Building an Educational Philosophy in a Changing World

Idealism
Learning Focus
Subject matter of the mind: literature, intellectual history, philosophy, religion
Idealism
Curriculum goal
The same education for all
Idealism
Preferred teaching method
Teaching for the handling of ideas: lecture, discussion
Idealism
Character development
Imitation of exemplars, heroes
Idealism
Aesthetic development
Study of the master-works; values of the past heritage
Realism
Learning focus
Subject matter of the physical world: mathematics, science
Pragmatism
Learning focus
Subject matter of social experience
Existentialism
Learning focus
Subject matter of personal choice
Realism
Curriculum goal
Mastery of laws of the universe
Pragmatism
Curriculum goal
Creation of a new social order
Existentialism
Curriculum goal
Personal freedom and development
Realism
Preferred teaching method
Teaching for mastery of information and skills: demonstration, recitation
Pragmatism
Preferred teaching method
Problem solving: project method, product development
Existentialism
Preferred teaching method
Individual exploration: discovery method, authentic pedagogy
Realism
Character development
Training in rules of conduct
Pragmatism
Character development
Group decision making in light of consequences
Existentialism
Character development
Development of individual responsibility for decisions and preferences
Realism
Aesthetic development
Study of design in nature
Pragmatism
Aesthetic development
Participation in art projects based on cross-cultural and universal values
Existentialism
Aesthetic development
Development of a personal view of the world; self-initiated activities
Essentialism
An educational philosophy that holds that there is a common core of information and skills that an educated person must have; schools should be organized to transmit this core of essential material.
Essentialism
Principles
(1) a core of information, (2) hard work and mental discipline, and (3) teacher-centered instruction.
Essentialist
Learning
Transmit cultural heritage and develop good citizens. The role of the student is that of a learner. School is a place where children come to learn what they need to know, and the teacher is the person who can best instruct students in essential matters.
Student Centered
Classroom Organization
Open; flexible classroom furniture arrangement and teaching;
Student Centered
Motivation
Internal Incentives
Student Centered
Discipline
Equal teacher and learner control
Student Centered
Classroom Climate
Teacher encourages student voices; community of inquirers
Student Centered
Learning Focus
Divergent points of view; diverse subject matter
Student Centered
Teaching Styles
Considerably less teacher talk, more learner talk; discovery based learning
Student Centered
Leadership Styles
Teacher is model of participatory authority and evaluation.
Humanism
concerned with enhancing the innate goodness of the individual. It rejects a group-oriented educational system and seeks ways to enhance the individual development of the student.
Humanism learning goal
completely autonomous person
Constructivism
emphasizes developing personal meaning through hands-on, activity-based teaching and learning
progressivism
An educational philosophy that emphasizes that ideas should be tested by experimentation and that learning is rooted in questions developed by the learner.
positivism
A social theory and educational philosophy that limits truth and knowledge to what is observable and measurable.

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