Paradigms & Philosophies of Education

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Paradigms & Philosophies of Education

  1. 1. EDUCATIONAL PARADIGMS & PHILOSOPHIES Kurt Love, Ph.d. Central Connecticut State University
  2. 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. 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
  4. 4. 3 PARADIGMS OF TEACHING Traditional Liberal/Progressive Critical or Transformative
  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  10. 10. PARADIGMS AND PHILOSOPHIES Paradigms TraditionalLiberal/Progressive Transformative
  11. 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
  12. 12. Traditional Education
  13. 13. REALISM
  14. 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. 15. SOCRATES, PLATO & ARISTOTLE Socrates taught Plato# Plato taught Aristotle# Aristotle taught Alexander the Great
  16. 16. SOCRATES, PLATO & ARISTOTLE All three followed a paradigm of deductive reasoning.
  17. 17. DEDUCTIVE REASONING Deductive Reasoning - 
 Classical Realism (Aristotle) Theory Hypothesis Observation Confirmation
  18. 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. 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. 20. INDUCTIVE REASONING Inductive Reasoning - 
 Scientific Method or Modern Realism (Francis Bacon) Observation Pattern Hypothesis Experimentation Theory
  21. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 34. LOGICAL POSITIVISM & TODAY’S SCHOOLS How does logical positivism influence education today? TestingSRBIRTINo Child Left BehindRace To the TopData Teams
  35. 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?
  36. 36. Idealism
  37. 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. 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. 39. Truth & Knowledge • To what extent is there a distinction between knowledge and “truth” in idealism?
  40. 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. 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)
  42. 42. Plato’s Cave
  43. 43. Liberal/Progressive Education
  44. 44. Pragmatism
  45. 45. Pragmatism Focus is on “doing” or action Problem-based learning generally with contemporary issues
  46. 46. Pragmatic Thinking Recognize a Problem Speculative
 Thought Action Results
  47. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 52. Pragmatic Knowledge Is knowledge that is produced through pragmatism treated as “truth”? How is this the same/different than idealism and realism?
  53. 53. Existentialism
  54. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  62. 62. TRANSFORMATIVE EDUCATION
  63. 63. MARXISM
  64. 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. 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. 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
  67. 67. NEO-MARXISM
  68. 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.
  69. 69. CRITICAL THEORY
  70. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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?
  75. 75. CRITICAL RACE THEORY
  76. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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