Realism and-its-role-in-education-2203
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  • I would like to thank Eric Stair for his technical help and equipment. The page numbers that you will see throughout the presentation are from our textbook. In your folder you have a word. This is the fairest way that I could include everyone without calling on them. Please take the words out now so that we are hunting and shuffling for them later. It's a good thing that I am off today, for I was so nervous that I was thinking of calling out—I have never done a Power Point presentation in my life—but I have not called out sick since I started teaching. If I did call out, my assistant and my colleagues would probably think that I had died.
  • First, read slide, then: I am just talking about these 3 “Realisms”in the slide...but, because of the philosophy's long history, dating back to ancient Greece, there are more: there is religious realism, there is scientific realism, and there is rational realism. However, I would like to start by asking a question of the person who has the word 'Mars' in his/her folder: HIT THE SPACE BAR FOR NEXT SLIDE: Does Mars exist?
  • If student says “Yes”, ask them when they were last there. “There is no water there, however did you manage?” “What was the weather like?” If he/she says something else, say, So, you are just going to take their (the astronomers') word for it? Personal story : The “Bell Curve” Two weeks ago, I got in a lot of trouble at my school by talking about the Bell Curve (a book that came out about 10 years ago). Recently a book came out called Race and Intelligence. I was trying to tell the children how they were being perceived. I received a damning memo the next day from my principal, saying that she was shocked and appalled that I was going around saying that black children were dumber or less intelligent than white children. She asked me where I was getting this information from. When I told her where, she looked at me and said...she had never heard of it...dismissing me. .
  • For all the “Realisms” that exist, and Realism has been around for approximately 2400 years, there is one central thread. Mars does exist. It existed before we got here. It will exist after we are gone. Aristotle was one of the first Realists. Greeks and Romans are famous for their baths and spas. Who has the word SPA? What is the historical lineage of these ancient philosophers? Plato Aristotle Socrates How can we remember that? S – P - A
  • Who has the word ATHENS? This is a painting by Renaissance artist Raphael, circa 1511. Can tell me which one is Plato and which one is Aristotle? Other than age, how can you tell? Plato charged that we must study ideas—that the ever-changing world of matter is not to be trusted. Plato said that we need to free ourselves from a concern for matter, so that we can advance toward the good. Aristotle believed that through the study of matter, we will advance towards the truth.
  • Remember, the textbook divides Realism into 3 branches, the first of which is Classical. These are two of the most prominent “Classical Realists.” They are approximately 1500 years apart However, Thomas Aquinas is also known as a Religious Realist. The first one we will discuss is Aristotle.
  • If you have the word 'tree' please tell me: How can a tree exist without matter—how is that possible? (Remember when Dr. Bland said that all inventions, b4 they were made started as an idea in someone's head—it did not exist.) A chair can exist in someone's head; you can sit on a chair but not on an idea of a chair. It has been suggested that because his father was a physician, Aristotle was more interested in biology and earthly matters. Do you remember the example in the book? An acorn is an acorn is an acorn. An acorn may eventually become an oak tree but it will never become a cat. Aristotle believed that each object “had its own 'soul' that directs it in the right way. (p. 49) Design and order are present in the universe. Aristotle also believed that studying the material aspects of an object should lead to a “deeper contemplation” of what the object is. MAY I ASK WHO HAS THE WORD 'ROCK'? What might Aristotle ask about this rock? (Weight, size. What is its meaning? How was it created? What purpose does it have?)
  • I wanted to show you where that little rock came from. This was collected from my travels as a Flight Attendant 100 years ago. The Rock of Gibraltar is 1,396 feet high overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The Rock is owned by England and bordered by Spain. The Rock is crumbling, and many pieces have fallen to the ground, so I picked up a piece. (That was probably not the best thing to do, since, if everyone did that, much of the Rock would be gone.) GET THE ROCK BACK. pg. 49—each piece of matter has particular properties—each object has a tiny 'soul' that directs it. A cat is a cat is a cat and not a tree and will never become tree. I repeat: Design and order are present in the universe. Aristotle believed that the most important thing we can ask about objects, such as this rock, relate to their purposes. Ah, but what is humanity's purpose?
  • What is humanity's purpose? We achieve our true purpose when we think, and we go against this when we do not think or do not think intelligently. We can avoid thinking by not paying attention or by misdirecting our thinking. Aristotle believed that when we refuse to think, we go against the design of the universe and the reason for our creation. I am quoting from p. 50: When we go against this purpose, we “suffer the consequences of erroneous ideas, poor health, and an unhappy life.” Sometimes when we think erroneously, we go to extremes: (then next slide) WHO HAS THE WORD 'extreme'?
  • For instance, if you eat too much, you will suffer from obesity and general poor health, or even death. Eat too little, and you might suffer from malnutrition and poor health, as well. So, the Golden Mean is a path between extremes.
  • I am sure we remember when Dr. Bland gave us an in-class assignment to construct a lesson plan using the 4 causes of Aristotle. The Material Cause: the matter from which something is made The Formal Cause: the design that shapes the material object The Efficient Cause: the agent that produces the object The Final Cause : the direction toward which the object is tending The book (p.51) gives this example using a house: the Material Cause would be: wood, bricks, and nails the Formal Cause would be: the sketch or blueprint the Efficient Cause would be: the carpenter who builds it the Final Cause would be: is that it is a place in which to live; a house Matter is in a process moving towards an end-a final cause. (Write this on board—for Whitehead, later.) ( Ask class ,”Knowing this, what was Aristotle's view of the Universe?” That the Universe was coming to a final end.
  • What could be the possible problem with syllogisms such as this one? Remember, this way(on the slide) is deductive. (from general to specific) This would be inductive: Socrates is mortal. Dr. Bland is mortal. Wilson is mortal. All three are men. Men are mortal. (specific to the general). .
  • You will see the fruits of his legacy later as we touch upon later Realists.
  • Thomas Aquinas was born in Naples, Italy. His education began at age 5 in a monastery. When he joined the Dominican order later in life, his 2 brothers who were soldiers, kidnapped and locked him in the family castle tower for a year. He later escaped and became a priest. He studied at the University of Naples. In 1244, he became a Dominican Friar dedicating his life to obedience, poverty, and “intellectual toil” . (p. 53) He was nicknamed “Dumb Ox” because of his quiet manner and stout shape, but he was a brilliant lecturer. He pursued a lifelong passion to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy with Christianity. He accepted Aristotle's view that a human has matter and a mind OR a body and a soul. Aristotle believed that our highest good comes through thinking. Aquinas took this to mean that because we are children of God, our best thinking should agree with Christian tenets.
  • Aquinas might not have became famous had he not lived in the 13 th century. It just so happened that an Islamic philosopher (Averroes) had translated the works of Aristotle into Latin and Aristotle was 'rediscovered' if you will. There was a furor around the works—the Church rejected them because they found Aristotle dangerous due to its concern about Pantheism. (Does anyone know what Pantheism is?) Why would that be dangerous? Remember the textbook's comments about healing...When you are sick, your body heals from within. The doctor may give you drugs, but the body still heals from within. Through Aquinas, Aristotle's ideas had a great impact on Christianity and were gradually incorporated into Christianity. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church, considers Thomism to be its leading philosophy, and he is considered a Saint. So, St. Aquinas had a profound impact on the Church.
  • Roughly 350 years later... The two most prominent modern Realists according to our text are Francis Bacon and John Locke.
  • Philosopher and politician in the courts of Elizabeth I and James I. Member of Parliament. Took a prominent part in the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Because he was poor, he took bribes and was caught; he was removed from office in disgrace and imprisoned. Member of the secret group called the Rosicrucians or Rosy Cross, a secret society of 'free thinkers'. They were against religious intolerance and limited personal freedoms. One of the major objectives was the reformation of science. (This society was recently mentioned in the book, The Da Vinci Code. Creator of the essay. Several scholars have attributed Shakespeare's works to Bacon. (There are many reasons why, but one of the reasons is that Bacon's life is in many of Shakespeare's plays.
  • Bacon attacked Aristotle's method of syllogism because he felt that its reasoning was flawed due to prevailing religious beliefs. During his time, theological reasoning held that God created Earth and God created humans that live on the Earth. Therefore, God must have placed Earth at the center of the universe Though Galileo (1564-1642) proved with a handmade telescope that it was the Earth that revolved around the sun (displacing the theory that the Earth was in the center of the solar system), he was convicted of heresy, forced to renounce his beliefs, and suffered lifetime house arrest. It wasn't until 1992, three hundred and fifty years later, under the tenure of Pope John Paul II, that Galileo's work was 'officially' recognized. Though Galileo and Bacon were contemporaries, they may have not been aware of each other. Bacon, however, would have surely damned Galileo's scientific struggles as evidence of the four Idols that human society (including the Catholic Church) 'bow down' before. Do these Idols exist today? Yes!
  • John Locke lived through tumultuous times. H e lived through the Great Plague of London (the Bubonic Plague) which was in 1655-1656. At its height, there were 7000 deaths a week. Then, he lived through the Great Fire of London, which started at a bakery and destroyed an estimated 80,000 homes. Fire actually believed to have prevented more deaths from the Plague, as the fire destroyed places in the roofs where the diseased mice lived. Also lived through King Charles' I execution. His book, Some Thoughts Concerning Education is criticized today for its elitist attitude towards education. He was very sickly,...had delicate health which suffered in the London climate. I am telling you about his health for a reason.
  • These are the four contemporary Realists that the text focuses on. Two of them are still alive. Hilary Putnam teaches at Harvard and John Searle is still teaching at University of California, Berkeley.
  • Bertrand Russell was a pupil of Alfred Whitehead.
  • Hmm...process, process...where have we heard that word before in this presentation? He objected to going to far in either direction—who have we heard this from? Preferred Realism because it helped people correct the excesses of subjective thought. Humans can never grasp the pattern of the universe in any complete sense, although we get parts of it, Who has “FISH”? Can a fish read?
  • 70 books, 2000 articles By the time he was 6, his parents, his sister,s, and his grandfather had all died, He was an orphan—raised by paternal grandmother under a stern puritanical rule. WWI influenced him—passionately embraced pacifism. Attacked by former associates and government. 1950—won Nobel Prize for literature
  • Who has the word “dollar”?
  • Read Daniel Pink's conclusion. Read quote: Mirror Reflection:a likeness of yourself Window OPENS admits LIGHT and AIR (and the occasional sound).

Realism and-its-role-in-education-2203 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Realismand its Role in Education Teresa HopsonXEF 501-Philosophy of Education Professor: Dr. Percy Bland Cheyney University April 4, 2007
  • 2. Overview of Presentation Classical Realism Modern Realism Contemporary Realism Aims of Realism in Education Methods of Education Curriculum Role of the Teacher Small activities throughout the presentation Conclusion
  • 3. Does Mars Exist?
  • 4. Central Thesis“The most central thread of realism is what can be called the principle or thesis of independence.”Objects exist whether or not there is a human mind to perceive them. (pg. 48)
  • 5. Difference between Plato and Aristotle The School of Athens, c.1511 by Raphael Plato (428-347 B.C.)  Must study ideas  Truth and logic through the dialectic discourse Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)  Should study matter  Logic reasoning through his syllogism
  • 6. Classical RealistsAristotle (384-322 B.C.)Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
  • 7. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)“A tree can exist without matter, but no matter can exist without form.” (p. 49)
  • 8. What might Aristotle ask of the Rock?
  • 9. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) What is humanitys purpose? “Because humans are the only creatures endowed withthe ability to think, their purpose is to use this ability.” (p. 50)
  • 10. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) Aristotles Golden Mean: (a path between extremes)The person who follows a true purpose leads arational life of moderation, avoiding extremes: the extremes of too little or too much. (p. 50)
  • 11. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)Aristotles Concept of the Four Causes: The Material Cause The Formal Cause The Efficient Cause The Final Cause
  • 12. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) Like Plato, Aristotle was concerned with logic. The logical method he developed was the syllogism, which was his method for testing the truth of statements such as: All men are mortal Socrates is a man Therefore, Socrates is mortal. (p. 52)
  • 13. Aristotelian Influence Recognizing the need to study nature Using logical processes to examine the external world Organizing things into hierarchies Emphasizing the rational aspects of human nature
  • 14. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) First encountered the work of Aristotle while studying in Naples Attempted to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy with Christian doctrines Became a leading authority on Aristotle in the Middle Ages Author of De Magistro (On the Teacher) and Summa Theologica Highest good comes through thinking We are children of God; our thinking should agree with Christian tenets God made it possible to acquire true knowledge so that we may knowHim better.
  • 15. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)Beliefs:-God is the Ultimate Teacher; only God can touch the soul.-A teacher can only point the way to knowledge.-Teaching is a way to serve humankind; it is part of Gods work. “Leading thestudent from ignorance to enlightenment is one of the greatest services oneperson can give to another.” (p.54)-The soul possesses an inner knowledge.-The major goal of education was the perfection of the human being and theultimate reunion of the soul with God.
  • 16. Modern RealismFrancis Bacon John Locke (1561-1626) (1632-1704)
  • 17. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) In Novum Organum, he challenged Aristotelian logic. Believed science was delayed by Aristotelian thinking Past thinking flawed due to theological dogmatism and prior assumptions which led to false deductions (e.g. Galileo) Science must be concerned with inquiry and not pre- conceived notions. Science was a tool for creating new knowledge. Originator of the expression: “Knowledge is Power”
  • 18. Francis Bacon (1561-1626)Believed we should examine all previously accepted knowledge;We should rid ourselves of four idols that we bow down before: Idol of the Den (beliefs due to limited experience) Idol of the Tribe (believing because most people believe) Idol of the Marketplace (beliefs due to misuse of words) Idol of the Theater (subjective beliefs colored by religion and personal philosophy)
  • 19. John Locke (1632-1704) Oxford scholar; medical researcher, physician No such things as innate ideas—mind at birth is a tabula rasa First great English empiricist All ideas are acquired from sources independent of the mind, through experience. Authored Some Thoughts Concerning Education Influenced the later writings of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison (Wikipedia, 2007) “The little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences." (Locke, 1690, Essay, p. 10)
  • 20. Contemporary RealismAlfred Whitehead (1861-1947) Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Hilary Putnam (1926-) John R. Searle (1932-)
  • 21. Alfred Whitehead and Bertrand Russell  Both born in England  Collaborated on mathematical writings  Eventually came to teach in the United States  Both wrote about education  Co-authored Principia Mathematica
  • 22. Alfred Whitehead (1861-1947) Led to philosophy through the study of mathematics at age 63 Tried to reconcile some aspects of Idealism with Realism Process is central to his philosophy—reality is a process. Philosophy is a search for a pattern in the universe: (Can a fish read?) The most important things to be learned are ideas. Education should be concerned with living ideas—ideas connected to the experience of learners.
  • 23. Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Student of Alfred Whitehead Taught at Cambridge, the University of California Imprisoned for pacifist activities Founded a school called Beacon Hill Two kinds of reality: hard data and soft data Education is key to a better way; we should be using our knowledge to erase some of the ills of society.
  • 24. Hilary Putnam (1926-) Taught at Northwestern, MIT, and finally Harvard The changes in science influence the philosophy of realism Coined the term internal realism Physicists have introduced a cut between the observer and the universe. The universe is too large and too complex for us to understand. Forced to observe universe with our own limited resources. Science will continue to influence the philosophy of realism
  • 25. John R. Searle (1932-) Accepts the traditional view of Realism Coined the term social reality Does reality in the universe just consist of physical particles and fields of force? Social reality created by human consciousness
  • 26. Aims of Education Understanding the material world through inquiry A study of science and the scientific method A need to know the world in order to ensure survival Basic, essential knowledge with a no-nonsense approach Intellectually-gifted student is a precious resource Should use the Great Books of the Western World Adlers Paideia Proposal: school should be a one-track system, general (non-specialized), and non-vocational
  • 27. Methods of Education Not only facts, but method of arriving at facts Emphasis on critical reasoning through observation Supports formal ways of teaching Children should be given positive rewards (Locke) Precision and order: ringing bells, time periods, daily lesson plans, prepackaged curriculum materials Supports accountability and performance-based teaching Scientific research and development Most recent development: computer technology
  • 28. Curriculum−Practicaland useful−Physical activity has educational value (Locke)−Attention to the complete person (Locke)−Extensive use of pictures (John Amos Comenius)−Use of objects in education (Maria Montessori)−Highly organized and systematic
  • 29. Role of the Teacher Realists emphasize the role of the teacher Should teach students what they need to survive At the very least, should teach the essentials Material presented in a systematic and organized way Humanities should be taught in ways that are conducive to cognitive development
  • 30. Main Activity There is a number in your folder. The number you have matches the question that youwill answer. Conclusion“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” Sydney J. Harris (American Journalist 1917-1986)