greek words meaning “love ofwisdom.” Philosophy is a theoretical or logical analysis of the principlesunderlying conduct, thought, knowledge, and the nature of the universe.Philosophy is the belief system that a person develops concerningexistence, reality in the world, truth, knowledge, honesty, logic, ethics,thought processes, and aesthetics. In other words, a philosophy of life oreducation guides a person’s fundamental belief system that serves to helpone answer life’s most perplexing questions.What, then, is a good definition of philosophy? The answer to this questionhas been a heated debate for many centuries. Philosophy, like art, religion,or law, is difficult to define. Therefore, it is probably best to offer samplequestions that philosophy tries to answer.What constitutes the making of a good life? What constitutes universallaw? Where do justice, morals, or beauty come into the picture? Wheredoes truth fit into the scheme of things? And is there a reason for ourexistence in the universe of knowledge?These questions are by no means a finite list, but they do propose some ofthe perpetual inquiries pertaining to philosophy. One does not need toexplore philosophy in order to question certain viewpoints concerningnature, existence, or truth. These are questions that occur anytime,anyplace and often without advanced warning. This can lead manyindividuals to discover similar viewpoints about basic ideas and/ orstandards. Our primary pass-time, then, is to question the rights andprivileges of others. This is what gives philosophy its fancy and interest,and it is also the basic reason why philosophy often provides the avenuefor frequent upheaval in everyday happenings.It is the nature of man, therefore, to pass the blame of life’s happenings tosome outside force controlled by an unknown entity. However, somephilosophers believe that happenings on this earth are products of previousconditions. Individuals like to think of things in a concrete manner, but aswe know from science, matter is composed of concealed fields of force
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 99that do not exhibit familiar traits or function in ways that are accepted ascommon occurrences. Does this phenomenon make our everydayexperience less meaningful?Philosophy can be thought of as an ordered attempt to explain and arrangecertain beliefs and to incorporate them into everyday functions. Everyfacet of knowledge has some sort of philosophical beginning, and askingphilosophical questions is not limited to philosophers. Why should theyhave all the fun and excitement of trying to explain the functions of life?There is no boundary for philosophical examinations, but philosophy isgenerally divided into the main groups of Ethics, Aesthetics, Logic,Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Axiology.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 100a. Ethics – the study of what is morally good and right and the reasoningto explain our moral conduct. It is usually associated with the socialand political aspects of life. Ethics and education are integrated innumerous ways. For example, ethical inquiries need to be examined todetermine the intention of education; principals should behave ethicallytoward teachers and students; teachers and students should behaveethically toward one another and to the principal; the educationalenvironment should be designed ethically to promote morally good andright behaviors, and so forth.b. Aesthetics – deals with the question, “What is beauty?” It also pertainsto the foundation on which judgment is based. Some individuals areable to articulate the encounters they are having as worthwhile becausethey provide moments of imaginatively enriched perceptions. Othersare either unwilling or are incapable of interpreting the reasons for theirenjoyment or displeasure; many times they are unsure of their feelings.They may find some immediate fulfillment but are incapable ofarticulating what they have experienced or of expressing those feelingsinto words.c. Logic – relates to the development of a distinct set of practices andboundaries that allow the practitioners to express curiosities with asense of exactness (thinking effectively). From these expressions,inferences can be created from given assumptions. Ambiguity is moreor less illuminated from thought to allow a more powerfulrepresentative language to come through. The fire of logic is seen as apurifier of thought, fading into the depths of knowledge, and trying touncover the meaning of certain claims about the universe and ourexistence (What do we believe? What should we do? What should wesay? and so on).d. Epistemology – concerns itself with what constitutes knowledge andhow we arrive at it. It promotes the concept of each assisting others inattaining knowledge. Because each individual manifests certainknowledge capabilities, it is within our nature to uncover the bestavenue to share that knowledge. This fundamental concept has animportant bearing on how we think and act. Although such a simplisticview of knowledge is virtually impossible today, we have madesignificant attempts to investigate and understand knowledge. Thebroad definition of knowledge allows each individual the basis forjudgment and critical reflection.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 101e. Metaphysics – the study of the most generic qualities of events. It is anattempt to provide theory or groups of rational principles that accountfor everything that exists. It is the study of the Being as a whole. Thequarrel against the metaphysical belief is that it is sometimesconsidered the most inclusive of all studies–describing the supremecharacter of things.f. Axiology – the study of what is of value. It is an attempt to examine therules of proper conduct. Societies reward or punish behavior as itdeviates from or conforms to perceptions of what is of most value.Whatever one may think of philosophy, it has maintained durability, ifonly in interest. Whether in an attack or a defense mode, it is likely toreveal basic views about the character of the universe and the basicresponsibilities regarding proper conduct for the essence of life.In trying to make sense of the many different philosophical positions,one could spend an extreme amount of time in reflection. It does seemimperative, however, to become familiar with some of thephilosophical ideas that have impacted our past and that have set inmotion the path of the future.4. Activities for Philosophies of Education.a. Activity 1Write a basic definition of philosophy. In small groups, comparedefinitions and try to reach a compromise on one basic definition.b. Activity 2Write a brief definition for the following areas.AestheticsLogicEpistemologyMetaphysicsAxiologyShare these definitions with others to see how they compare.5. Philosophical Thoughts of Encouragement.Out of your weakness shall come your strength. The BibleThe force of the waves is in their persistence. Gila GuriMany strokes, though with a little axe, hews down and fells the hardesttimbered oak. Shakespeare
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 102Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Henry FordThe greater the obstacle, the more the glory in overcoming it. ConfuciusHome is not a place, it is a moment in time. Draw your strength from thatmoment in time. Annette Marchand6. The Philosophies of Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, and Existentialism.The world has been saturated with philosophical doctrines created mostlyby individuals seeking to explain man’s role or existence. However, of themany philosophical approaches, only a select few cannot be traced. Hence,the majority of the Western philosophical views can be associated withfour primary philosophies: Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, andExistentialism. These four views constitute the basis for explanation anddiscussion of other less prominent branches within this text.a. The Influence of SocratesNo study of philosophy would be complete without mentioningSocrates. It was he who provided inspiration and guidance to othersfrom his teachings.Socrates was a Greek philosopher and teacher, and a controversialfigure in present-day interpretation of Greek thought. He was born inAthens about 469 BC, the son of a stone-mason and, for a time,practiced the trade himself.Material goods were unimportant for Socrates and he had little respectfor social status. He left no writings of his own and probably nevermade any. All that is known about Socrates is taken from his fineststudents, Plato and Aristotle.After Socrates became interested in philosophy, he began discussing itwith anyone who would listen. He did not teach in an ordinary sensebecause he did not collect fees, give any formal instruction, hold anyclasses, or give any lectures. He simply asked questions and woulddominate an argument at any time. His method of inquiry (Socraticquestioning) allows the individual to seek answers otherwise notconsidered. His influence is still a major factor in thought and inteaching.People often asked his advice on matters of practical conduct andeducational problems. Socrates believed that he himself was an inquirerwho knew nothing and had nothing to teach, but regarded everyquestion as an open question and all ideas open to challenge. Althoughhe was ready to converse with anyone, above all he welcomed thecompany of the inquisitive youth. Socrates discussed only human
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 103concerns, which included what makes humans good as individuals oras citizens. His discussions were much like cross-examinations.Socrates asked questions to make people think about things they hadtaken for granted. He was the first to raise the problem of definitionand always sought essence and demonstrative proofs. Socrates had astrong belief that virtue was knowledge. To Socrates, perfection was inthe knowledge of good and evil. Pleasure was mistaken for good whenit was not really good, according to Socrates and his friends. In thisfield of conduct, education was not teaching, it was opening the souland clearing its vision from the distorting mists of prejudice and fromthe conceit of knowledge that is really no more than second-handopinion. He was merely undermining the morality of obedience toauthority and of conformity to custom. Socrates felt that ignorance leftman no better than a slave.Socrates concentrated on physical descriptions of the universe andmoved forward to ethical and logical inquiries. He believed that aperson should make the best of himself and then move on. Learningwas not perceived as remembering answers but as searching for them.Self-control was very important to Socrates, as well as the study oflanguage and rhetoric. Rhetoric and language were the keys to privateand political success.Socrates had many young friends. Because of his controversialmethods, Socrates was accused by his government of corrupting theminds of adolescents and also of introducing new gods to Athens.Socrates was condemned to die by drinking Hemlock; however, hecould have avoided death if he chose to go into exile. He refused to doso and was said to have died in 399 BC. Socrates died believing thattrue self was not the body but the soul. In any case, his independencewill always be admired.b. The Basic Philosophy of IdealismIdealism was the dominant philosophy of the thinkers of westerncivilizations during the latter half of the 19thcentury. Idealists believethat external reality must be understood through the medium of thehuman mind. When humans come into relationship with whateverexists, the human mind functions to grasp the nature of reality. Thethree key words of idealism are growth, imitation, and maturity. Byimitating a model of behavior, we mature and grow toward an idealthat contains the perfection of virtues.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 104Idealism applies to any theory that views the world as being made upof mind, spirit, or reason. True knowledge to the idealist is a coherent,systematic interpretation of events. Values come as a result of anindividual’s perception of attainment and enjoyment in his/herexperiences. The idealist feels that to learn is to distinguish amongvalues because some values are a matter of personal preference whileothers are absolute regardless of time, place, and circumstance.The main goal of idealism is for the “finite person” to develop into an“infinite person.” One accomplishes this feat through the process ofeducation. The philosophy of an idealist education, therefore, is tocultivate the personality. Education is seen as perfecting humanity inthe image of an ideal. The aim is infinite, the process is endless andeducation is a means to an end.There are many common grounds on which most idealists agree.Idealists feel ultimate reality is of the same substance as ideals. Behindthe astonishing world is an infinite Spirit or ideal that is bothsubstructure and creator of the cosmos. Hence, Idealists believe thatthey are spirits, but that they are also finite.Concerning knowledge, idealists believe that man can achieve truth byexamining personal ideas and testing personal consistency. Value andmeaning are obtained by relating parts as wholes.Idealism is a mental approach to philosophy. One does not directlyknow circumstances around him/her. These formalities are conceivedin relation to personal experience.c. Major Contributors to Idealism1. Formal IdealismPlato. Plato is considered to be the first and foremost Idealist.Platonic Idealism rests on the distinction between appearance andreality. Out of his analysis of this distinction grew his theory ofideas.Plato has been often called the Prince of Philosophy due to certainfundamental questions that he explored. These questions are stillbeing examined today. He lived from 427 BC to 346 BC, but manyof the biographically important events in his life remain hidden ormust be inferred from his writings. His lifetime corresponded withthe Golden Age of Athenian democracy; a time of plagues, winlessconfrontations, and revolutions.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 105Plato came from a family of high distinction. However, the politicalenvironment exuded a counterrevolutionary tone where democracywas synonymous with corruption and the class system. It was at thistime that Plato concluded that mankind would find no cessationfrom evil until either the real philosophers gain political control orelse the politicians become, by some miracle, real philosophers.One of the great influences on the life of Plato was the life andteachings of Socrates. However, Plato altered the Socratic faith asmuch as it altered him, modifying this Socratic ideal of philosophyinto a new Platonic system.Plato believed that these formal structures, grasped by the mindalone, were more knowable and more real than the changeablematerial objects that are grasped through the senses. He emphasizedthat men should concern themselves with the search for truthbecause truth is, in essence, perfect and eternal. He consideredmathematics as an eternal truth because it represents one area thatpeople can agree. It also represents a balance that approaches theideal in the world of chaos.Plato believed that critical discussion (dialectic) helps one movetoward the Good (considered to be the source of all true knowledge)by advancing from mere opinion to true knowledge. Dialecticprovides the impetus to examine both sides of an issue. Throughdialogue, Plato felt that individuals would come closer toagreement, therefore closer to the truth.The Platonic aim of developing the power of reason is evident inour educational system. Plato believed that proper educationsupersedes law. There would be no need to dictate laws to humansof good breeding, for they will find out for themselves whatregulations would be needed. Good breeding develops through asound educational system that produces reasonable humans. Oncesuch a system is established, each repetition can lead to betterhumans until the ideal representation is reached for whom no lawsare needed.Plato believed that intelligence was determined genetically and thateach person was born with a soul. This soul, either of gold, silver,or bronze determined his or her capacity to rise through theeducation system. He advocated strong censorship by thegovernment to protect this ideal educational system from corruptiveinnovations. Education ideas in his Republic were never adoptedand, at one point, some were labeled reactionary.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 106The rulers in Plato’s Republic were to be the steadiest, bravest,most handsome and most gifted for the task of governing. This elite“Philosopher King” group would be sifted from the masses atdifferent levels of the educational program. This systemincorporated a ruling group of gold, an administrative group ofsilver and the free laboring class of bronze–following his concept ofpredetermined intelligence. Since one’s composition would bedetermined by birth rites, only the elite would be educated to thetask of ruling. Their education would continue throughout theirlifetimes to fit them best for their specialty. Others would not begiven the opportunity for such an advanced education.This scenario is extremely out of line with modern principles ofdemocracy. Most Americans believe that all individuals should beeducated for the task of governing, since America is of a “rule bythe people” conviction. Plato would think it impossible for allindividuals to be capable of ruling and making choices. He mighthave speculated that instead of one class of elite rulers, Americanshave been led to believe that the majority of people help establishthe continuity of the country when, in reality, only a hand full ofindividuals actually control the power. Plato advocated that whenthe people falsely believe that they can think for themselves, theybecome even more susceptible to propaganda and advertising.Plato would argue that, since we believe that special talent andspecial training are required for mastery of the arts and crafts, weshould also see the need for such mastery in our leaders. This lineof reasoning seems convincing, and it is one area that is impossibleto disprove. Nevertheless, one can point to the greatness andlongevity of American democracy as a practical example of thebenefit of education of the masses.The writings of Plato are historically divided into three periods. Thedialogues occupy the first period. These writings exemplify theSocratic method in that the definitions of general notions are given.A dialogue may take the question, “What is beauty” and exploremany facets of it, answering in tones of philosophical grandeur.The middle-period writings are filled with lively dramatizations andargumentation. During this phase, Plato began to espouse a positive,philosophical doctrine. The Republic, perhaps Plato’s most well-known work, is found here.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 107The third period concerns itself with sophisticated issues. Thewritings consider grammatical and semantic matters. Questions oftruth and falsehood abound.As history unfolds itself, it is clear the middle period of Plato’s lifecontained the most dramatic philosophies. He developed the viewof an ideal society or state and devoted substantial space to the endsand means of education. Some historians think that the Republic is ablueprint for a totalitarian state, but educators have hailed it as thefoundation for advanced education.Plato managed to separate the world of things, as they are, from theworld of ideas where things are perfect. He believed the ultimateend of all education is insight into the harmonious order of thewhole world. In other words, the main role of education is todevelop the ability to bring to consciousness the knowledge hiddenwithin the soul. True knowledge, therefore, is not perceived by thesenses, but is discovered by reason. Plato sees the sensory world ascontinually changing and not as eternal.Consequently, Plato established within his curriculum subjects thathe thought would accomplish his desired aim. He held thatgeometry, arithmetic, astronomy, music, and solid geometry werethe subjects that held the power of turning the soul’s eye from thematerial world to objects of pure thought. These areas were the onlytrue sciences to him. The natural sciences were not justified becausethe sensory world could not hold exact and eternal truths.2. Religious IdealismSaint Augustine. Saint Augustine, a Roman Catholic, believed thatwe should release ourselves from the world of Man and enter intothe world of God. He proposed the use of meditation and faith asthe means to the end. This classification can be tied to Easternphilosophy since the Judeo-Christian faith is characterized byultimate reality in God with the soul as the bridge to this ultimatereality.The Roman Catholic church was influenced by the philosophy ofIdealism. The concern of the church was that mankind inherited thesin of Adam and was continuously engaged in a struggle to regainpurity. Augustine emphasized that the world of God is the Good towhich Plato referred. He believed that the world of Man is thematerial world of darkness, sin, ignorance and suffering and manshould try to enter the world of God through meditation and faith.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 108This, he concluded, is because knowledge was created by God andcan only be found trying to find God.3. Subjective IdealismGeorge Berkeley. George Berkeley (1685-1753) is thought to haveintroduced subjective Idealism to the world. Berkeley, an Episcopalminister, related that matter did not exist except through the mind.All knowledge that a human has of an object is his/her sensations ofit. He argued that ideas exist only in human consciousness.Berkeley believed that all existence was dependent on some mind tocomprehend it and that nothing would exist unless it was perceivedby God; there was no existence without this perception. The ideasand spirit had been profaned by science that created atheists. Hispurpose was to prove that God is the true cause of all things.4. Absolute IdealismGeorge Wilhelm Friedreich Hegel. George Wilhelm FriedreichHegel (1770-1831) promoted this branch of philosophy. Hegel wasa German-born philosopher and one of the most influential thinkersof recent times. Hegel considered evil necessary to stimulate changein order to bring about God. Thus, the human mind grows and theworld improves. In a contended state, there is insufficientcontradiction to stimulate improvement.Hegel believed that humankind was made for achievement, not forhappiness to achieve. For this belief, humans should be willing torisk revolution. Convinced that “the times make the man,” Hegelwas confident that a leader would arise to synthesize the forces andto bring harmony out of chaos.Hegel affirmed that logic, nature, and spirit were necessary to hisbelief and that thought was a continuum and not a series of unions.He suggested that nature is the difference between value and factand he did not view logic and nature as separate. He believed thatspirit was the final absolute and the final end toward which anyonecan move (search for the Absolute Spirit).5. Modern IdealismJosiah Royce. Modern Idealism can be traced to Josiah Royce(1855-1916) and Herman Harrell Horne (1874-1946). Royce was aspokesman for Hegelian Idealism and maintained that the externalmeaning of a thing depends entirely on its internal meaning–anembodiment of purpose. This internal essence is all mental. Royce
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 109believed that ideas were purposes or plans of action that have beenput into action and that one of the most important things for humansto develop is a sense of loyalty to moral principles and causes. Heregarded a human’s purpose as teacher of how individuals canbecome active ingredients in the purposes of life.Herman Harrell Horne. Herman Horne demonstrated a wideinterest in questions of religion and education, and this interest wasreflected in the more than 20 publications bearing his name. Hebelieved that not only knowledge but also reality was idealisticrather than actual. Further, reality, if found only in reason, permitshumans to reconcile contradictions into a more harmoniousrelationship throughout the universe.Modern Idealism can be described as systematization andsubjectivism. The belief is that matter cannot exist except as a formof mind.6. Other ContributorsRené Descartes. René Descartes (1596-1650) challenged theCatholic Doctrines. He searched for undoubtable ideas because ofhis methodical doubt of all things, including his existence.Descartes brought forth the idiom, “I think, therefore I am.” Heemphasized that any idea depended on other ideas because theyreferred to another idea; the only idea that did not refer was thePerfect Being (God), the source of all things. Descartes believed intwo principles: Cogito, or the undoubtability of human thought; andDeity, or the foundation of all objects of thought.Immanuel Kant. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) believed therationalist thinks analytically while the empiricist thinkssynthetically. He considered the mind is conscious of theexperience of the thing-in-itself and that each experience of a thingis one additional piece of knowledge about the total thing. All weknow, he contended, is the content of experience.Kant found it impossible to make universal and necessaryjudgments about human experience purely on rational and scientificgrounds. He believed that man’s most difficult problem iseducation. He affirmed that each person should treat others as anend and never as a means. He viewed education as importantbecause humans were the only beings that needed it. The disciplewas a primary ingredient and the education of children wasnecessary to improve the future. Kant firmly established the need to
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 110teach a child to think according to principles and the importance forchildren to perform their duties toward oneself and others.7. Implications for EducationThe educational philosophy of Idealism focuses on three concerns:(a) who should be responsible for education, (b) who should betaught, and (c) what should be the curriculum. The aim of educationto the idealist is to assist in the development of the mind and self ofthe pupil, and to assist in attaining the good life of the Spirit. Theschools are to emphasize intellectual activities, moral judgment,aesthetic judgment, self-realization, individual freedom, individualresponsibility and self- control.The curriculum must be based on the idea of the spiritual nature ofhumans and must draw on both sources of truth and right opinionfor its subject matter. Truth is preserved in a literary intellectualinheritance. This inheritance is characterized by performance andstability. The prime purpose is to teach students to think—to teachskills that develop conceptual ability.Education must preserve the subject matter content that is essentialfor the development of the individual mind. The chiefcharacteristics are constant subjects, required subjects, individualdifferences, normative, cultural enrichment, and logicalorganization. Greater emphasis is placed on aesthetics. The actualcontent of the subject is less important than the teacher or purposefor which it is taught. Every human experience cannot be includedin a school’s curriculum. This leaves educators to employ a processof selection and the school’s curriculum should contain the mostrewarding, the most formative experiences. When students leave theschool, they should be cultivated human beings ready to transcendthe realm of nature to engage in the world of thought, ready toassume their obligations as good citizens and ready to see thebeauty and hold in awe the mysteries of the universe. More thananything else, they will be persons ruled by thought.To a great extent, the teacher is central in the idealist pattern ofeducation. The teacher is more the key to the educative process thanany other element comprising it. The teacher is in the singularposition of determining what the student’s opportunities forlearning and growing shall be.Teachers must lead their students toward a fuller understanding oftheir own capacities, help them see more clearly what they may
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 111become as persons, and give them the confidence for realizing thevisions they have of themselves.In schooling’s first years, idealists maintain, teachers come close tocreating an educational environment for their students, but aslearning proceeds and as students become better equipped to meetlearning on their own terms, teachers should prudently withdraw.They should know when students need them and when they arebetter left alone.The idealist teacher must possess:a. a personification for the child;b. knowledge of pupils;c. excellent technical skills;d. dexterity that commands the respect of the pupil;e. friendship of the individual student;f. the ability to awaken a desire to learn in each pupil;g. a spiritual relationship with God in perfecting mankind;h. the ability to communicate with his/her pupils;i. the appreciation of the subjects he or she teaches.Idealist teachers are tolerant not only of the mistakes their studentswill inevitably make, but of opinions differing from their own.Teachers should guide and stimulate the students to search forpersonal solutions to the problems life poses. And at the same time,these teachers should be alert to the requirements of logic and thedemands of truth and should never be ready to sell either at adiscount.The student is the foremost concern. Idealists say that educationactually takes place within the self of the pupil, that is to say thatwhat students do in reaction to what is done to them constitutes thecore of education. Consequently, for the idealist, all education isself-education. The development of mind is from within out, notfrom without in. The teacher may lead the pupil to the fonts oflearning, but the teacher cannot make the pupil drink its juices.Teaching is not so much the cause of learning as it is the occasionor condition of learning. The cause of learning is the pupil and thepupil’s effort. The ultimate responsibility for winning in educationrests with the will of the pupil. The educational process is,therefore, not so much the stimulus shaping the individual as the
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 112individual responding to the stimulus. Growth can come onlythrough self-activity and self-direction.Self-activity leading to self-development, according to idealists, isnot an abstract process having little relation to bodily or temporalfactors. To develop the self certainly includes development of thebody and fully embraces physical education. But, development ofthe body is limited to developing and strengthening what is giventhe individual at birth. Education cannot add to the nerve cells ofthe brain, but it can fully develop capacities for which potential isgiven to the individual.Educational philosophers must have some understanding of thehuman capacity before they can say anything about the purpose ofeducation or the kind of learning most suitable for the formation ofhuman beings. Plato, although uncertain of the good to be reaped,spoke of the sensibleness in educating both boys and girls.Depending on their talent, persons of either sex could go all the wayto the top of the intellectual ladder by capitalizing on the chancesthey had for forming their minds.The basic principle of idealism is to recognize the superiority ofmind over matter, so it must be in a person’s mind that education iscommissioned to cultivate. When idealists speak of education beinga cultivating agent, there is no intention to restrict this cultivatingfunction solely to schools. The whole society is a teacher and thissocial teaching may be far superior to any other teaching thatindividuals will ever have and self-realization is the central aim.Social inheritance contains a kind of information incomparable toall subjects taught in school. Education is a social enterprise and itsprinciple purpose is to immerse all persons in society into themainstream of the cultural and intellectual inheritance. A great dealof teaching from the idealist view is informal and no school canever take its place.Idealism promotes a system of learning that stresses questioningand discussion, lecture, and individual and group projects. Thepupil is a spiritual being that possesses a uniqueness. Thisuniqueness involves the belief that the pupil is in the process ofbecoming. Therefore, a child is neither good nor evil at birth andthe potential for good or evil depends upon the environment.Idealists cannot guarantee that human beings will always act fortheir own good or for the good of their society despite an internal
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 113motivation to do so. But the idealist’s philosophy permeates thefoundation on which genuinely human life must always stand.7. Basic Philosophy of Realism.Whether something is “real,” whether it exists and in what sense it existsscarcely constitutes a problem for people most of the time. Whensomething is either unclear or in dispute, the reality of a given thing orevent is the central issue.Realism has been pictured as a critical philosophy in which truth isdetermined scientifically. It respects both the scientific product and thescientific method. Like idealism, it is based on absolute truths; and likepragmatism, it is an experience-based philosophy that requiresexperimentation. However, behind all disputes about what should orshould not be done are certain assumptions of “what is.” Realismproclaims that objects of perception are objects and contain real existenceoutside the mind. This idea was developed in opposition to all forms ofidealism.The idea of inter-penetration between the world and the consciousness,body, and mind is one whose full implications are still being explored. Theequation between the two spheres of body and mind, if infinitely subtle,may be inexpressible and seems not to exist. Perhaps there is a degree ofperception that what is real and what is imagined are one in the same.Most persons divide the world into two kinds of reality. One is taken to bea world of objective fact in which the world is asserted to existindependent of any knower. A fact simply is, and is, in no way, affected bybeing known.Quite apart from the world of fact existing independently of humans isanother world in which reality is internal. This world usually encompassesartistic values, performance in music, taste, and other phenomena that arepersonal or subjective in nature. This world is seen as having norelationship with the world of facts and belonging exclusively to one’sprivate judgment. In this world, what is good is good for me.The position that Realism has historically opposed is the belief that realityis internal. The core of the realistic position is that reality is something thatexists external to mind, thought, observation, or belief. Realists usuallymaintain that ultimate reality is a thing whose structure or function isindependent of any knower. Realists assert that a thing exists first and thatknowledge of reality is simply a mental picture of the object.The central core of realism is referred to as the Theory of Independence.This theory is a simple and unqualified assertion that ultimate reality is
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 114independent of any knower. Frederick Breed, a 20th-century realist,promoted a concept for the realist that becoming known is an event thathappens to things assumed to exist prior to and independently of the act ofknowing.Present-day realism is a complex, highly refined position that is usuallygrounded in some theoretical description of a method of physical andnatural sciences. Realists prefer to adhere closely to what might be called ahard-line stance with scientific theory. It is based on the assumption thathowever difficult it is to pierce through inaccurate observations,preconceived ideas, and variable perceptions, reality can be known in itsown terms. What is said about reality and what reality is may or may notbe the same thing. When reality corresponds precisely to a “what is”concept, we are speaking of truth.Truth is a perfect copy of what exists. This theory of truth is referred to asThe Correspondence Theory and is the test for true, reliable, andaccurate knowledge. Therefore, reality is not invented; it is discoveredthrough observation by logical means following logical scientificprocedures. In some cases, observations need not be careful or lengthy, forit does not take much observation to determine that a bucket of water islarger than a drop of water. However, in other cases, reality is discoveredby careful, systematic, and controlled observation. This process involvesperforming certain operations in a precise manner.8. Major Contributors to Realism.a. Classical TraditionAristotle. Aristotle was born in 384 BC and died in 322 BC, the son ofa physician. He was sent to study at Plato’s academy about 367 BC andremained there until Plato’s death. Aristotle followed Plato’s traditions,but as his life experiences dictated, he developed his own style andphilosophy.Aristotle’s writings, as Plato’s, are divided into three periods. In manyof his writings, he followed Plato’s model, but his own style wasindeed at work. Popular writings are contained in the first division.The second division contains memoranda and collections of materialwith just enough research to introduce the third category wherescientific and philosophical treatises emerge. Aristotle applied naturalhistory to animals and metaphysics and came to the conclusion that thebody is an instrument of the soul. For this, he is often referred to as thefirst biologist. Scientists and philosophers have long referred to hisworks for information and inspiration.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 115Even though Aristotle was a student of Plato, it is evident from thestudy of these two philosophers that many of their ideas and theoriesare different. Plato viewed philosophy from the perspective of the artistwhile Aristotle’s view was from that of a scientist. Plato’s philosophyis embedded in an art form itself—that of dialogue, while Aristotletreated philosophic problems in a cold, analytical prose style. Plato wasintent on the ideal; whereas, Aristotle was grounded in the reality.Aristotle contributed a great deal to the development of philosophy inancient Greece. As a student of Plato, he spent some 20 years studyingand teaching. Aristotle established a school called the Lyceum.Aristotle believed that a proper study of matter could lead to better andmore distinct ideas (forms). Forms, such as the idea of God or of a tree,can exist without matter, but there can be no matter without form. Eachpiece of matter has both a universal and a particular property. Particularproperties of one acorn differentiate it from other acorns; that is, size,shape, color, weight, and so forth. These forms are the non-materialaspects of each particular object that relate to all other particularobjects of that class.Aristotle believed that one could understand form by studyingparticular material things. He argued that the form of things, theuniversal properties of objects, remain constant and never change;whereas, particular components do change. He contended that formwas within particular matter and was even the motivating force of thatmatter.Aristotle also believed that each object has a tiny soul that directed it inthe right way. The deeper one goes into the matter, the more one is ledto philosophy. His two extremes (too much and too little) constitutedhis belief that one should strive for the Golden Mean (the properperspective or a path between the extremes). When the Golden Mean isreached, balance, the central component to his view, is assured andthis, in his mind, produces good citizens.Aristotle believed that organic development was the tool ofunderstanding and that reality existed in individual things that were inthe process of change. He regarded the natural world and the pursuit ofhuman interests in this world as the only subjects worthy of humanconcern. He wrote nothing directly on education, but references toeducation appear throughout his works. He felt that education wasdesigned to preserve the stability of the state, to create goodcitizenship, and to prevent revolutions. Children, like young animals,needed training in good habits, with experiences selected for them to
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 116help them find happiness in a secure state. Aristotle did not considerhimself a reformer, but a scientist.Aristotle proclaimed four causes: Material, the matter from whichsomething is made; Formal, the design that shapes the material object;Efficient Cause, the agent that produces the object; and Final Cause,the direction toward which the object is tending. He believed thatultimate reality was the power or source to which matter points beyonditself. God, the Creator, he believed, was a logical explanation for theorder of the universe.His logical method of inquiry was deductive reasoning because truthwas derived from generations of research. He believed, however, thatone major problem with deductive reasoning was that if the majorpremise was false, the conclusion would also be false.Aristotle asserted the chief good was happiness that depended upon avirtuous and well-ordered soul. This can happen only as one developsvirtuous habits shaped through education. Education, he believed,developed individual reasoning capacity so one can make correctchoices. This means the path of moderation, of acceptance, and offollowing such a principle became the core of educational proposals.b. Religious RealismSaint Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) became aleading authority on Aristotle. He realized that teaching truth to mindsmade for truth was of such intrinsic excellence that, as far as he couldsee, no human could teach, but only God himself. He argued that Godwas pure reason and that God created matter out of nothing and Hegave purpose to the universe. Aquinas felt that all truths were eternallyin God and that truth was passed to humans by divine revelation.He believed that all creatures were under God’s governance of theworld but that some creatures have a share in this divine governancebecause they can understand the end and use specific means to attainthe understood end. Aquinas also believed the soul is a creation; it isimmortal and from God.Aquinas integrated Aristotle’s philosophy with the teachings of thechurch and worked out a relationship between reason and faith. For thishe was referred to as the Angelic Doctor. He questioned whether onehuman can teach another or whether this role belongs to God alone. Heviewed that only God should be called “Teacher” because one humanmind could not directly communicate with another mind unless throughusage of symbols. Regarding teaching, he thought that only God could
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 117touch the inside–the soul. Others could only point the learner toknowledge.Aquinas believed that each of us is born with an immortal soul with theseeking of perfection of human beings and the reunion of the soul tothe soul of God as major educational goals. He thought the soulpossessed an inner knowledge; therefore, a proper educationrecognized both the spiritual and material natures of an individual.Since he felt the spiritual side was higher and more important, hefavored education of the soul. Aquinas also felt the family and thechurch were the primary agencies of education. The mother is thechild’s first teacher and she should set the moral tone. The churchshould be the source for understanding God’s law. The state shouldformulate and enforce laws concerning education.Philip H. Phenix. Philip H. Phenix (1915- ) Professor Emeritus ofPhilosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University,elaborated a philosophical theory of curriculum for general education.During 1981, Professor William Kritsonis served as a Visiting Scholarat Teachers College and studied under Dr. Phenix. Phenix, a classicalrealist, emphasized that knowledge in the disciplines has logicalpatterns, structures, and forms. Understanding these typical patterns isessential for guidance of teaching and learning. Professor Phenixidentified six fundamental patterns of meaning: symbolics, empirics,esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. Phenix believes thatlearning these patterns is the clue to effective teaching and learning. Healso stressed the importance of understanding representative ideas,methods of inquiry, and the importance of appealing to theimagination.c. Modern RealismFrancis Bacon. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) brought about the study ofrealism stemming from a revolt against the spiritualistic idealism ofHegel. Bacon, also referred to as the “father of the scientific method,”recommended the method of scientific inquiry be adapted to determinetruth. He believed that knowledge was power and acquiring this know-ledge could allow one to deal effectively with problems. He thoughtthat science could not be burdened with preconceived notions fromdeductive generalizations. From this, he formulated the inductivemethod for problem solving. The premise for inductive reasoning wasto begin with observable instances and then reason to generalstatements. He surmised that one who begins with absolute truths isless likely to change them.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 118Bacon urged that individuals examine all previously acceptedknowledge and rid the mind of various idols or presumed falsities.Induction would allow each individual to arrive at generalizations onthe basis of systematic observations of particulars.d. Other ContributorsJohn Locke. John Locke (1632-1704), another contributor to modernrealism, held the view that the desire for happiness and the desire toknow (curiosity) were widespread throughout mankind. Lockestipulated the human mind could encompass as much as was necessaryfor happiness; it is capable of knowing a very great deal. He traced theorigin of ideas to thought where all knowledge is acquired fromsources independent of the mind. He believed that all ideas aredeveloped from experience by sensation and reflection. He concludedthat what is known is what is experienced.Herbert Spencer. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was one of the firstindividuals to propose a scheme for selecting the subject matter bestsuited to the needs of the pupils. He promoted that knowledge,contributing to self-preservation, was of the utmost usefulness andshould appear first among the things taught to children.e. Implications for EducationGiven the character of American education, it is important for teachersto understand what kind of assumptions lie behind education andeducational goals. Therefore, the aim of realistic educational practicesis to present material to students so they may become acquainted withthe subject matter as a pre-established block of material. Successfullearning consists of understanding that material. The teacher with aphilosophy of realism is science-oriented and is likely to be impersonaland objective rather than rigid and mechanical. Problems are set for thelearner to work on individually rather than cooperatively. The learner isnot expected to develop a conscience that differentiates right fromwrong; instead, the student is guided by the unyielding laws of naturethat will apply to social as well as to physical situations.Teaching techniques consist of any approach that most effectivelyacquaints students with what they are to know. However, lectures andtextbooks should consist of systematic and well-organized descriptionsof subject matter. Field trips are acceptable modes of instruction if theydeal with concrete demonstrations and are considered superior toabstract study.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 119Discipline is a reasonable balance between control and freedom.Because the laws of nature are considered inflexible, a lack ofdiscipline would be expected to result in disorientation in adult life.Evaluation should be as objective as possible and should represent anaccurate measure of achievement. Achievement is therefore determinedby comparing evidences of what has been learned with what shouldhave been learned. Students who have learned the most material withthe fewest errors receive the highest grades.Realism is a critical philosophy limited to precise scholars. Inimplementation, it exists principally in research studies in highereducation but it has had an indirect influence on the public schoolsystem. Permanent elements of human experience are valued but thereis a continuous reexamination of evidence using the scientific method.There is insistence on examinations that are pertinent, authentic, andcomprehensive. Realism is used for the view that objects existexternally to us and independently of our senses. Realism is primarilyan attitude toward knowledge. Against skepticism, realism affirms theexistence of knowledge and holds the object of knowledge has a realityindependent of the knowing mind.In general, the claim that perceiving is thus genuine and amounts toknowledge is said to be the best hypothesis to explain the order andnature of our sense experiences. The claim of the realist is simply thatonce ordinary errors and illusions are ruled out by comparing theevidence of different senses or of different persons, the simplestexplanation of the situation is there are external objects causing thesense data or contents. The process then is to correspond to them inprimary quantities.In one common-sense theory of realism, one kicks a stone to prove thatmatter exists. One can come to know the world by observation andcomparison.9. The Basic Philosophy of Pragmatism.Pragmatism comes from the Greek word for action, also the root for thewords practical and practice. Many ancient philosophers used part of thepragmatist’s philosophy but its modern and full origin and developmentcan be traced to Charles Peirce. Peirce believed that pragmatic beliefs arereally rules for action and that to develop a thought’s meaning need only todetermine the conduct to be produced.Pragmatism, therefore, represents the empirical attitude in philosophy.Everywhere pragmatism is said to unstiffen all our theories, limber them
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 120up and set them at work. Pragmatists believe that ideas (which themselvesare but parts of our experience) become true in order to get intosatisfactory relations with other parts of our experience.In practice, pragmatism was introduced into philosophy as a method ofascertaining the purpose of hard words and abstract conceptions andinterpretation of intellectual concepts that hinge on reasoning. Pragmatismmay also be explained as a returning to things past. The history of thisphilosophy is primarily a gathering of truths discarded at some point in thepast.a. Free Will and DeterminismMost people who believe in free will do so after the rationalisticfashion. It is a principle by which dignity is enigmatically augmented.For this reason, pragmatists believe that individual men originatenothing but merely transmit to the future the whole push of the pastcosmos of which they are so small an expression.Pragmatists have long disagreed over the free will/determinismcontroversy. William James, a famous pragmatist, promoted theconcept of free will and a reality of that freedom. He maintained that ahuman’s role was not merely to measure so completely but to createand recreate based on experiences from the past. James believed theuniverse is not an absolute; it is open, and it is full of novelty; itcontains chaos, disorder, and evil. Life as it comes has an air of being.Humans do not merely reflect on a finished product; they register thetruth they help to create.Later in life, James’ view of free will mellowed and, with this changingview, the complexion of pragmatists also changed. Free will is nowheld by contemporary pragmatists as a staid belief. However,pragmatists are nevertheless capable of the kind of interaction with theworld that changes the direction of events and determines futuredirection without effecting any essential change in their beliefs.b. Major Contributors to PragmatismWilliam James. Most scholars have given Charles S. Peirce thedistinction of illuminating pragmatic ideals although he was heavilyinfluenced by the writings of William James. Peirce had a backgroundin math, chemistry, and theoretical sciences, and wrote as a logician.For Peirce, the pragmatism was primarily a method for analysis andexplanation of the meaning of intellectual concepts. He oncecharacterized pragmatism’s maxim as the “definition of definitions.” Itwas intended as a procedure for promoting linguistic and conceptual
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 121clarity and successful communication when one was seeking theresolution of intellectual problems. Peirce’s pragmatism then may bethought of as a theory of meaning rather than a theory of truth. It is tobe understood as a regulative idea, one that functions solely to order,integrate, and promote inquiry.William James, a psychologist, was probably the man most responsiblefor influencing the writings of Peirce. Though James never took publiccredit for the establishment of pragmatism, he did write thatpragmatism was the only philosophy with no humbug in it.From his summer home in New Hampshire, William James wrote thathe was unfit to be a philosopher because at the bottom he hatedphilosophy. This seemed ironic coming from a man classified asmaking a great impact in philosophy.William James was born in 1842, the son of Henry and Mary WalshJames. William was faced with much sickness throughout his youthand early adulthood. He developed a nervous instability (neurasthenia)that was a deep-rooted depression. This condition delayed his choice ofcareers until his mid-20s. Another reason for his career being delayedwas that he had a great interest in painting; however, his father did notwant a painting career for his son. Therefore, in 1864, James enteredHarvard Medical School.In 1875, James taught his first class in psychology and this began animportant transition in his life. Once this began, it was not long beforeJames quit the medical profession and his teaching in the medical area.He became totally devoted to his writing and lecturing on psychologyand philosophy.Much in the 20thcentury history of psychology in America has beencolored and shaped by the wisdom of William James. Few are thefailures and frustrations of this same psychology that he did notanticipate.The Principles of Psychology, one of James’ early works, waspublished in two volumes in 1890, a dozen years after James hadundertaken the work. One of the interesting features of the book is thatit deals with many fundamental philosophical problems. Its chapterscover issues concerning the nature of consciousness and reason, thedebate between freedom and determinism, the relation of the mind andthe body and “necessary truths.” In this book, James pushespsychology toward the goal of making it a natural science, but however
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 122fails to recognize that psychology and philosophy stand close togetherwith respect to the problem they treat.James and his Principles did not found American psychology in thesense of inventing a new method or uncovering a basic law. Rather, hisworks and ways saved academic psychology from sinking to the merebusy-work of the laboratory or rising so high toward metaphysics as toabandon its proper subject.Throughout his life, James was an empiricist, a believer in experienceas the basic source of knowledge. James’ version of empiricism, that hesometimes called radical empiricism, urged us to start with experiencesthat humans feel and live through rather than immediately fitting theseexperiences into theories and frameworks that we have developed inadvance.Although James thought of himself as an empiricist, he also wanted tocombine empiricism and spiritualism. By uniting empiricism andspiritualism, James developed a pragmatic philosophy that he believedwas just a new way of stating old ideas.James believed that a pragmatist was willing to follow logic or thesenses, and to learn from the most personal and humblest experiences.James stressed that pragmatism was a broad philosophical view thatstressed pluralism, freedom, and change. This is not any radical shift ofJames’ interest in thinking; it is a natural and a logical extension of hisearlier philosophical/psychological views.James’ philosophy can be related to his reverence for, and his faith in,the individual. The pragmatism lectures, given first as the LowellLectures in Boston and then again at Columbia, surprised James bytheir reception. He became nearly a cult figure to his eager youngaudience at Columbia, as he had for some time been a father figure toleaders of thought on both sides of the Atlantic.During the years 1900 to 1914, much criticism and change was broughtabout. It was a time where a widespread and remarkably good-naturedeffort of the greater part of society was undertaken to achieve somevague and unclear self-reformation. During this era of self-reformation,James printed his lectures of Pragmatism. This philosophy expandedthe so-called progressive movement. It assured humans of options andgave mankind a formula to evaluate effectiveness of actions. For Jamesand for Americans of generations before and after him, the relativismsuggested by pragmatism meant that humans could get better.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 123Through all of his writings, one must realize the importance of WilliamJames to American psychology and philosophy. It may be said that hedid not invent or discover some great principle, but permitted the worldto achieve a goal more quickly or effectively. However, he providedthe boundaries of thought and supplied the terms that an entiregeneration would discuss and understand as a way of life.James argued that the knower was an actor, and in certain ways, playeda role in creating truth. James was not merely advancing emptytheories; he was arguing from the depths of his own personalexperiences and suffering. He made it clear that pragmatism was atheory of truth, as well as a theory of meaning.Oliver Wendell Holmes. Oliver Wendell Holmes was considered oneof the most important practitioners of pragmatism in law. Holmesdefined not only legal concepts, but also law itself stemming from theneed under pressure of which both prediction theory of law andpragmatism took form. Holmes’ philosophy is considered pragmaticbecause he regarded the history and the theory of the law asinstrumental in understanding and revising it as an evolving institution.Of all the individuals who may be termed pragmatists, Holmes alonehas recognized the use of force and power involved in pragmatism asonly he accepted an institutional position of power.John Dewey. John Dewey also promoted the pragmatic point of view.His version differed somewhat from Peirce’s, and was similar in manyrespects to James’. Dewey often spoke of using intelligence as aninstrument (instrumentalism) to overcome certain physical and socialsituations that called for a series of new responses.John Dewey was one of the most influential of all Americanphilosophers and educators. He was actively interested in the reform ofeducation, both theoretically and practically. In his book, Experiencesand Education (1939), Dewey addressed educational issues that arestill of vital relevance and importance to educators today.Dewey’s philosophy of education, often labeled as experimentalism orinstrumentalism, emphasized many things including experiences,experimentation, and freedom. Dewey believed the learner mustinteract with that which is learned if a productive educationalexperience was to be achieved. Though Dewey believed that allgenuine education came through experience, he also pointed out thatexperience may be miseducation. He therefore suggested that teachersshould carefully define educational objectives and desired outcomesusing experience as a constructive learning instrument.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 124The idea that every experience is seen as a moving force that willultimately impact upon future experiences is the key factor in Dewey’seducational philosophy. Even an individual’s knowledge of theconsequences is based on previous experience. Dewey believed that noexperience lives or dies to itself. Regardless of desire or intent, Deweybelieved that every experience lived on in further experiences. Theteacher, as an agent through which knowledge is communicated,should draw upon these experiences in a framework or foundation forlearning. Used in this manner, Dewey believed that experience arousescuriosity, strengthens initiative, and sets up desires and purposes thatstrengthen the educational process.Dewey believed that education was a continuous process. True learningsituations have longitudinal dimensions. Dewey expressed there was nosuch thing as educational value in the abstract. Outside and apart fromthe individual are circumstances and situations that give rise toexperience; thus “experience does not occur in a vacuum.”Dewey proposed that education should prepare students for thecontinuation of learning in adult life by suggesting that the mostimportant attitude that can be formed is the desire to go on learning.Dewey also proposed the recognition of students as individuals. Theteacher must be aware of the needs, capabilities, and past and existingexperiences of students. The teacher must also be aware of what goeson in their minds in order to formulate plans for stimulating new waysof learning and thus expand the experiences already present. Thisprocess could be self-perpetuating as new experiences result in possibleinsights whose explorations would result in other new experiences.Dewey was responsible for many philosophical offshoots:Instrumentalism, Progressivism, Experimentalism, and so forth, thatwill be discussed in later sections. However, the essence of hisphilosophical beliefs set patterns for classroom operations that are stillbeing used and debated. Although it is widely accepted that Dewey’spromotion of educational values was based on pragmatic convictions,he was basically an adventurer in originating a certain flavorsurrounding his belief and his followers.Dewey believed that knowledge was a means of controlling theenvironment, hopefully to improve the quality of human life. Hefurther stressed the importance of attaining cooperation betweenscience and the demands of moral life.Dewey often sought the causes that made communities change fromgeneration to generation. He believed the difference was due to the
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 125accumulated influences of individuals, of their examples, theirinitiatives, and their decisions.Dewey is credited with elevating pragmatism to the status ofphilosophic respectability and providing the most tangible links in theeducational institutions of higher learning between pragmatism and theAmerican social structure and between philosophy and society. Deweyadvocated laboratory instruction, formulating such terms as inquiry,reflective thought, and scientific method.One of Dewey’s most outstanding works, Logic: The Theory of Inquiry(1938), is such a commanding achievement that pragmatism is oftenidentified with the position he expounded there as a naturalist logic forevaluating and reconstructing human experience.c. Other ContributorsJean-Jacques Rousseau. Jean-Jacques Rousseau noted the importanceof environment in shaping human experience and thought. Hemaintained that civilization was harmful because it had led us awayfrom nature. Rousseau thought that individuals were basically good,but were corrupted by civilization. He emphasized naturalism ineducation and believed education should be guided by the child’sinterest.Auguste Comte. Auguste Comte intensified efforts to apply science tosociety. He believed the possibilities of using science could beharnessed to help solve social problems. His dream was to reformsociety by the application of science.Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, believed thatnature operated by means of a process development. He argued that aspecies evolves naturally through what he called a universal strugglefor existence. Reality is open-ended in process. He stipulated that aperson’s education was directly tied to biological and socialdevelopment.d. Implications for EducationPhilosophies often vary in their total applications to education. Onecomponent of the pragmatic view is the treatment recommended for thepupil. This treatment can usually be seen to fit into the totalphilosophical system of different philosophies. This part of philosophyis always recognized as very important. Not only are the pupils theleaders for the future, they also possess a great amount of energy andcapability for the present.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 126Pragmatism has been given a primary place among social institutions,essentially because it may be that pragmatism, more than any otherphilosophy, requires an association of education with a social function.Students are distinct and concrete centers for experience. They must beguided so they will experience the ever embracing flow of knowledge.The students are not isolated from the public flow of events. Theconcreteness and distinctness do not separate them from the lifeprocess. Individual selves and individual pupils, therefore, are uniquein nature, always reaching out to engage in the flow of experience.Pragmatists feel that elements of learning are not brought forth byeither the teacher or the pupil. They perceive that learning revolvesaround students’ interests and experiences. Learning is the direction offinding possible solutions to problems that are presently experienced.Learning is following a planned path from a teacher. Pragmatists buildand execute units of study patterned after and matching cycles ofexperience. Creative and constructive projects are heavily employed inthe pragmatic educative process.Pragmatists view reality as a constantly changing force. Reality can beknown only through experience. Therefore, there is no absolute orpermanent knowledge level because only what can be observed and/orexperienced is real.Those who judge the merits of pragmatism should be clear as to whichof its varieties they are criticizing, who held the complex ideas beingjudged, and in what context. The pragmatic legacy inherited by 20thcentury American thought does not provide a neat, finished system,legislating for intellectual or moral questions, but it does provide aphilosophical stance in the defense of freedom or inquiry andexperimental ways of thinking.Because education occurs from generation to generation, it should notbe looked upon as the mere acquisition of academic subject matter, butas a part of life itself. Pragmatists believe that training is not the sameas education. The child’s own instincts and powers provide the materialand starting point of all education and the educator’s knowledge ofsocial conditions is necessary to interpret the child’s powers.10. The Basic Philosophy of Existentialism.Existentialism is largely a revolt against other traditional philosophies.Where other philosophies attempt to grasp the ultimate nature of the worldin abstract systems of thought, existentialists consider what it is like to bean individual human being living in the world. These philosophers are
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 127primarily interested in existence or being, concerning themselves with thepersonal and relevant. They seek to learn from the full range of humanexperiences.Key features in existentialism are individuality, subjectivity, introspection,and feeling. It is an approach to a philosophy of human situations, not aphilosophy of things. Existentialism is a rejection of all purely abstractthinking and a way of life capable of being lived. Existentialists believethat existence precedes essence, and ideas about Heaven, Hell, and Godare all human inventions.Individuality and the priority of existence before essence indicateemphasis on present situations and personal meanings for individuals. Theexistentialist is concerned with the particulars of today, not in absolutes orpermanent ideals. In consideration of the mind/body question, theexistentialist tries to visualize in concrete terms the ways the mind andbody are personally experienced. Time and space tend to void abstractnessand relate only to present conditions. Little attention is given to logic orscience.A principle upheld by the existentialist is that individuals are what theymake of themselves and nothing less. This principle is also known assubjectivity. Individuals first exist and then become what they haveplanned to become by their own wills. Individuals make decisions abouttheir futures and, because of this decision-making; they are responsible fortheir decisions not only individually, but also to all mankind. Whenindividuals make personal choices, those choices affect others. Frompersonal choices and acts, self-image is made, along with personal valuesand ideals. Thus, an existentialist involves self in making decisions thataffect all mankind. So deep are existentialists convicted by theirresponsibility that they may be in a state of anguish or despair althoughthey may not display visible signs of this anguish. Existentialists makedecisions because they feel they are free to do so. They are alsoresponsible for their behaviors as a result of the decisions, no matter howdifficult it may become. Existentialists believe in action and, if the actionbrings punishment, the punishment must be accepted.Existentialists are basically concerned with three points in respect to theirvalues. First, there is an uncompromising acceptance of anguish andsuffering as a necessary condition of their experiences. If a person claimsto have made a decision without anguish, the existentialist would believethat it was a petty choice and not really a choice at all, for suffering is anintegral part of life.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 128Second, for people who refuse to accept anguish as part of life, anguishtakes the form of tedium, fear, apathy, or petty anxiety. Subsequently, thefunction of the existentialist is to free people from this pettiness. Thisemphasis on negative aspects of life has brought the label “pessimistic” tothe existentialist’s movement.Third, existentialists’ values intensify the conscious mind, arouse thepassions, and commit the individual to a course of action that will engagetotal use of energies. Existentialism is very concerned with an individual’swillingness truly to commit to something with heightened intensity. Forthe existentialist, the commanding value of life is intensity as manifestedin acts of free choice, individual self-assertion, personal love, or creativework.Existentialists do not believe in progress as time passes, as progress isassociated with betterment. Hence, although situations tend to vary, aperson is always the same. Some choices a person makes are based ontruth while others are based on error. Existentialists never considerhumanness as an end because mankind is always in the making.a. Selected Contributors to ExistentialismSǿren Kierkegaard. One of the earlier existentialists was SorenKierkegaard (1813-1855). Kierkegaard related existence to theindividual human beings and went against 2,000 years of philosophywhen he denied the link between objectivity and reality. According toKierkegaard, to exist meant to be a thriving, decision-makingindividual who was committed to something. He believed that one didnot exist unless one consciously participated by one’s own will andchoice in activities; truth was subjective to this thinking process.Kierkegaard believed that a human’s essential self is developed in threestages. First is the aesthetic stage in which a person behaves accordingto impulses and emotions. Senses govern people, and life at this stagecannot result in true existence. Second is the ethical stage in which aperson recognizes and accepts rules of conduct based on moral law andbecomes conscious of his/her guilt. Third is the religious stage inwhich a commitment of faith will bring about a subjective and uniquerelationship between God and the individual.Kierkegaard challenged the individual to seek out individual truth. Hepromoted the concept that Christianity had become warped by moderntime because it perpetuated war. He called for a “leap of faith” inwhich individuals would accept the Christian deity without proof ofGod’s existence; they must abandon reason and accept groundless
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 129belief. He believed that individuals are confronted with choices in lifethat they alone can make and for which they must accept completeresponsibility. He professed there was an unbridgeable gulf betweenGod and the world that we must cross through faith. He believed thateducation should be subjective and religions should be devoted towarddeveloping individuality and a relationship with God.Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre was an atheistic existentialist who believedthat God did not exist, but there was one who did exist before essencesand that one was man. Sartre advocated that humans did not come intothe world ready-made but made of themselves what they are; humansare always in the making. He accepted Descartes’ statement, “I think;therefore, I am.”Sartre accepted humans as free, but attached to that freedom was heavyresponsibility. From this responsibility, individuals experience anguishalone for there is no God to share this burden. Sartre asserts inExistentialism and Human Emotions that humans are beings whoseproject is to be God. Sartre believed in the investigation ofconsciousness (being-of-itself) and objects of consciousness (being-in-itself). He stipulated that consciousness is the reflection and negationof the objective world and that human consciousness tries to be itsobjects. Such attempts, Sartre concluded, are always failures, forindividuality cannot really be what it is not.Sartre proposed that consciousness deals with the meaning of things.He viewed human existence as meaningless, but totally responsible forchoices and actions. He believed that scientific investigation wasnothing more than striving to endow the natural world with meaning sothat we could control our own lives better. He stipulated that we canmake a difference but not without choosing our goals and workingtoward them.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 130Martin Buber. Buber suggested that a mutual respect and dignity mustbe attained among all individuals. He was a proponent of an “I-Thou”relationship where individuals are capable of relating and identifyingwith the outside world. He opposed the “I-It” relationship whereteachers related to students as objects. Everyone has an intense,personal world of meaning. Buber stressed an I-Thou student-teacherrelationship where there is mutual sensibility of feeling and a mutualempathic feeling. He also stipulated that each person involved ineducation is both teacher and learner where both should be in a positionof sharing in a personal way. He emphasized that the most desirableeducational situation is one where friendship between teacher andlearner can exist.Friedreich Nietzsche. Friedreich Nietzsche was often referred to as the“black sheep of philosophy” for his anti-Christian, anti-Jew and anti-religious beliefs. He believed that pagan views were more natural andhealthier than Christian views. Nietzsche authored the “God is Dead”philosophy because he believed that more inhuman acts are committedin the name of morality and religion than in the name of aggression.b. Implications for EducationExistentialists stress unique experiences in the affective. What astudent hears in class is more impressive than what the teachers say.Techniques and procedures employed, materials covered, and thenumber of lessons are important only if they help the student find self-identity. The end for which knowledge is the means is the ability tomake good, sound judgments. Existentialists will tend to free thestudent from the dominance of the institution and will not hesitate toemploy unconventional teaching methods to achieve their purpose.Existentialists believe in a variety of independent study situations andare critical of modern-day conventional testing techniques used toevaluate student achievement. More radical innovations in content andapplications would be evident including spontaneity and authenticity.The teachers would train the students to question, to evaluate critically,and to stand up for their beliefs in their teachings. The teachers wouldbe very dedicated in actively teaching their views and would have tobeware of the danger of turning their teaching into indoctrination.The teachers would have good mastery of their skills and of theexistentialist program of teaching the ideals and values synonymouswith its belief. But, existentialists hold the conviction that everyoneshould be himself/herself, whether in the classroom or in society.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 131Existentialists question the assumption that education is primarily anagency for perpetuating society’s value system or for changing thechild to fit into the lifestyle acceptable to adults. They are moreconcerned with the child’s personal experience and the final outcome.Existentialists turn to experience rather than to knowledge or naturalsciences for solutions to problems. The phrase “start where the studentis” reflects the existential thought.Existentialists believe that teachers should risk themselves for theirstudents in classroom experimentation and look for the wisdom andtrust in the person. They consider that past philosophies have ledpeople to think deeply about abstractions that had little or norelationship to life.Scholars have questioned whether existentialism is a viable philosophy.Some contend that it is too abstract for the average person tounderstand. However, existentialism is a way of examining life in avery personal manner. It emphasizes deep personal cogitation on one’scommitments and choices. Self-definition is a personal responsibility.Existentialists believe that humans create their own values through thechoices they make; that education is a process of developingconsciousness about freedom to choose; and the teacher should seek tocreate an awareness in each student that each person is ultimatelyresponsible for individual education and self-definition.11. Activities for The Basic Philosophy of Existentialism.a. Activity 3Write, in detail, the major areas of agreement, if any, for Idealism,Realism, Pragmatism, and Existentialism.b. Activity 4Write, in detail, the major differences of Idealism, Realism,Pragmatism, and Existentialism.c. Activity 5Select one of the four philosophies. On this page, write your argumentas to why you believe this philosophy is superior to the others.12. Philosophical Thoughts of Encouragement.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 132The greater the obstacle, the more the glory in overcoming it. ConfuciusThe door of success swings on the hinges of obstacles. UnknownNothing relieves and ventilates the mind like a resolution. John BurroughsNever take counsel of your fears. Andrew JacksonIt is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. ThoreauWe are supposed to forgive everyone; everyone includes ourselves. Unknown13. Selected Philosophies Impacting Education and Western Civilization.Historians typically classify philosophy by referencing the four majortypes: Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, and Existentialism. However,through the years, these four primary philosophies have contributed to awide diversity of secondary philosophical convictions with rootsembedded in one of the four primary philosophical areas. This section willexamine some of these offshoots.a. The Basic Philosophy of CommunismAlthough communism is not recognized as a contributing factor towestern philosophic components, it was conceived from earlyphilosophic elements and its presence has affected the extent of otherphilosophical movements. Therefore, communism is included as anintricate part in understanding yet another philosophical conviction.Communism originally involved an ideal society in which property wasjointly owned by all persons in the community. Property andnecessities were used by all members of the society and distributedaccording to needs. This idea of communism dates back to the times ofPlato, who advocated an upper-class communism in his Republic.Since these early days, communism has taken many twists and turns. Ithas been advocated by Christian groups who held property in commonand even by dictators who in turn used force to maintain communistideals.Early communism gained its roots from the European socialistmovement. Communism was involved in the development of radicalpolitical ideals and in the industrial revolution. The industrial workingclass replaced the peasantry that had been the base of the socialpyramid. These peasants had less access to political influences than didthe workers.Socialism came about in 1827 while communism came about in 1840.In the 1840s, these terms were often used interchangeably. Socialistwas used for followers of the “Utopian Socialists” who wanted to
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 133replace their society, based on competition, with one based oncooperation. They believed that a society could be evolved withassistance on the ruling classes.Communist tradition can be traced back to the Conspiracy of theEquals, led by Frances Noel Babeuf, who in 1776 planned to overthrowthe French government and establish an egalitarian society based oncommon ownership. Communist was applied to those who maintainedthat a fundamental transformation of society could be achieved onlyafter the proletariat forcibly had seized control of the state.In the middle of the 18thcentury, communism took on a differentmeaning. Karl Marx and Friedreich Engels became proponents of thecommunist movement. These two men believed that communismshould be spread abroad and not just in isolated communities. Theyalso believed that major leaders were not a vital component forcommunism to thrive.Marx borrowed elements from 18thcentury French materialists andfrom German idealist philosophies to create Marxism. The philosophybehind his idea became known as Dialectical Materialism. It wasdialectical because it was the outcome of the conflict between twoopposing or contradictory elements in society. It was materialisticbecause the world alone, being materialistic, possesses reality and theideas of the world were simply reflexes of the system of materialproduction at any given time. Communist philosophy gives account ofwhy the development of a certain period of time took the form it didand also gives suggestions as to what to expect in the future.In 1847, Marx was asked by the International Communist League toprepare a policy for their meeting of the coming year. Marx and Engelswrote this policy, known as the Communist Manifesto, in 1848. Theyset a stage of socialism that all class differences would disappear andhumankind would live in harmony. In the Communist Manifesto, theydeclared the course of history was determined by a class of opposingforces rooted in the economic system and the ownership of property.The class struggle would be between the bourgeoisie, or the capitalistemployers, and the proletariat, or the workers. According to Marx, thestruggle would end in the socialist revolution and then the attainmentof full communism.Marx believed that it was not the consciousness of humans thatdetermined their lives but their special being that determined theirconsciousness. Marx believed that alienation occurs when workersbecome strangers, not at home with themselves in their labor. He felt
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 134the ruling classes would not provide a proper public education fordestitute children because it would abolish them. He advocatedtechnical and industrial education where simple labor is done bychildren. Intellectual ability found in children made no difference inwages.Marxism was the main thought in European socialism throughout the19thcentury. Parties of socialists grew and started electingrepresentatives to national legislatures. There was a great deal ofcontroversy between parties who felt the necessity of a revolutionaryoverthrow of those who thought socialism could be achieved throughreforms and those who advocated an overthrow of capitalism.European Marxists opposed imperialism and militarism. They declaredthat workers had no fatherland.Marxists believed that human society must move from capitalism tosocialism and eventually to communism. This educational aim will begreatly enhanced by providing an education that will develop a newsocialist human being.World War I demonstrated that nationalism had a strong grip onSocialist parties. Most party leaders and members supported warpolicies of their government. In 1917, during the Russian Revolution,Vladimir I. Lenin and his followers seized power and divided worldsocialism into competing parties. These competing parties were thosethat opted for the Russian path and those that kept to democratictradition. Lenin, founder of the Bolsheviks, was an inspiring leaderduring the Bolshevik Revolution. He was regarded as one of the 20thcentury’s most significant political leaders among communist and non-communist scholars. He was the source of Leninism that was co-joinedwith Karl Marx’s works to form Marxism/Leninism.Lenin placed importance on the peasantry when he formulated hisprogram. However, when it came down to the Russian worker’smovement, he neglected the peasantry. Being a disciple of Marx andEngels, Lenin pursued activities in the period on imperialism and in theperiod of the proletarian revolution. This is one reason Leninism is afurther development of Marxism.Lenin was considered to be the greatest revolutionary thinker sinceMarx. After Lenin’s death in 1924, Josef Stalin became the leader ofthe communist party. Stalin was one of Lenin’s closest associates in theNovember revolution.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 135Stalin’s vision of the future was that of a collectivized society.Production must have reached such a level as to make it possible tosupply at least all the basic needs for its citizens.The ideas of communism never really made a strong headway intoAmerican political circles. Communist parties have held nationalpolitical control in many nations including China, Yugoslavia, Poland,North Vietnam, and Cuba. Little unity has existed between thesecountries or others involved in the system for many years. Displeasurewith communist ideas and desire for free enterprise and other freedomspresent in democratic America have brought about a severe weakeningof the “Communist Bloc.” Communism, though still present in manynations, has lost much of its power since the fall of the Soviet Unionand the days of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.The main feature of the communist party is the abolition of thebourgeoisie property. Communism does not deprive people of thepower to appropriate the products of society but it does deprive them ofthe power to subjugate the labor of others by means of suchappropriation. The Communist Manifesto was a plea for the laboringclasses to let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution.Marx contended the proletarians had nothing to lose but their chains,however, they had a world to win.b. The Basics of Analytic PhilosophyFor the most part, Analytic Philosophy seeks to clarify the languages,concepts, and methods we use in the more precise activities of life.Hence, clarification is its one central theme.Ludwig Wittengenstein is the major contributor to the trend oflinguistic analysis. He felt there should be no systematic doctrine, norules of procedure, and no grand manner approach to philosophizing.He argued the natural sciences were the primary source of truepropositions and the primary means of finding new facts. Philosophyshould not be seen as the discovery of truth, but as an activity to solvedilemmas, problems, and to clarify ideas obtained from other sources.He emphasized that philosophers should not concern themselves withthe truth of the data but should deal with the language and statementsmade about the data.Wittengenstein thought the only significant use of language was topicture the facts; other than this, he considered it nonsensical. Hebelieved that words have no true meaning given to them by some
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 136independent power. They have the meanings people give them. Anideal language, he thought, should remove the trouble of thinking.Gilbert Ryle believed that a category mistake occurs when oneallocates concepts to logical types to which they do not belong.Knowing how is having the capacity to perform, being able to do, andso forth. He suggested the creation of myths helped us get around manydifficulties.Dialectic, he stressed, was not only a method for arriving at truth, butalso a method for eliminating contradictions that stood in the way oftruth. Since thinking depended on language, thinking problems werealso language problems resulting from faulty usage and lack of clarity.He concluded that people’s behaviors were influenced by the languagethey encountered, for language served as a stimulus to all kinds ofbehaviors.Analytic philosophy stipulates that in order to improve the educator’sconcept about education and the way these concepts are used, we mustbecome aware of language and its potential. It becomes necessary toclarify what we propose to do in education. Analysts do not believethat words have inherent meanings; they insist that we use them inprecise ways to reflect accurately what is intended.Analytic philosophy emphasizes that language itself is changing andevolving; one can neither define a word forever, nor prescribe itsmeaning for everyone else. Education, therefore, is the process thatpeople are initiated into their particular life styles based on theunderstanding and clarification of their language.c. The Basic Philosophy of ReconstructionismReconstructionism is a philosophy that advocates an attitude towardchange and encourages individuals to try to make life better. Platoproposed radical departures from the customs of his Greekcontemporaries. Some of these were sexual equality, communal childrearing, and rule by philosopher-king.Reconstructionists promote such things as the scientific method,problem solving, naturalism, and humanism. They are concerned withthe broad social and cultural fabric in which we exist;Reconstructionism is almost a purely social philosophy.Reconstructionists promote two major premises: (a) society is in needof constant reconstruction or change; (b) such social change involvesboth a reconstruction of education and the use of education inreconstructing society.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 137George S. Counts (1889-1974) argued that educators should give uptheir comfortable role of being supporters of the status quo and shouldtake on the more difficult tasks of social reformers. Ralph Nader haslong fought for consumer protection and has maintained there can bean end to mass injustice if enough private citizens become publiccitizens. Alvin Toffler, who coined the term “Future Shock,” points outthat people are suffering mental and physical breakdowns from toomuch change in too short a period of time. Paul George believes thatwe should emulate successful business practices by applying them toschools. Ivan Illich believes that we need no schools at all, thateducation should be spread throughout society. He proposed the use oflearning webs where people can pool information and talents withothers.Reconstructionists see the primary struggle in society today betweenthose who wish to preserve society as it is and those who believe thatgreat changes are needed to make society more responsive to the needsof individuals. Regarding education, reconstructionists considerdemocratic control over the decisions that regulates human lives and apeaceful community as vital components to success. They encourageeducators to become involved in affairs outside their own classroomsand schools.d. The Basic Philosophy of ScholasticismScholasticism is a philosophic belief deriving its name from schooldoctors or scholars (doctor scholasticus), a label first applied toteachers in monastic and Episcopal schools. The new approach, theapplications of philosophic discipline to religious doctrines andproblems began with these school men. Scholasticism succeeded inharmonizing religion with secular thought for three centuries (11ththrough the 13th). It disintegrated in the 14thand 15thcenturies when itno longer could maintain this harmony.Scholasticism may generally be characterized as a means foremploying reason in the search for truth. As a means, it wasresponsible for most, if not all, of the intellectual accomplishmentsattributed to the medieval period. It spread its influence throughout theintellectual centers of Europe, but it was a method too, andscholasticism as an intellectual movement could never have been veryvital had it not been productive and effective as a method.Followers of scholasticism wanted progress and were dissatisfied withwhat had gone on before. Their own age had problems that demanded
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 138answers, problems that were philosophical, theological, and scientific,to say nothing of social and human.Scholasticism developed reason to its rightful position in the pursuit oftruth by defining deductive logic to the highest point in the history ofthought, by devising terminology that facilitated scholarlycommunication, by training a large body of critical thinkers who set theintellectual tone for years to come, and by producing a large body ofscholarly works, especially in the fields of law, theology, andphilosophy. The important feature of scholasticism was to dissolve allconflicting opinions in an effort to derive the desired conclusion.Saint Anselm (1033-1109), Archbishop of Canterbury, was atheologian and considered one of the best Latinist of his day. Anselmwas the first of the most important thinkers between Augustine (354-430) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). In philosophy, Anselm isconsidered the author of the ontological argument for the existence ofGod.Pierre Abelard (1079-1142), a theologian and philosopher who studiedlogic at Paris, was a contributor to the scholastic thought. He alsoattended Anselm of Laon’s theological school, but alienated hismasters by sharp criticism of their scholarship and went back to Parisas a teacher of logic and theology at Notre Dame. Abelard believed thatconstant and frequent questioning is the first key to wisdom and theover use of doubt and comparative inquiry.e. The Basic Philosophy of InstrumentalismThe legacy of instrumentalism is derived from Dewey’s pragmatism.The instrumentalism position is that thought and action are primaryinstruments used by human beings to solve practical problems. An ideais defined by the instrumentalists as a plan of action. To find out whatthe idea means, one puts it into practice and discovers theconsequences it has in practical reality.In 1890, Dewey’s philosophy began to appear. That year he left behindHegeleanism and announced an early version of the pragmatist theoryof truth. Upon this he began to build his idea of instrumentalism. Themanner in which Dewey held on to both theories is illustrated by thefact that what he meant by a working theory was actually a theory thatorganized facts and ideas. He seemed to express a new frameworkcalled organicism. This organicism seemed to yield to the earliesttraces of instrumentalism.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 139Dewey’s theory holds that knowledge is used for the purposes ofadaptation and mastery over an environment. The general theory ofvalue, true reality, and true knowledge belongs to many kinds ofinstruments to solve problems. Dewey’s instrumental reality was anoutstanding opinion that differed from the view of past philosophy.He drew this theory from the pragmatic view that intelligence is seen asa sensitive and flexible adaptation of means to ends-in-view. Deweybelieved that knowledge arose in the context of problem-solvingactivities so it was seen constantly in the experimental practices oftesting hypotheses and adjusting and revising goals in the light ofexperience. Throughout the pragmatic/instrumentalist theory, there wasa strong element, that knowing is a particular adaptation of intelligentorganisms in the context of interacting with a changing environment.In instrumentalism, change is an ultimate trait of reality. Progress is notsuccessive stages in the advancement toward some perfect immutablestandard. Dewey observed that we have changed from our grandfathersand that we should permit our children to change also.Dewey’s ideas on the psychological perceptions led to the belief thatideas were really anticipations of the future. He believed that whenideas were expressed in propositions, they were hypotheses orpredictions. Dewey’s object of knowledge was the correlation betweenprocess and change. These specific changes were deliberatelyintroduced and controlled by the inquirer and the object of knowledgewas the correlation between these isolated variations. However, some,especially Dewey, believe that with further knowledge of nature, newinteractions are introduced.Dewey had many ideas that shaped the philosophy of instrumentalism.He basically divided his thoughts for instrumentalism into threeimportant concepts of a changing existence.Presently, instrumentalism is used almost exclusively in positivism. Apositivist’s approach is to the status of scientific theories. Deweyinsisted that theories be used to make predictions and those predictionseither stood or fell on the strength of their ability to do this. For thepositivist, there is a contrast between things known in some favoredsense and things used in the course of making changes in order toanticipate what can be known in the favored sense. For Dewey, it isquite different. He believed that we know something precisely to theextent that we can use it successfully to make changes. Instrumentalismdoes not mark a contrast to what is really known.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 140Dewey protested that no restrictions were to be placed on consequencesthat served to test an idea or proposition. He did not want a practicalproject to be interpreted narrowly; rather it should be integrated widelyto include the most disinterested projects of theory and experimentalscientists. On the other hand, positivists suggested instrumentalism tobe the “utilities of bread and butter type.” It is not quite clear just howfar Dewey’s instrumentalism is from the positivist doctrine that tradesunder the same name.Another element or theory by Larry Laudan positions instrumentalismwith rationality. Laudan models his instrumentalism account ofscientific rationality on that of a goal-directed, rational action. This issimilar to Dewey’s theory of having or possessing previous knowledgeand applying it to the environment and accepting the change or theconsequence.Dewey’s doctrine for instrumentalism expresses the drive to understandthings in terms of being interrelated, which, in effect, did characterizehis thinking and personality from the start of his career. Dewey’sinstrumentalist theory did not stand the test of time, but his differentideas were later used and developed into many other philosophies.f. The Basic Philosophy of ProgressivismThe progressive movement, generated from the work of Dewey, had itsinception during the years 1900 to 1914, but its influence spannedmany years. The progressive movement brought about much criticismand change.Progressivism would have been impossible without the socialgrievances placed on some people during this time. It was not nearly somuch the movement of any social class or coalition of classes against aparticular class or group as it was a widespread and remarkably good-natured effort of the greater part of society to achieve some not-so-clearly defined self-reformation.During this era of self-reformation and progressivism, William Jameswas publishing his lectures on pragmatism. This philosophy expandedthe progressive movement. The general theme of progressivism was theeffort to restore a type of economic individualism and politicaldemocracy that was widely destroyed by corrupt organizations andpolitical machines. As the progressive movement developed, it formedinto a political party.The aim of progressivism was to educate the individual according topersonal interests or needs. The progressivist curriculum emphasized
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 141activities and projects. The instruction featured problem-solving, groupactivities, and experiences as the progressive teacher acted as afacilitator of the learning process.Progressive educators stressed the view that all learning should centeron the child’s needs and interests and believed that the aim ofeducation should be to meet the specific needs of the growing child.Progressivists believed that a child should want to come to school,therefore education should focus on the child as the learner rather thanon the subject.The progressive mind was sometimes called the Protestant mindbecause this was basically its design. Participation in World War I setthe stage for the eventual decline and end to the progressive movementdue to individuals forgetting political differences and adoptingAmericanism and preparedness.g. The Basic Philosophy of EssentialismEssentialism is considered a modern philosophy although it was aproduct of the Renaissance in the 15thcentury. It attempted to offer asystematized, unified conception of mankind and of the universe thatwould relate to modern needs and institutions. The theory was shaped,at times, by realism, in its emphasis on natural and material terms, andat times, by idealism, in its emphasis on spiritual and mental premises,and at still other times, by a combination of both philosophicalthoughts.The leading thinkers of the 15thcentury were concerned with building aset of beliefs that would enable humans to live in a culture increasinglysecular, scientific and industrial. They were also concerned with makingcertain this set of beliefs would continue to provide a foundation ofcertainty to which mankind could subscribe and in which people couldtrust.Essentialism developed in the United States during the 1930s, growingout of opposition to the philosophic theory of progressivism.Essentialists were not opposed to progressivism as a whole but theycriticized it for being too liberal. They argued that it had forgotten todevelop the human intellect in the pursuit of personal, social, andvocational needs.Essentialists believed that in the pursuit of democracy, progressivismhad permeated the school system, relegating the teacher to a position ofminor importance thereby bringing about a decline in the quality ofeducation. Moreover, essentialists believed that progressivism had
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 142failed to instill the heritage of proven merit in public values that makefor a good person and a model citizen.It was in accord with this belief that essentialists believed the safetyand welfare of a nation depended largely upon success in teaching theyoung to be loyal to their institutions and freedoms, upon theirunderstanding of democracy, its strengths and its weaknesses, and uponthe efficiency of the nation’s vocational training. Essentialists assertedthat subject matter must become the center of the educational process.To accomplish this goal successfully, they re-examined curriculummatters, distinguishing essential and non-essential parts from schooland reinstating the position of the teacher, characterizing the role of thestudent and promoting effective discipline practices in the classroom.As a result, in 1938, the Essentialists Committee for the Advancementof American Education was founded. This committee had a shortexistence, however, the upward movement of persistent ideas thecommittee endorsed continued to grow.The Essentialist Committee for the Advancement of AmericanEducation attempted to adapt the educational system more effectivelyto the needs of a world in crisis. The country had just gone through adepression during which time progressivism seemed to be gaining alost popularity. As European countries lost their democracy, Americaneducational leaders became more concerned with the phases ofeducation that were essential to education for democracy. Educators, aswell as the nation, set up goals for the preservation of democracy and thewinning of the war. Consequently, their whole attitude was directedtowards developing the skills, knowledge, and attitude essential to thistask.Essentialists maintain that mankind has mastered its culture by a longstruggle from primitive savagery. The knowledge, skills, customs,manners, attitudes, and appreciations built up through centuries ofcivilizations are our most precious heritage and the best aids in meetingthe real problems that were confronting humanity at that time and thatwill confront humanity in the future.Essentialists’ believed that American education was, at that time,ignoring the acquisition of funded knowledge. Instead, educatorsattempted to locate curriculum in the present and thereby schoolingbecame cafeteria-like, trying to be all things to all people. Theybelieved that American values such as free enterprise and self-directionwere no longer promoted in schools. Rather, educators were using the
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 143curriculum, especially with the emphasis on school sciences more thannatural sciences, to promote social equality and democracy.Essentialists also believed the teacher must have the capability to teachthe student in the necessary skills that are presented in a prescribedcurriculum and this curriculum should reflect the rightness ofestablished beliefs and institutions that have withstood the test of time.This curriculum would include the time-tested subjects of reading,writing, arithmetic, spelling, solid science (astronomy, geology,chemistry, physics, biology, zoology, and botany), and the oldersciences (history, geography, and political science). The curriculumwould also include skills in the use of the dictionary, encyclopedia, andother reference sources. Finally, other areas of study such as sociologyand anthropology would be added to the curriculum only afterproficiency in the core subjects had been achieved.Essentialists believe that students are receptive to, and are spectatorsof, the world and the teachers are the agents of that whole, selectingneeded elements from that vast welter of facts, laws, and customs thatmake up historical and contemporary contents. Students should beguided, disciplined, and instructed while making the teacher a liaisonofficer between the world portrayed through the curriculum and therespective student.The most far-reaching criticism of essentialism has resulted from thespread of the scientific method in the human-social field. It has alsobeen argued that essentialism is a contradiction in theory and practice.The theory emphasizes mind, ideas, self and the need to developindependence and self-sufficiency but, in practice, there appears to beconsiderable pressure on the student to give willing acceptance towhatever is taught.Essentialists realize they struggle with conflict; they attempt toemancipate themselves from the world-view of the Middle Ages and tosubstitute for it another world-view that is appropriate to a moresecular, scientific, and capitalistic society. However, essentialism hashad a great impact by providing training in industrial skills and incultivating middle class virtues throughout the long era during whichthe middle-class grew to a position of dominance.h. The Basic Philosophy of PerennialismThe era of the perennialist’s schools has long since passed andprobably will not return. Yet, as a school of professional thought, it stillplays a role in education today; that role is one of reaction, pointing out
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 144the gross failures and inadequacies of modern education. Unlike manymodern critics, perennialists do not just complain, but also makesuggestions based upon their own philosophy.In the perennialist philosophy, truth is the same everywhere andeducation, therefore, should also be conducted in the same fashioneverywhere. The true purpose of education is to improve mankind, withthe only concern of educators being what is good for the student toknow, regardless of what the student may profess an interest in. Whileperennialists admit that we are living in difficult times, their responsewould be to ignore the present situation and concentrate individualenergies only to the experiential world.The perennialist believes that because mankind is uniquely endowedwith a rationale faculty, education must be aimed exclusively at thecultivation of the intellectual virtues. Education must pursue theperennial truths and not be misdirected toward meeting contemporary,temporal needs.For the perennialist, the cultivation of intellectual virtues isaccomplished only through the permanent studies that constitute ourintellectual inheritance. These virtues are embodied in the Great Booksof the western world that cover every department of knowledge. Thefoundation of the Great Books consists of grammar that disciplines themind and develops the logical faculty, the rules of reading, rhetoric,logic, and mathematics that provide for correctness of thinking. Theperennialist conception of the ideal education is not an ad hoc processand not an education directed toward immediate needs. It is notspecialized education or a professional education; neither is it autilitarian education. It is an education calculated to develop the mind.To the perennialist, the Great Books are timeless because they dealwith the permanent ideas and problems of humanity. Someperennialists would add the classical languages and perhaps a modernlanguage such as French to this list. Vocational or practical studieshave no place in the perennialist curriculum since such studies areconsidered temporal and do not cultivate the intellectual circles. Thesame argument is adopted for physical education and the study ofcontemporary affairs.Since the perennialist is concerned with enduring truths or immutablevalues that can be delivered only through pure reason, theycategorically dismiss any empirical data from the behavioral sciencesthat reveal, for example, that perennial studies are not more effectivethan other studies in disciplining the intellect. Similarly, the
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 145perennialist dismisses research findings on the importance of affectiveinfluences in learning.Perennialists have a great deal of antagonism toward the vocation orutilitarian education of today and propose instead that a liberaleducation is what is needed. They believe that the role of education isan intellectual one and that schools should help learners reach their fullpotentials regarding intelligence. After this potential is reached, simpletraining can be used to prepare learners to earn a living. However, theybelieve that a learner must first learn how to learn.Perennialists believe the object of liberal education for all is not tomake young people scientists, mathematicians, or engineers, but to helpthem grasp what everybody ought to know about science, mathematicsand engineering. The perennialists also cannot accept the modernconcept of adapting the curriculum to the environment or currentculture. To do this, they argue, is to fail to establish any standard ofgood or bad in the quality of education. Since it is impossible to judgean individual’s current culture as good or bad, any curriculum adaptedto that culture must also lack any standards. Therefore, the perennialistcurriculum is based on eternal truths and always, in any environment orculture, its quality must be good.i. The Basic Philosophy of BehaviorismIn 1912, a psychologist, John B. Watson, formulated ideas aboutbehaviorism. He is credited with being the founding father ofbehaviorist psychology.Even though Watson was the founding father of behaviorism, Skinneris more well known for his work in this field. In 1928, without everhaving a course in psychology, Skinner decided that he would pursue itas a career. Those who influenced his style and ideas, other thanWatson, included Plato, Descartes, and Pavlov.Although Skinner was influenced by Watson, both men had slightlydifferent perspectives concerning behaviorism. Watson believed thatbehaviorism was a natural science that took the whole field of humanadjustments as it own. In addition to Watson’s view, Skinner believedthat behaviorism was not the science of human behavior, but thephilosophy of that science. One point that both agreed upon was thatpunishments were bad and unnecessary. They believed that one shouldnot react to unfavorable actions but should respond with positivereinforcements.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 146There are many misconceptions about behaviorism. Skinner believedthe science itself is misunderstood. There are numerous kinds ofbehavioral sciences, some that do not address certain behavioristicissues. To aid in explanation, a special discipline called experimentalanalysis of behavior was developed.Behaviorism is a sensitive subject to the individual, for who knows usbetter than ourselves? Our environment, according to behaviorists,plays an important part in our behavior. We have reflexes that are theresult of combining behavior and stimulation. Behavior that is evolvedin a species is said to be instinct. Other feelings that a personexperiences, according to behaviorists, are wants, needs, desires, andwishes. Language is considered to be verbal behavior that is theexpression of mental connotations. However, Skinner was moreconcerned with interpretation than with describing what is felt or whathas been accomplished.Behavior research and experiments originally were performed strictlywith animals. However, in 1952, things changed and humans were usedin testing as Ogden Lindsley, a student of Skinner, made a pioneeringattempt to control human behavior.Another area affected by the thought of behavior modification iseducation. Skinner recognized that the obvious improvements neededin education included covering more subject areas, keeping classessmall, more favorable working conditions, higher pay for teachers, andincreased public interest. However, even today, how these goals are tobe achieved is a very challenging question.As for the method of teaching, Skinner’s position was that anintelligent person already has what is needed to teach. A teacher’s goal,he believed, was to capture the student’s attention and to keep it,something that a teacher should know in everyday life.Skinner believed that in the pretense of helping people, we wereactually stifling their growth. He referred to Comenius, 400 years ago,who stipulated that the more a teacher teaches, the less the studentlearns. Skinner also contended that if the teacher helped the student toomuch, the student became too dependent and therefore would lack theability to think for himself/herself. The goals of teachers, according toSkinner, must be to prepare their students to eventually be independentthinkers.Another topic of concern for behaviorists in relation to education isaccountability: “Who should answer to the fact the student is notlearning–the teacher, the student, or the administration?”
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 147j. The Basic Philosophy of ConstructivismIn response to nationwide calls for educational reform, legitimateconcerns have been raised regarding appropriate goals of earlychildhood education. Parents, teachers, administrators, and legislatorshave been struggling to define what “excellence in education” meansfor children from three to seven years of age and to establish what stepseducators need to take for young children to be successful in the earlyyears of formal education.Constructivism, originating in Missouri, is a present-day philosophyand is based on theory that states that children construct their ownknowledge and values as a result of inter-actions with the physical andsocial world. Project construct, as it is called, was formed todemonstrate in a very practical way the principles of constructivisttheory. It is built on the belief that the teacher is a professional whoseday-to-day decisions in the classroom influence the child’sdevelopment. Within the framework for curriculum and assessment, theteacher has considerable autonomy in choosing or designingexperiences that will actively involve children and best promotelearning.Constructivism is based on four basic principles of child developmentand related teaching practices.1. Children have an intrinsic desire to make sense of the world. Whatthey genuinely need to know and are genuinely interested inknowing help them learn. In this instance, learning activities arecreated that are meaningful and interesting to young children;conditions are created in which children need to construct, develop,and apply additional knowledge or skills; activities are providedthat offer children choices and opportunities to function as planners,decision makers, and creators; sufficient time is allowed forchildren to pursue their ideas.2. Children actively construct knowledge and values by acting uponthe physical and social world. Because their thoughts are stillclosely tied to actions, they require a physically and mentally activelearning environment. Opportunities are provided for exploration,interaction, and experimentation with peers, adults, and objects;children are helped to reflect on and evaluate their thoughts andactions; activities are created that allow children to make use oftheir knowledge in new situations; opportunities are provided forchildren to cooperate and consider different points of view; children
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 148are permitted to use concrete actions to inform their decisionmaking.3. In their universal struggle to understand the world, youngchildren’s thinking will contain predictable errors. Children’simaginative but often incorrect and illogical answers and ideas arevalued; peer interaction to discuss, question, and challenge eachother’s ideas is encouraged; all children are allowed to experiencethe consequences of their ideas and actions within reasonableconstraints; children are encouraged to find answers to their ownquestions; analysis is made of how and why children learn incertain ways.4. Developmental domains are interactive and interrelated, eachinfluencing the other. It is within the socio-moral environment thatcognition and language are furthered. Emphasis is placed on anintegrated approach to teaching; integrated academic instructionwithin contexts that are meaningful to the child is practiced;curriculum goals which promote various aspects of development areencouraged; learning is viewed as dynamic and organic rather thanstatic and linear.Constructivist theory was developed to fulfill a need for a curriculumand assessment framework that supports young children’scharacteristic ways of learning while at the same time providingteachers, parents, and administrators with the information they need tomake appropriate decisions regarding the education of young children.This philosophy enables teachers to function as professional decisionmakers whose knowledge and observations of young children enrichteaching practice.14. Activities for Selected Philosophies Impacting Education and WesternCivilization.a. Activity 6Describe, in detail, the major concerns that led to the development ofthe following philosophies.1. Communism2. Analytic Philosophy3. Reconstructionism4. Scholasticism5. Instrumentalism
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 1496. Progressivism7. Essentialism8. Perennialism9. Behaviorism10. Constructivisma. Activity 7Determine how the four “main” philosophies, Idealism, Realism,Pragmatism, and Existentialism, have impacted on each of thephilosophies.b. Activity 8What philosophy or philosophies encompass constructivism? Write, indetail, your argument for your choice(s).15. Philosophical Thoughts of Encouragement.Tough times never last, tough people do. Robert SchullerThat which is within us is stronger than that which is without. UnknownThe steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath.John Greenleaf WhittierFaith is the force of life. TolstoyWhen you hoist the sail of faith, it is the wind, not the sail, that counts.UnknownWhen anger arises, think of the consequences. ConfuciusThe great remedy for anger is delay. Seneca16. Selected Fundamental Principles of Eastern Thought.Fundamental principles of Eastern tradition can be basically divided intothree areas: Indian Thought that is characterized by stern devotion to dutyand the caste system while stressing motivation, purpose, and meaning ofhuman actions; Chinese and Japanese Thought that generally includesno God, no saviors with emphasis on dependence on oneself instead ofoutside sources for answers and wisdom; Middle Eastern Thoughtconsisting of: (a) Islam that emphasizes religion for the hopeless, poor, andoutcast races and strict discipline and laws regarding morals; and (b)Judaism and Christianity that stress pure morals but with mercy and
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 150forgiveness. All of these have great concern for the inner man above theouter and which there is great emphasis on teacher-student relationshipwithin a strict moral code.a. Far Eastern and Indian ThoughtThis area includes China, Japan, Korea, and India. Similarities exist ineach of these areas for several reasons:1. they are noted for stable traditions;2. they live in the same area for extended periods of time;3. they believe in a sense of duty;4. they believe in a rigid class structure;5. they have strong family ties;6. they have powerful ancestor worship;7. they believe in punishment of the body.These areas contrast Western philosophy in that Western philosophydictates:1. excessive concern for material goods;2. social advancement;3. changing moral standards.b. Indian ThoughtIndian philosophy promoted a search for wisdom. It emphasizedspeculation to solve basic problems, to improve life, and to provideremedies for suffering. They stressed Universal Moral Justice in whichindividuals are responsible for what they are and what they become.1. HinduismHinduism is practiced as a way of life in which one should be ableto control and regulate desire. Hinduism is composed of three basictexts: Vedas, Upanishads, and Epics.Vedas consists of 10 components and beliefs:a. hymns, chants, and treatises of Aryan people;b. the worship of nature;c. three entities to the universe (earth, atmosphere, and Heaven);
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 151d. three Mantras (gods are praised, sacrifices to the gods, and aconstant battle between gods and demons);e. ultimate reality;f. uncreated reality and eternal spirit;g. leading a life of virtue and righteousness;h. divine human soul;i. humans are spirit;j. the heart and mind must be purified which may take severallifetimes of reincarnation.Upanishads are made up of 12 components and beliefs:a. secret teachings;b. built on Vedas;c. the gods receded into the background;d. divine knowledge is important;e. merge self with Brahman;f. women were elevated to equal status with men;g. monistic conception of the deity;h. Brahman is the beginning and end;i. true knowledge of Brahman can be obtained by purity of life andmeditation;j. quest for a true understanding of Brahman;k. Brahman is the only absolute reality;l. development of laws such as man-righteous conduct (developedfour classes of people and established three desired stages inone’s life).Epics are made up of nine components and beliefs:a. the world of nature and the universe are illusions;b. spirit is reality;c. devotion to duty;d. God speaks to humans intimately and in more detail;e. a poem of 700 versus in 18 chapters;f. describes a great war for the succession to the throne;
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 152g. a divine comparison for humanity;h. salvation is open to all;i. yoga is important in that the mind can be trained to function athigher levels.Mahatma Gandhi is usually associated with modern Hinduism. Heturned his law practice to one of social reform. His civildisobedience protests against Great Britain led to India’sindependence in 1947.Gandhi believed that God can be realized by living in the world andpracticing ahimsa (the practice of nonviolence). He conveyed thatwe should live a life of love and service toward others. AlthoughGandhi stressed peace and gentleness, he did have oppositionconcepts of untouchability, enforced widowhood and childmarriage. He advocated equal rights for women, temple and schoolentrance for all, and manual labor for everyone. For all that heopposed and advocated, his beliefs were steadfast. He promoted theconcept that one cannot know God completely in this life, that oneshould be willing to suffer for one’s own convictions withoutmaking others suffer, and that absolute non-violence may not bepossible.Jain, an offshoot of Hinduism, originated in India. It gave greatimportance to non-injury. Believers vowed not to injure any form oflife (this included not stepping on anything or even scratching).Although contrary to the practice, followers were expected tocommit suicide by starvation if they could not follow vows. Thisseems almost contradictory to the vow of non-injury.2. BuddhismSiddhartha Gotama (563-483 BC) is generally considered one of themost influential proponents of the Buddhism philosophy. Inessence, Buddha means “enlightened one.”Gotama is purported to have lived on one grain of rice a day. Hebelieved that personal gratification was the cause of worldsuffering. The universe, he insisted, is pamsara (a stream) withoutend and in which the law of Karma exists. Followers believed thatBuddhism should not be explained all at once; it should begin withwhat is related to the student’s condition. At first women wereshunned, but later were admitted in a submissive role. After about1,500 years in India, Buddhism was absorbed by Hinduism.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 153c. Chinese Thought1. The Influence of ConfuciusConfucius, a Chinese philosopher and ethical teacher, was born in551 BC in the feudal state of Lu. His father, a commander of adistrict in Lu, died three years after Confucius was born, leaving hisfamily in poor circumstances. Nevertheless, Confucius receivedcareful training from his mother in regard to the rigorous Chinesecustoms and ceremonials. His great love of learning led him toacquire a good educational foundation.Living in the midst of warfare, corruption and tyranny, Confuciusdeplored the disorder and lack of moral standards about him. Hecame to believe that the only remedy was to be found in convertingpeople once more to the principles and maxims of the holy savantsof antiquity. He urged a system of morality and statecraft to bringabout peace, justice, and universal order. His teachings became thebasis of the moral system of Confucianism.The basic moral principle of the system is the maintenance ofhumanity or sympathy between men by keeping right relationships:Treat those who are subordinate to you as you would be treated bythose in positions superior to yours. This is the Confucian GoldenRule. Actually, his rule suggests that “What you do not like whendone to yourself, do not do to others.”His entire teaching was practical and ethical rather than religious.He claimed to be a restorer of ancient morality although he did notput the principles of his philosophy into writing; these have comedown to us only through his disciples.Confucius was the greatest teacher in the history of China.Education became the profession he chose, politics was theprofession he would have preferred, and universal social reformwas his ideal. He considered that all politics stemmed fromeducation; therefore his philosophy of education merged into hispolitical philosophy. His teachings set the tenants for his part of theworld; his life cast the mold for the ages to come and his theoriesnever departed from the realities of life.Confucius was the initiator of several points of Chinese cultural life:a. Lecture as a method of teaching began with Confucius who wasthe first man in China to popularize teaching.
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 154b. Teaching as a profession started with Confucius. He initiated thetheory that where education took root, no class distinction wouldexist. This theory has been the mainspring of Chinese thoughtever since.c. The basic educational aim consisting of four consecutive ideals–proper personal discipline, harmonious family relations, wisegovernment, and peace on earth–was taught.d. The unity of Chinese culture consists of the democratic spiritthat can be vitalized only through the process of education.Confucius differed from the philosophical schools that followedhim. Confucius’s aim in teaching was to nurture and develop aperson so that he might become someone who would be useful tohis state, rather than to produce a scholar belonging to any onephilosophical school. Hence, he taught his pupils to read and tostudy a wide variety of books and subjects. Rote memorization wasregarded as an inadequate form of learning.The accomplishments of the disciples of Confucius were also not allof one pattern. They were noted for moral character, for gifts ofspeech, for administrative ability, and for knowledge in literatureand in learning. This overall wisdom signified that Confuciuswished his disciples to become “men” in the full sense of the term.Confucius was, in short, an educationist.In initiating lecturing as a teaching method, Confucius was the firstperson to introduce to the people the kind of education that hadbeen the monopoly of the aristocracy. He was the first person whobrought the knowledge reserved for the temples of the aristocracy tothe marketplace of the common man. He was the first person tomake teaching his profession and thus to popularize culture andeducation. He opened the way for many traveling scholars andphilosophers of succeeding centuries. He inaugurated, or at leastdeveloped, that class of gentleman in ancient China that was neitherfarmer, artisan, merchant, nor actual official, but was professionalteacher and potential official.In carrying out his belief that where education took root, classdistinction would not exist, Confucius admitted all, irrespective ofposition and wealth, to his school and taught them all the samesubjects. This was the beginning of the popularization of learningand the prelude to the age of the assumption of political leadershipby the common man.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 155Confucius never refused instruction to anyone who sought hisinstruction, even those who gave him a token tuition fee of a bundleof dried meat. The expression of “a bundle of dried meat” is stillsomewhat used in China to refer to tuition fees. Confucius probablydid not have a fixed fee for tuition, but it was likely that he acceptedsome honorarium from each of his students. In the maintenance ofhis livelihood through teaching, Confucius gave teaching itsprofessional status.Confucius initiated the fundamental principles of self-discipline,domestic harmony, wise government, and universal peace.Confucius was educated in many fields of knowledge and acquiredcompetency in many skills. While his curriculum included manysubjects, the principal emphasis was on the art of government.Whatever promotes the interest of the state and the welfare of thepeople deserved serious study. The means of attaining these objectsconsisted of self-discipline and the development of the personalityof the governors. Political astuteness was secondary to thedevelopment of a well-rounded personality.Even though the emphasis was on the art of government, goodgovernment alone, or a royal doctrine alone, would not be sufficientto secure political progress. Education had to be its foundation.Education did not include schooling alone; family discipline,hunting, walking, social meetings, and personal interviews possessgreat educational values. In other words, anything that would trainthe conduct and character of the individual, or that would increaseone’s knowledge and skill is a form of education. Furthermore, ineducation, emphasis should be laid more on the training of the mind,character, and feelings than the increase in knowledge and skill.The fundamental value of education to progress is to make thedemocracy of the masses, not the aristocracy of the intellectuals orthe virtuous, to understand and hence to move toward the socialideal. Without education, the mass of the people would be ignorantand would not know the importance of the royal doctrine and thedirection of progress.Confucius’s system of education was an elaborate one. In the centerof a village that contains 80 families, there should be a schoolhouse. The aged and virtuous men should be elected teachers of theschool. Usually they are recruited from the retired officials of thegovernment. Such a school of a local village is called a local school.It should open in the 10th month when the agriculture work has
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 156been finished, and should close in the first month when theagricultural work begins again. At eight years of age, the childshould begin to go to school and should study reading, writing,mathematics, geography, and ethical rules of the family and society.Next in succession to the local schools should come district school,the provincial college, the national academy, and the imperialuniversity. A local school should be in every village; a districtschool in every district; a provincial college in every province, anational academy in every capital city of every feudal state, and animperial university in the imperial capital. All of these schoolsshould be supported by the government. In schools, both knowledgeand character should be emphasized and there must be a balance ofmental and moral training. Education should also emphasize theteaching of citizenship, such as the duties of public service, theorganization of the government, the spheres of political authority,and military tactics.The general idea of Confucius’ philosophy can be traced through asequence of actions; the principles of higher education consist inpreserving man’s clear character, in giving new life to the people,and in dwelling in perfection or the ultimate good.Confucius believed that:a. Only after knowing the goal of perfection where one shoulddwell can one have a definite purpose in life.b. Only after having a definite purpose in life can one achievecalmness of mind.c. Only after having achieved calmness of mind can one havepeaceful repose.d. Only after having peaceful repose can one begin to think.e. Only after one has learned to think can one achieve trueknowledge.There are a foundation and a superstructure in the constitution ofthings and a beginning and an end in the course of events.Therefore, to know the proper sequence or relative order of things isthe beginning of wisdom.As an ethical teacher, Confucius takes his stand by the side ofGautama Buddha, Christ, and Mohammed, but he is differentiatedfrom these founders of world religions by the absence from histeaching of everything to do with the supernatural. The great
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 157philosopher of China displayed neither the mysticism of Buddha,the spirituality of Christ, nor the religious fervor of Mohammed. Heworshipped the ancient gods of China, but as a teacher he dealt onlywith worldly affairs, declaring the ways of Heaven and the laws ofthe other world to be beyond human comprehension. His appealwas primarily to reason, seldom to the emotions, and never to thedivine immanence of man. Confucius died in 479 BC.2. TaoismA foremost follower of Taoism was Lao-Tzu (Fifth Century BC).He practiced the belief that one should develop the inner life tomeet any difficulties. Tzu believed the best leader is one who rulesby letting things alone and that conflict and war represented afailure in society.Tzu emphasized that one should not be in rebellion against the lawsof the universe. He also advised that people can govern themselvesand the more laws there are, the more thieves and bandits multiply.d. Japanese ThoughtZen Buddhism was a way of promoting national and political unity.Practitioners modified Buddhism to fit Japanese culture. Founded byDaruma, Zen Buddhism has no saviors, faith, or God. It contains noscriptures for teaching, but merely points the direction to seek one’sown answers.Zen Buddhism proposes to discipline the mind and seeks freedom ofmind. Therefore, it is dependent on oneself for answers and wisdom,and on intuition. Logical thinking may prevent enlightenment. Thiswould prevent the development of a “third eye” that is vital for helpingus to be attuned to things around us (enlightenment can be achieved atany time and at any place).Although Zen Buddhism is a personal experience that emphasizessilent meditation, Zen methods of study may include the hitting ofstudents for failure to comply with proprieties of the belief.Practitioners believe that one lifetime may not be enough to become aZen master.e. Middle Eastern Thought1. JudaismAbraham believed in a tribal God. God was viewed as having thesame physical attributes as humans. Followers believe in the
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 158coming of a Redeemer, a Messiah. The observance of the Sabbath isholy and ceremonial observances are prominent.2. ChristianityChristianity appealed to the poor and oppressed. They believed thateach person should read the Bible and interpret it for himself/herself.Christianity developed from a small group proclaiming Jesus asMessiah. Followers proclaimed that belief in Jesus as a divinity wasthe difference between Judaism and Christianity.During His ministry on earth, Christ sought to open the minds ofdoctors, lawyers, priests, rulers, and so forth., the very people whoverbally attacked Him. Christ rarely is depicted as an itinerantpreacher/teacher. “He is a friend of tax collectors and sinners”(Luke 7:32). This was the idea the Pharisees had about Jesus.Christ taught using figures of speech many times and it should beknown that He did not mean for His figures of speech to beaccepted in their entirety. No one could suppose that when Jesussaid, “He was the door,” He meant that He was made of wood.Most figures of speech exist to illustrate them with requisitevividness. Consequently, each becomes patently absurd when it ispressed too far. The very fact that such figures of speech arenecessarily limited gives each one of them a little touch of humor.3. IslamAccording to oracle, Mohammed (571-632 AD) spent many hoursin a cave studying and thinking. At 40, Allah spoke to him throughan angel, Gabriel (the angel of revelation). Allah called onMohammed to have the people worship Allah. He told the people togive up worshipping many gods to follow him in the worship ofAllah. His message was not well received and he was forced todepart. Eight years after he left Mecca, he conquered the city withhis armies. He sought to unify Arab tribes.According to Islam, every word in the Koran is the word of God tothe Muslims. The Koran did away with intermediaries between Godand humans and emphasized that each person will be tried on theLast Judgment.Followers of Islam believe in one God, Allah, with all earthybelongings going to Him. Islam maintains equality before god and alife hereafter. Followers also believed in limited polygamy.17. Activities for Selected Fundamental Principles of Eastern Thought.
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 159a. Activity 9Write, in detail, any areas of agreement among Indian, Chinese,Japanese, and Middle Eastern Thought.f. Activity 10Write, in detail, the major areas of difference among Indian, Chinese,Japanese, and Middle Eastern Thought.g. Activity 11Describe, in detail, how Far Eastern Thought differs from WesternPhilosophy.h. Activity 12Describe the contributions of Confucius not only to the far easterncivilization, but also to western civilization.i. Activity 13Refer to your personal philosophy score. From what you have learnedthroughout this text, analyze your score and write a brief synopsis ofthe results.j. Activity 14From your brief synopsis, develop your personal philosophy foreducation. First, to establish thought processes, please respond brieflyto the following areas with the prefix I BELIEVE THAT . . .1. Curriculum2. Student Achievement3. Educational Environment4. Learning5. Teaching Performance6. Administrative effectiveness7. Educational mission8. Discipline9. Student self-efficacy
    • SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 16010. Teacher Self-Efficacy11. Parental Involvement12. Exceptional Childrenk. Activity 15From the information in Activity 3, write, in narrative form, yourphilosophy of education. Be specific in what you believe, but do notover-indulge in unnecessary wording.18. Philosophical Thoughts of Encouragement.Whatever may happen, every kind of fortune is to be overcome by bearing itVirgilThis too shall pass away. UnknownIn every adversity, there are the seeds of an equal or greater opportunity.Clement StoneOh, but man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what is heaven for.BrowningI steer my boat with hope . . . leaving fear astern. Thomas JeffersonCourage in danger is half the battle. PlautusThe nearer the dawn, the darker the night. LongfellowThe only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.UnknownOur doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win byfailing to attempt. Shakespeare. . . in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. The BibleHave patience - everything is difficult before it is easy. SaadiThis is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in. Dickens19. In Conclusion.Civilization faces many challenges. There are a wide range of problemsand issues that impact directly on educators and school systems.Understanding and appreciating the importance of philosophies ineducation gives educators the framework to help develop real solutions tomany lingering problems.We need daring educators armed with the ability to think critically,analytically, creatively, and imaginatively. There are numerous questionsthat are of great importance to educators. We hope this text will help
    • CHAPTER 3–PHILOSOPHIES OF SCHOOLINGPAGE 161educators think and search imaginatively for penetrating ways to provideanswers to the many questions.This text provides the reader with a solid, base-line reference tophilosophies in education. We recommend that educators keep this textand refer to it as a helpful reference to philosophies in education. To theserious reader who wants a more comprehensive treatment of the variousphilosophies presented here.