Philosophy
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  • 1. The Philosophy of Education Chapter 5
  • 2. What is Philosophy of EducationAll teachers have a personal philosophy thatcolors the way they teachEngaging in philosophy helps clarify whatthey do or intend to do, justify or explainwhy they do what they do in a logical,systematic manner
  • 3. Understanding two importantnotionsWho they are or intend to beWhy they do or propose to do what they doEric Berne‟s three important questions:Who am I?Why am I here?Who are all these other people, and what dothey want of me?
  • 4. The meaning of PhilosophicalInquiry“Whatever people choose to embrace, if theirchoices are made in a logical, rational manner,they are engaged in the process of „doingphilosophy.‟”Three specific areas of philosophical inquiry:metaphysics concerned with questions about thenature of reality; epistemology concerned with thenature of knowledge; axiology concerned with thenature of values
  • 5. Particular Philosophies ofEducationIdealism, the first systematic philosophy inWestern thought…Socrates and Plato, the Socraticmethod was dialogueGeneric notions: Philosophers often pose abstractquestions that are not easily answered but areconcerned with the search for truthWorld of matter in constant state of flux, sensesare not to be trusted, continually deceive usTruth is perfect and eternal, but not found in theworld of matter, only through the mind
  • 6. IdealismThe only constant for Plato wasmathematics, unchangeable and eternalPlato‟s method of dialogue engaged insystematic, logical examination of all pointsof view…ultimately leading to agreementand a synthesis of ideas…this approachknown as the dialectic.
  • 7. IdealismPlato believed education helped move individualscollectively toward achieving the good.The State should be involved in education, movingbrighter students toward abstract ideas and the lessable toward collecting data…a gender freetracking systemThose who were brighter should rule, othersshould assume roles to maintain the stateThe philosopher-king would lead the State to theultimate good
  • 8. IdealismEvil comes through ignorance, education will leadto the obliteration of evilMore modern idealists: St. Augustine, Descartes,Kant, HegelGoal of Education: interested in the search fortruth through ideas…with truth comesresponsibility to enlighten others, “education istransformation: Ideas can change lives.”
  • 9. IdealismRole of the Teacher: to analyze and discussideas with students so that students canmove to new levels of awareness so thatthey can ultimately be transformed,abstractions dealt with through the dialectic,but should aim to connect analysis withactionRole of the teacher is to bring out what isalready in student‟s mind: reminiscence
  • 10. Methods of InstructionLecture from time to time, but primarymethod of teaching is thedialectic…discuss, analyze, synthesize, andapply what they have read to contemporarysocietyCurriculum…importance of the study of theclassics…many support a back to the basicsapproach to education
  • 11. RealismAristotle was the leading proponent ofrealism, started the Lyceum, the firstphilosopher to develop a systematic theoryof logicGeneric Notions…only through studyingthe material world is it possible to clarify ordevelop ideas…matter is real independentof ideas
  • 12. Aristotle‟s Systematic Theory ofLogicBegin with empirical research, speculate oruse dialectic reasoning, and culminate in asyllogismA syllogism is a system of logic thatconsists of three parts: (1) a major premise,(2) a minor premise, and (3) a conclusionFor a syllogism to work, all the parts mustbe correct
  • 13. Philosopher‟s ConcernsWhat is the good life?What is the importance of reason?Moderation in all things…balance inleading one‟s life: reason is the instrumentto help individuals achieve balance andmoderation
  • 14. RealistsNeo-Thomism…Aquinas affected asynthesis of pagan ideas and Christianbeliefs…reason is the means of ascertainingor understanding truth, God could beunderstood through reasoning based on thematerial world…no conflict betweenscience and religionThe world of faith with the world of reason,contemporary Catholic schools
  • 15. Modern RealismFrom the Renaissance, Francis Bacon developedinduction, the scientific method…based onAristotle, developed a method starting withobservations, culminating in generalization, testedin specific instances for the purpose of verificationJohn Locke and tabula rasa, things known fromexperience… ordered sense data and then reflectedon them
  • 16. Contemporary RealistsTend to focus on philosophy andscience…Alfred North Whitehead,concerned with the search for “universalpatterns”Bertrand Russell with Whitehead, PrincipiaMathematica…universal patterns could beverified and classified through mathematics
  • 17. Goal of Education for RealistsNotions of the good life, truth, beauty couldbe answered through the study of ideas,using the dialectical method…forcontemporary realists, the goal of educationis to help individuals understand and applythe principles of science to help solve theproblems plaguing the modern worldTeachers should be steeped in the basicacademic disciplines
  • 18. PragmatismAn American philosophy from the 19thcentury…Peirce, James, Dewey“By their fruits, ye shall know them.” Pragmatismencourages people to find processes that work inorder to achieve their desired ends…actionoriented, experientially groundedRousseau… “back to nature”, environment andexperience…Emile, little regard for the educationof women other than to be Emile‟s companion
  • 19. John DeweyIntellectual heir to Charles Darwin, constantinteraction between organism andenvironment, dynamic and developingworld…child centered progressivism andsocial reconstructionismInstrumentalism and experimentalism,pragmatic relationship between school andsociety and applying ideas of education onan experimental basis
  • 20. John Dewey‟s PhilosophyEducation starts with the needs and interests of thechild, allows the child to participate in planningher course of study, employ project method orgroup learning, depend heavily or experientiallearningChildren are active, organic beings…needing bothfreedom and responsibilityIdeas are not separate from social conditions,philosophy has a responsibility to society
  • 21. Dewey‟s Role for the TeacherNot the authoritarian but thefacilitator…encourages, offers suggestions,questions and helps plan and implementcourses of study…has command of severaldisciplinesInquiry method, problem solving, integratedcurriculum
  • 22. Existentialism andPhenomenologyKierkegaard, Buber, Jaspers, Sartre, MaxineGreene…existentialistsHusserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty…phenomenologistsHow do one‟s concerns affect the lives ofan individual…the phenomena ofconsciousness, perception and meaning inan individual‟s experience
  • 23. Existentialists andPhenomenologistsBased on the earth alone, must make senseof the chaos one encounters“Existence precedes essence.” People mustcreate themselves and create their ownmeaning…done through the choices peoplemake in their lives, in a state of constantbecoming…an individual can make adifference in a seemingly absurd world
  • 24. ExistentialistsEducation should focus on the needs ofindividuals, include the nonrational as wellas rational, the notion of possibilityTeachers should understand their own“lived world” and help students tounderstand their worldThe need to be “wide awake”…the role ofthe teacher is intensely personal
  • 25. Neo-MarxismRadical critique of capitalismThe role of education should be to givestudents the insight to demystify capitalismand become agents of radical changeMarx believed the history of civilizationwas defined by class struggleGeneral conflict theory…the teacher is a“transformative intellectual”