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Philosophy of Education: A Historical Perspective Erin Foley.

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1 Philosophy of Education: A Historical Perspective Erin Foley

2 John Dewey Experiential Education  Education has a social purpose; the goal is to create a better society  Learning takes place through realistic tasks and challenges  Experiences offer a learning moment, whether positive or negative  Teaching and curriculum need to take into account the individual personalities and experiences of students Source: John Dewey, the Modern Father of Experiential Education by James Neill, “Education is life itself.” --John Dewey

3 Maria Montessori Founder of the Montessori Method  Montessori Principles:  Individualized Liberty of the Child  Observation of the Directress  Preparation of the Environment  Learning develops through discovery  Idea of the work period, where students choose activities and work until they are done  Materials are specifically designed so the students can use them independently  Children teach themselves; the teacher is the facilitator in the learning process  Education should serve the whole of each individual child Source: Montessori Philosophy,

4 John Piaget Cognitive Development  Learning is an active process  Theory of assimilation and accommodation: concepts are introduced to the cognitive structure and then the structure is redesigned to incorporate the new information  Teachers act as facilitators to guide and stimulate students  Instruction should be individualized  Readiness approach: children must reach certain milestones of maturity before they can learn certain concepts  Piaget’s theory of Cognitive Development Source: Piaget by Wanda Y. Ginn,

5 Similarities  All three philosophers believed in an exciting, active learning environment that will engage students in the learning process  Montessori, Dewey and Piaget believed that the teacher works as a facilitator and guide, not as the lone lecturer at the front of the room  Students drive instruction and teaching should be individualized to accommodate each student and their experiences and maturation  Montessori and Piaget believed the learning process progresses through a series of developmental steps

6 Differences  While Dewey emphasized the importance of meeting the needs of each child, he was a strong proponent in the belief that the purpose of education is to build a strong society through socialization  Montessori specifically focused on improving the individual person, rather than society as a whole

7 My Philosophy  Like Dewey, Piaget and Montessori, I believe children learn best when fully engaged; therefore school should be an interesting environment that incorporates activities children find intriguing  Like Dewey and Piaget, I believe materials and instruction should be developed for the individual needs of each child or small group of children, not the pre-determined goals set by curriculum companies  Like Dewey, I believe materials and instruction should be relatable for children and reflect real- life tasks for students

8 Works Cited  Brick, Blanche. “Changing Concepts of Equal Educational Opportunity: A Comparison of the Views of Thomas Jefferson, Horace Mann and John Dewey.” American Educational History Journal 32.2 (2005): Print.  Ginn, Wanda Y. Piaget. 5 September,  Shortridge, P. Donohue. “Maria Montessori and Educational Forces in America.” Montessori Life 1 (2007): Print.  Neil, James. John Dewey, the Modern Father of Experiential Education. Wilderom: A Project in Natural Living and Transformations, Web. 4 September,  Wilhelmi, S.V. Montessori Philosophy. Casa Di Mir Montessori School. 4 September,


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