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EDUCATIONAL
PARADIGMS &
PHILOSOPHIES
Kurt Love, Ph.d.
Central Connecticut State University
PURPOSES OF
EDUCATION
What are reasons for having public education?
Build a Labor
Force
Creative
Thinkers
Responsible 

Citizens
Critically Question

Privilege/Oppression
Build a 

socially/ecologically 

just community
Accumulate 

Knowledge
Follow 

Directions
Fun
Support the 

Growth of the

“Whole” Student
Inspiring
PURPOSES OF
EDUCATION
What are reasons for having public education?
Build a Labor
Force
Creative
Thinkers
Responsible 

Citizens
Critically Question

Privilege/Oppression
Build a 

socially/ecologically 

just community
Accumulate 

Knowledge
Follow 

Directions Fun
Support the 

Growth of the

“Whole” Student
Inspiring
3 PARADIGMS OF
TEACHING
Traditional
Liberal/Progressive
Critical or Transformative
TRADITIONAL
EDUCATION
Knowledge treated as “Truth”
Students are “blank slates”
Teacher “transfers” knowledge
Learning = “Regurgitation”
Learning is controlled by an
authority figure
Dominant Learning Theory:
Behaviorism
Thinking
Convergent Thinking - 

All paths lead to a single destination.This is rooted in a
belief that there is only one “Truth.”
Thought
Truth
New	

Thought
ThoughtTruth
Thought
Traditional Liberal/Progressive
scaffold
scaffold
LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE
EDUCATION
Knowledge still treated as “Truth”
Learning is facilitated by an
authority figure
Students have prior knowledge
and continue to build their schema
Still aiming for the “right” answer;
students’ voices used to validate
curriculum
Dominant Learning Theory:
Constructivism
TRANSFORMATIVE
EDUCATION
Knowledge is socially constructed and
connected to issues of power
Learning is a process of forming new
relationships with community (society
and nature)
Students are social, cultural, and
ecological beings of a community
Pursue voices that are marginalized,
silenced, omitted
Dominant Learning Theory: Critical
Constructivism
Thinking
Divergent Thinking - 

Explore many paths in authentic settings with questions
that have no predetermined answer.
Thought
Info
New 

ThoughtThought
New 

Thought
Transformative
Communities
Critical	

Questioning
New 

Relationship
New 

Relationship
PARADIGMS AND
PHILOSOPHIES
Paradigms
TraditionalLiberal/Progressive
Transformative
PARADIGMS AND
PHILOSOPHIES
Paradigms
Philosophies
or
Theories
Traditional Liberal/Progressive Transformative
Idealism
Realism Pragmatism
Existentialism
Critical Theory
Critical Race Theory
NeoMarxism
Feminist Theory
Ecojustice Theory
Humanism
Indigenous Theory
Queer Theory
Traditional Education
REALISM
REALISM
The material world is where we should look to for
knowledge (Plato & Aristotle)#
Syllogism - A = B, B = C, therefore C = A

All students are mammals

All mammals have four-chambered hearts

Therefore, all students have four-chambered hearts
SOCRATES, PLATO & ARISTOTLE
Socrates taught Plato#
Plato taught Aristotle#
Aristotle taught Alexander
the Great
SOCRATES, PLATO & ARISTOTLE
All three followed a
paradigm of deductive
reasoning.
DEDUCTIVE REASONING
Deductive Reasoning - 

Classical Realism (Aristotle)
Theory
Hypothesis
Observation
Confirmation
KEVIN BACON
Bacon (1561-1626) argues that
knowledge is constructed
through an inductive process.
That is, observations lead to
the construction of a theory.#
This is in direct argument
with Plato & Socrates who
stated that knowledge
construction was deductive.
FRANCIS BACON
Bacon (1561-1626) argues that
knowledge is constructed
through an inductive
process. That is, observations
lead to the construction of a
theory.#
This is in direct argument
with Plato & Socrates who
stated that knowledge
construction was deductive.
INDUCTIVE REASONING
Inductive Reasoning - 

Scientific Method or Modern Realism (Francis Bacon)
Observation
Pattern
Hypothesis
Experimentation
Theory
DEDUCTIVE & INDUCTIVE REASONING
Inductive Reasoning - 

Scientific Method or Modern Realism (Francis Bacon)
Deductive Reasoning - 

Classical Realism (Aristotle)
Theory
Hypothesis
Observation
Confirmation
Observation
Pattern
Hypothesis
Experimentation
Theory
JOHN LOCKE
Philosopher John Locke argues
(1632-1704) that we don’t have
ideas first (a priori), but we do
make observations, gather
information, and reflect on it.#
As a side note, Locke is
generally not known for his
contributions to learning. His
contributions are generally in
political theory.
JOHN LOCKE
Philosopher John Locke argues
(1632-1704) that we don’t have
ideas first (a priori), but we do
make observations, gather
information, and reflect on it.#
As a side note, Locke is
generally not known for his
contributions to learning. His
contributions are generally in
political theory.
PROBLEM OF INDUCTIVE REASONING
Observation: White Swan#
Pattern: More White Swans#
Hypothesis: All Swans are White?#
Experimentation: Observe more swans#
Theory: Yep, all swans are white
REALISM & PATRIARCHY
Women are closer to
nature than men;#
Nature is wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Therefore...
Women are wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Aristotle and Phyllis 

(Alexander the Great’s Wife)
"If thus it happened to me, an old man most
wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can
see that I taught you well, that it could happen
to you, a young man." - Aristotle
REALISM & PATRIARCHY
Women are closer to
nature than men;#
Nature is wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Therefore...
Women are wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Aristotle and Phyllis 

(Alexander the Great’s Wife)
"If thus it happened to me, an old man most
wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can
see that I taught you well, that it could happen
to you, a young man." - Aristotle
REALISM & PATRIARCHY
Women are closer to
nature than men;#
Nature is wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Therefore...
Women are wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Salome, Herod, and the
beheading of John the Baptist
REALISM & PATRIARCHY
Women are closer to
nature than men;#
Nature is wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Therefore...
Women are wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
A mass killing of women during
the “Burning Times”
From the 1400’s - 1600’s between
200,00 and 9 million women were
killed for being “witches.”
REALISM & PATRIARCHY
Women are closer to
nature than men;#
Nature is wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Therefore...
Women are wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
A mass killing of women during
the “Burning Times”
From the 1400’s - 1600’s between
200,00 and 9 million women were
killed for being “witches.”
REALISM & PATRIARCHY
Women are closer to
nature than men;#
Nature is wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Therefore...
Women are wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Adam & Eve
REALISM & PATRIARCHY
Women are closer to
nature than men;#
Nature is wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Therefore...
Women are wild, chaotic,
and uncontrollable
Adam & Eve
THOMAS AQUINAS & REALISM
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)argues
that we can understand
(Christian) God through
reasoning. Our study of nature
and relying upon material things
to learn are helping us learn about
(Christian) God. #
Late 1800’s Vatican revives
Aquinas’ philosophy
(NeoThomism) in an attempt to
resolve the dispute between
science and religion.
POSITIVISM &
LOGICAL POSITIVISM
Using our 5 senses to determine truth = positivism#
Using our 5 senses and logic/mathematics to
determine truth = logical positivism#
Both tend to treat knowledge as “truth”#
To what extent is our process of education a “truth-
seeking” process?
LOGICAL POSITIVISM &
TODAY’S SCHOOLS
How does logical positivism influence education today?
TestingSRBIRTINo Child Left BehindRace To the TopData Teams
LOGICAL POSITIVISM &
TODAY’S SCHOOLS
How does logical positivism influence education today?
Testing
SRBI
RTI
No Child Left Behind
Race To the Top
Data Teams
How much do these policies and practices
influence teaching practices today?
Idealism
Idealism	
• Idealism relies on constructing
knowledge through the interrogation
thought and ideas.
• Idealists argue that the material
world is constantly in flux and our
senses are unreliable at best.
Therefore, we cannot ground
knowledge in either.
Roots of Idealism	
• What are the roots?
• Socrates & Plato use dialogue to construct
knowledge and understanding.
• Philosophers have the primary objective
of interrogating thought in order to find
truth.
• To what extent do scientists play the role
of philosophers in today’s societies?
Truth & Knowledge	
• To what extent is there a distinction
between knowledge and “truth” in
idealism?
Idealist Teaching
• Connecting with the process of
reminiscence.
• In other words, through dialogue and
the use of logic teacher brings out
knowledge that students already
know.
Idealism
• How does idealism play out in
teaching and learning in today’s
schools?
• Mortimer Adler & Classic Literature
for all students
• Back to basics movement (Reagan and
William Bennett)
Plato’s Cave
Liberal/Progressive
Education
Pragmatism
Pragmatism
Focus is on “doing” or action	
Problem-based learning generally with
contemporary issues
Pragmatic Thinking
Recognize a
Problem
Speculative

Thought
Action
Results
John Dewey
Philosopher John Dewey
(1859-1952) argued that
education needs to focus on
action-oriented experiences
(“Learn by Doing”)	
His work began the
“progressive” movement in
education	
Argued that schools ought to
produce democratic students
-- this led to social
reconstruction or schools
being used in building a
better society
John Dewey
Chet Bowers argues
that Dewey’s
pragmatism in schools
was culturally
destructive	
Dewey argued that
Western practices
were rightfully
dominant in the world
Pragmatism &
Historical Perspectives
Since pragmatism focuses on a
contemporary issue, it runs the risk
of:	
Being culturally colonizing	
Putting humans/technology/industry
over nature (being anthropocentric)
Learning By Doing?
There are obvious benefits to making
education more experiential	
More cognitive “glue” is generally
produced	
Opportunities to engage more deeply
and more meaningfully with community
Learning By Doing?
Question to consider: To what extent
are we limited if we let experience
be the central resource for informing
us about our practice? 	
In other words, what is practice
without theory?
Pragmatic Knowledge
Is knowledge that is produced through
pragmatism treated as “truth”?	
How is this the same/different than
idealism and realism?
Existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism - 

Strong focus on the
individual’s experience
rather than a universal
truth.
How does the individual
make sense of the
world?
Liberation of the
individual from the
chaotic world
Martin Buber
“I-Thou” relationships
whereby we encounter
each other with deep
respect and honor,
nurturance, and
conviviality
“The world is not
comprehensible, but it
is embraceable
through the
embracing of one of
its beings.” 1878-1965
Martin Buber
“I-It” relationships
whereby we turn people
into objects to control
and manipulate with
each group unaware or
ignorant to the others
essence

This speaks to issues of
power, but Buber did not
do much analysis of social
power structures like
critical theorists did
1878-1965
Maxine Greene
Greene emphasized art,
music, and drama as
being portals to the “I-
Thou” in the context of
education

Describes a movement
towards deep
interconnectedness that
one gains through art
and imagination as a
“wide-awakeness”
1917 - 2014
Maxine Greene
Wide-awakeness is the
goal according to Greene,
but she reminds us that
part of being so is to be
politically and socially
active. 

Wide-awakeness is not
politically or socially
neutral

Greene is drawing from
both existentialism as well
as critical social theories 1917 - 2014
Maxine Greene
Greene’s work is on
the border of liberal/
progressive and
transformative
paradigms

She combines critical
social theory with
existentialism
1917 - 2014
Existentialist Teaching
Reject any formalized approach to using “methods”
because any method that is not tailored to the
individual learner cannot be optimally effective
Focus on the individual learner’s needs, interests, and
ambitions.
Focus on the individual’s cognitive and affective needs
AKA “humanist” teaching
AKA “holistic” teaching
AKA “aesthetic” teaching
Limitations: Existentialism
Unaware of the issues of
oppression and privilege
Not comfortable with social
justice issues enough to
teach about them
Encouraging creativity and
imagination without the
connections to social
injustices can be equivalent
to allowing those social
injustices to perpetuate
TRANSFORMATIVE
EDUCATION
MARXISM
NEO-MARXISM
Focus on the social processes that perpetuate social
injustices especially in the form of class inequalities.
Critique of capitalism and its processes that create and
maintain “haves” and “have-nots.”
Adapted from the philosophical work of Karl Marx.
KARL MARX & MARXISM
History is defined by class
struggle (as defined by the
economic system of the
region).
The concentration of wealth is
an unfair advantage that
comes with power and
domination of those who do
not have wealth.
Ultimately, there needs to be a
distribution of capital or
wealth, which can lead to a
diffusion of social power 1818-1883
KARL MARX & MARXISM
Marx argued that the wealthy,
dominant elites (bourgeoisie)
used violence (i.e. military, police)
to threaten the poor workers
(proletariat) in order to maintain
class stratification (i.e. “social
order”) and the concentration
of wealth.
Marx argued that the wealthy,
dominant elites also used
ideology, or a set of beliefs, to
convince the poor workers that the
system was fair and just so they
did not need to resist. Antonio
Gramsci called this process
hegemony. 1818-1883
NEO-MARXISM
NEO-MARXISM
“Neo-Marxists” addressed different problematic
claims that Marx made (such as science being able to
overcome industrial unjust practices and the de-
emphasis of women’s roles in society).
Neo-Marxists still focus on the power issues present
between the classes and in labor in contemporary
society.
CRITICAL THEORY
CRITICAL THEORY IN SOCIETY
Focuses on hegemony. Hegemony is a) the perpetuation of some
being dominant and most being subordinated, and b) doing so
without the use of violence.
Types of social injustices: racism (White domination), sexism
and patriarchy (Male domination), classism (domination of the
wealthy), heterosexism (domination of heterosexuality),
anthropocentrism (domination of humans over Earth),
Eurocentrism (domination of Western philosophy, science, art
and literature), and the religionism (domination of Christianity).
Sources of hegemony: teachers, media, religious leaders, family,
friends, military, corporations
CRITICAL THEORY IN
EDUCATION
Schools are often places where hegemony occurs.
Schools perpetuate social injustices in the forms of
racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, anthropocentrism,
Eurocentrism, and the human domination of the earth.
Schools can be sites of hope and possibility because
teachers and students can work to understand or “unlearn”
the roots of all forms of domination and ultimately undo them
PAULO FREIRE
Brazillian educator and
philosopher, Paulo Freire
wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed
in 1970 arguing that the
oppressed had the capacity
to know the processes of
social domination and
overcome them.
To be clear, Freire was not
the first to discuss these
concepts in the context of
education.
1921-1997
CRITICAL PEDAGOGY:
MAJOR PRINCIPLES
Class Struggle: 

The primary mode of analysis comes from looking at
how socioeconomics limits people’s power. Jean
Anyon’s study of how knowledge is treated differently
based on the class of the students.
CLASS STRUGGLE IN
EDUCATIONAL CONTEXTS
Jean Anyon’s (1981) study of how knowledge is treated
differently based on the class of the students.
How is knowledge treated in the professional/elite
schools? Middle class schools? Working class power
schools?
How is knowledge treated in “honors” tracks?
“Academic” or lower tracks?
CRITICAL RACE
THEORY
CRITICAL RACE THEORY
People do not get equal treatment in
society based on their race.
Focus in on institutional racism: Schools,
law enforcement, judicial system
W.E.B. DU BOIS
U.S. civil rights activist,
Pan-Africanist, sociologist,
historian, author, professor
First African-American to
earn a Ph.D. at Harvard
(1895)
1868 - 1963
W.E.B. DU BOIS
Wrote The Souls of Black
Folks (1903) and The Negro
(1915)
Argued that all-Black
schools of his time should
focus on helping students
understand their power in
society and ultimately
work for social change.
1868 - 1963
CARTER G. WOODSON
Author, historian, journalist,
teacher, and principal
Second African-American to
earn a Ph.D. from Harvard
(1912)
“Father of Black History” &
Founder of Black History Month
Argued that African-Americans
needed to have more access to
their history so that there could
be more wore work done to
reform society and overcome
oppression.
1875-1950
CARTER G. WOODSON
Wrote The Mis-Education of the
Negro (1933)
Argued that U.S. schools were
not teaching Black students, but
were instead indoctrinating
them to assimilate to the social
structures and hierarchies
Argued that ultimately Black
people would have to become
educated and challenge the
system because those with
power do not give it up readily.
WHAT PARADIGMS AND
PHILOSOPHIES ARE HERE?
Ferris Bueller
Do you teach or do you educate?
When I become a teacher
Dead Poet’s Society
Freedom Writers

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Educational Paradigms and Philosophies Compared

  • 1. EDUCATIONAL PARADIGMS & PHILOSOPHIES Kurt Love, Ph.d. Central Connecticut State University
  • 2. PURPOSES OF EDUCATION What are reasons for having public education? Build a Labor Force Creative Thinkers Responsible 
 Citizens Critically Question
 Privilege/Oppression Build a 
 socially/ecologically 
 just community Accumulate 
 Knowledge Follow 
 Directions Fun Support the 
 Growth of the
 “Whole” Student Inspiring
  • 3. PURPOSES OF EDUCATION What are reasons for having public education? Build a Labor Force Creative Thinkers Responsible 
 Citizens Critically Question
 Privilege/Oppression Build a 
 socially/ecologically 
 just community Accumulate 
 Knowledge Follow 
 Directions Fun Support the 
 Growth of the
 “Whole” Student Inspiring
  • 5. TRADITIONAL EDUCATION Knowledge treated as “Truth” Students are “blank slates” Teacher “transfers” knowledge Learning = “Regurgitation” Learning is controlled by an authority figure Dominant Learning Theory: Behaviorism
  • 6. Thinking Convergent Thinking - 
 All paths lead to a single destination.This is rooted in a belief that there is only one “Truth.” Thought Truth New Thought ThoughtTruth Thought Traditional Liberal/Progressive scaffold scaffold
  • 7. LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION Knowledge still treated as “Truth” Learning is facilitated by an authority figure Students have prior knowledge and continue to build their schema Still aiming for the “right” answer; students’ voices used to validate curriculum Dominant Learning Theory: Constructivism
  • 8. TRANSFORMATIVE EDUCATION Knowledge is socially constructed and connected to issues of power Learning is a process of forming new relationships with community (society and nature) Students are social, cultural, and ecological beings of a community Pursue voices that are marginalized, silenced, omitted Dominant Learning Theory: Critical Constructivism
  • 9. Thinking Divergent Thinking - 
 Explore many paths in authentic settings with questions that have no predetermined answer. Thought Info New 
 ThoughtThought New 
 Thought Transformative Communities Critical Questioning New 
 Relationship New 
 Relationship
  • 11. PARADIGMS AND PHILOSOPHIES Paradigms Philosophies or Theories Traditional Liberal/Progressive Transformative Idealism Realism Pragmatism Existentialism Critical Theory Critical Race Theory NeoMarxism Feminist Theory Ecojustice Theory Humanism Indigenous Theory Queer Theory
  • 14. REALISM The material world is where we should look to for knowledge (Plato & Aristotle)# Syllogism - A = B, B = C, therefore C = A
 All students are mammals
 All mammals have four-chambered hearts
 Therefore, all students have four-chambered hearts
  • 15. SOCRATES, PLATO & ARISTOTLE Socrates taught Plato# Plato taught Aristotle# Aristotle taught Alexander the Great
  • 16. SOCRATES, PLATO & ARISTOTLE All three followed a paradigm of deductive reasoning.
  • 17. DEDUCTIVE REASONING Deductive Reasoning - 
 Classical Realism (Aristotle) Theory Hypothesis Observation Confirmation
  • 18. KEVIN BACON Bacon (1561-1626) argues that knowledge is constructed through an inductive process. That is, observations lead to the construction of a theory.# This is in direct argument with Plato & Socrates who stated that knowledge construction was deductive.
  • 19. FRANCIS BACON Bacon (1561-1626) argues that knowledge is constructed through an inductive process. That is, observations lead to the construction of a theory.# This is in direct argument with Plato & Socrates who stated that knowledge construction was deductive.
  • 20. INDUCTIVE REASONING Inductive Reasoning - 
 Scientific Method or Modern Realism (Francis Bacon) Observation Pattern Hypothesis Experimentation Theory
  • 21. DEDUCTIVE & INDUCTIVE REASONING Inductive Reasoning - 
 Scientific Method or Modern Realism (Francis Bacon) Deductive Reasoning - 
 Classical Realism (Aristotle) Theory Hypothesis Observation Confirmation Observation Pattern Hypothesis Experimentation Theory
  • 22. JOHN LOCKE Philosopher John Locke argues (1632-1704) that we don’t have ideas first (a priori), but we do make observations, gather information, and reflect on it.# As a side note, Locke is generally not known for his contributions to learning. His contributions are generally in political theory.
  • 23. JOHN LOCKE Philosopher John Locke argues (1632-1704) that we don’t have ideas first (a priori), but we do make observations, gather information, and reflect on it.# As a side note, Locke is generally not known for his contributions to learning. His contributions are generally in political theory.
  • 24. PROBLEM OF INDUCTIVE REASONING Observation: White Swan# Pattern: More White Swans# Hypothesis: All Swans are White?# Experimentation: Observe more swans# Theory: Yep, all swans are white
  • 25. REALISM & PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Aristotle and Phyllis 
 (Alexander the Great’s Wife) "If thus it happened to me, an old man most wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can see that I taught you well, that it could happen to you, a young man." - Aristotle
  • 26. REALISM & PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Aristotle and Phyllis 
 (Alexander the Great’s Wife) "If thus it happened to me, an old man most wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can see that I taught you well, that it could happen to you, a young man." - Aristotle
  • 27. REALISM & PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Salome, Herod, and the beheading of John the Baptist
  • 28. REALISM & PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable A mass killing of women during the “Burning Times” From the 1400’s - 1600’s between 200,00 and 9 million women were killed for being “witches.”
  • 29. REALISM & PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable A mass killing of women during the “Burning Times” From the 1400’s - 1600’s between 200,00 and 9 million women were killed for being “witches.”
  • 30. REALISM & PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Adam & Eve
  • 31. REALISM & PATRIARCHY Women are closer to nature than men;# Nature is wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Therefore... Women are wild, chaotic, and uncontrollable Adam & Eve
  • 32. THOMAS AQUINAS & REALISM Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)argues that we can understand (Christian) God through reasoning. Our study of nature and relying upon material things to learn are helping us learn about (Christian) God. # Late 1800’s Vatican revives Aquinas’ philosophy (NeoThomism) in an attempt to resolve the dispute between science and religion.
  • 33. POSITIVISM & LOGICAL POSITIVISM Using our 5 senses to determine truth = positivism# Using our 5 senses and logic/mathematics to determine truth = logical positivism# Both tend to treat knowledge as “truth”# To what extent is our process of education a “truth- seeking” process?
  • 34. LOGICAL POSITIVISM & TODAY’S SCHOOLS How does logical positivism influence education today? TestingSRBIRTINo Child Left BehindRace To the TopData Teams
  • 35. LOGICAL POSITIVISM & TODAY’S SCHOOLS How does logical positivism influence education today? Testing SRBI RTI No Child Left Behind Race To the Top Data Teams How much do these policies and practices influence teaching practices today?
  • 37. Idealism • Idealism relies on constructing knowledge through the interrogation thought and ideas. • Idealists argue that the material world is constantly in flux and our senses are unreliable at best. Therefore, we cannot ground knowledge in either.
  • 38. Roots of Idealism • What are the roots? • Socrates & Plato use dialogue to construct knowledge and understanding. • Philosophers have the primary objective of interrogating thought in order to find truth. • To what extent do scientists play the role of philosophers in today’s societies?
  • 39. Truth & Knowledge • To what extent is there a distinction between knowledge and “truth” in idealism?
  • 40. Idealist Teaching • Connecting with the process of reminiscence. • In other words, through dialogue and the use of logic teacher brings out knowledge that students already know.
  • 41. Idealism • How does idealism play out in teaching and learning in today’s schools? • Mortimer Adler & Classic Literature for all students • Back to basics movement (Reagan and William Bennett)
  • 45. Pragmatism Focus is on “doing” or action Problem-based learning generally with contemporary issues
  • 47. John Dewey Philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952) argued that education needs to focus on action-oriented experiences (“Learn by Doing”) His work began the “progressive” movement in education Argued that schools ought to produce democratic students -- this led to social reconstruction or schools being used in building a better society
  • 48. John Dewey Chet Bowers argues that Dewey’s pragmatism in schools was culturally destructive Dewey argued that Western practices were rightfully dominant in the world
  • 49. Pragmatism & Historical Perspectives Since pragmatism focuses on a contemporary issue, it runs the risk of: Being culturally colonizing Putting humans/technology/industry over nature (being anthropocentric)
  • 50. Learning By Doing? There are obvious benefits to making education more experiential More cognitive “glue” is generally produced Opportunities to engage more deeply and more meaningfully with community
  • 51. Learning By Doing? Question to consider: To what extent are we limited if we let experience be the central resource for informing us about our practice? In other words, what is practice without theory?
  • 52. Pragmatic Knowledge Is knowledge that is produced through pragmatism treated as “truth”? How is this the same/different than idealism and realism?
  • 54. Existentialism Existentialism - 
 Strong focus on the individual’s experience rather than a universal truth. How does the individual make sense of the world? Liberation of the individual from the chaotic world
  • 55. Martin Buber “I-Thou” relationships whereby we encounter each other with deep respect and honor, nurturance, and conviviality “The world is not comprehensible, but it is embraceable through the embracing of one of its beings.” 1878-1965
  • 56. Martin Buber “I-It” relationships whereby we turn people into objects to control and manipulate with each group unaware or ignorant to the others essence
 This speaks to issues of power, but Buber did not do much analysis of social power structures like critical theorists did 1878-1965
  • 57. Maxine Greene Greene emphasized art, music, and drama as being portals to the “I- Thou” in the context of education
 Describes a movement towards deep interconnectedness that one gains through art and imagination as a “wide-awakeness” 1917 - 2014
  • 58. Maxine Greene Wide-awakeness is the goal according to Greene, but she reminds us that part of being so is to be politically and socially active. 
 Wide-awakeness is not politically or socially neutral
 Greene is drawing from both existentialism as well as critical social theories 1917 - 2014
  • 59. Maxine Greene Greene’s work is on the border of liberal/ progressive and transformative paradigms
 She combines critical social theory with existentialism 1917 - 2014
  • 60. Existentialist Teaching Reject any formalized approach to using “methods” because any method that is not tailored to the individual learner cannot be optimally effective Focus on the individual learner’s needs, interests, and ambitions. Focus on the individual’s cognitive and affective needs AKA “humanist” teaching AKA “holistic” teaching AKA “aesthetic” teaching
  • 61. Limitations: Existentialism Unaware of the issues of oppression and privilege Not comfortable with social justice issues enough to teach about them Encouraging creativity and imagination without the connections to social injustices can be equivalent to allowing those social injustices to perpetuate
  • 64. NEO-MARXISM Focus on the social processes that perpetuate social injustices especially in the form of class inequalities. Critique of capitalism and its processes that create and maintain “haves” and “have-nots.” Adapted from the philosophical work of Karl Marx.
  • 65. KARL MARX & MARXISM History is defined by class struggle (as defined by the economic system of the region). The concentration of wealth is an unfair advantage that comes with power and domination of those who do not have wealth. Ultimately, there needs to be a distribution of capital or wealth, which can lead to a diffusion of social power 1818-1883
  • 66. KARL MARX & MARXISM Marx argued that the wealthy, dominant elites (bourgeoisie) used violence (i.e. military, police) to threaten the poor workers (proletariat) in order to maintain class stratification (i.e. “social order”) and the concentration of wealth. Marx argued that the wealthy, dominant elites also used ideology, or a set of beliefs, to convince the poor workers that the system was fair and just so they did not need to resist. Antonio Gramsci called this process hegemony. 1818-1883
  • 68. NEO-MARXISM “Neo-Marxists” addressed different problematic claims that Marx made (such as science being able to overcome industrial unjust practices and the de- emphasis of women’s roles in society). Neo-Marxists still focus on the power issues present between the classes and in labor in contemporary society.
  • 70. CRITICAL THEORY IN SOCIETY Focuses on hegemony. Hegemony is a) the perpetuation of some being dominant and most being subordinated, and b) doing so without the use of violence. Types of social injustices: racism (White domination), sexism and patriarchy (Male domination), classism (domination of the wealthy), heterosexism (domination of heterosexuality), anthropocentrism (domination of humans over Earth), Eurocentrism (domination of Western philosophy, science, art and literature), and the religionism (domination of Christianity). Sources of hegemony: teachers, media, religious leaders, family, friends, military, corporations
  • 71. CRITICAL THEORY IN EDUCATION Schools are often places where hegemony occurs. Schools perpetuate social injustices in the forms of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, anthropocentrism, Eurocentrism, and the human domination of the earth. Schools can be sites of hope and possibility because teachers and students can work to understand or “unlearn” the roots of all forms of domination and ultimately undo them
  • 72. PAULO FREIRE Brazillian educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed in 1970 arguing that the oppressed had the capacity to know the processes of social domination and overcome them. To be clear, Freire was not the first to discuss these concepts in the context of education. 1921-1997
  • 73. CRITICAL PEDAGOGY: MAJOR PRINCIPLES Class Struggle: 
 The primary mode of analysis comes from looking at how socioeconomics limits people’s power. Jean Anyon’s study of how knowledge is treated differently based on the class of the students.
  • 74. CLASS STRUGGLE IN EDUCATIONAL CONTEXTS Jean Anyon’s (1981) study of how knowledge is treated differently based on the class of the students. How is knowledge treated in the professional/elite schools? Middle class schools? Working class power schools? How is knowledge treated in “honors” tracks? “Academic” or lower tracks?
  • 76. CRITICAL RACE THEORY People do not get equal treatment in society based on their race. Focus in on institutional racism: Schools, law enforcement, judicial system
  • 77. W.E.B. DU BOIS U.S. civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, author, professor First African-American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard (1895) 1868 - 1963
  • 78. W.E.B. DU BOIS Wrote The Souls of Black Folks (1903) and The Negro (1915) Argued that all-Black schools of his time should focus on helping students understand their power in society and ultimately work for social change. 1868 - 1963
  • 79. CARTER G. WOODSON Author, historian, journalist, teacher, and principal Second African-American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard (1912) “Father of Black History” & Founder of Black History Month Argued that African-Americans needed to have more access to their history so that there could be more wore work done to reform society and overcome oppression. 1875-1950
  • 80. CARTER G. WOODSON Wrote The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933) Argued that U.S. schools were not teaching Black students, but were instead indoctrinating them to assimilate to the social structures and hierarchies Argued that ultimately Black people would have to become educated and challenge the system because those with power do not give it up readily.
  • 81. WHAT PARADIGMS AND PHILOSOPHIES ARE HERE? Ferris Bueller Do you teach or do you educate? When I become a teacher Dead Poet’s Society Freedom Writers