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Pursuing an Educational Philosophy

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Presentation on theme: "Pursuing an Educational Philosophy"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pursuing an Educational Philosophy
Chapters 2&3 in Breitborde and Swiniarski

2 Philosophy of Education
Essential Questions: What can be known? What is the good life? What is the nature of the learner? What is the nature of the subject matter? What is the nature of the learning process

3 The value of philosophy
Brings new interpretation and syntheses as well as analyzing, refining, modifying existing concepts and procedures Acts as a clearinghouse for analyzing and clarifying ideas and problems Offers a source of ethical guidance Induces habits of mind like tolerance, impartiality, and suspension of judgment

4 Philosophy Love of wisdom , the quest for knowledge
Philosophers often concerned with such things as power, provocation, personality offering ideas to people caught up in the whirlwinds of social crisis, ideological arguments Philosophers of education concerned with questions of schools and society

5 My approach to life is… Live for today, tomorrow we die.
1 185 Live for today, tomorrow we die. Reach for the stars. Expect little and you won’t be disappointed. It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160

6 Metaphysics Greek word – “what is the nature of reality?”
What is real – “real nature” or “ideas?” Is reality absolute and unchanging? Is reality ever changing and evolving? Some of our understandings are a priori Some of our understandings are a posteriori

7 I believe that the world (reality) is…
Changeless, eternal, and absolute Evolving, dynamic and unstable

8 Branches of Philosophy
Metaphysics…what is the nature of reality For Schools: What is worth Knowing? Epistemology…what can be known and what is the nature of what is known For Schools: What is Learning? What is good teaching? Axiology…ethics and aesthetics: the good, the true and the beautiful For Schools: What is the role of the school in society? Logic…principles of right reasoning: induction and deduction For Schools: What is good thinking? Politics…what is just? What is the role of school in society?

9 Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
Socrates ( B.C.E.) philosophy was a way of life to Socrates Socratic dialogue, dialectic method of questions and answers…what makes humans sin is the lack of knowledge Plato ( B.C.E.) founder of the Academy The Republic outlines a plan for a perfect society ruled by the philosopher king, knowledge consistent with temperance and justice…for women as well as men Aristotle ( B.C.E.) founded the Lyceum, the first person to classify knowledge by dividing and subdividing, developed syllogistic, deductive logic

10 Idealism Roots in ancient Greece…. Reality lies in the mind….
Deductive Reasoning…our power to reason clearly from general principles.

11 The opposite of Idealism is…
Nihilism – the absolute belief that no meaning or ideals or understanding can be found by human beings. Note: Teenagers often ‘flirt’ with varieties of nihilism.

12 Plato From text, The Republic. Plato recounts the teaching and dialogues of Socrates. Socratic Dialogue. “The Allegory of the Cave.”

13 Realism Reality can be found in the world available to the senses.
A sensible, orderly functioning. Empiricism Roots in Aristotle …the ‘forms.’ Enlightenment Values Empiricism– Francis Bacon Tabula Rasa– John Locke

14 Aristotle Focuses philosophical attention on the ‘real world.’
Perception…the senses. Categories Logical Propositions. Foundational to Western Scientific Method

15 All fish can swim. This is a fish. Therefore….
112 185 This is a Platonic dialectic This is Socratic questioning This is Aristotelian logic (a syllogism) This is metaphysics

16 Breitborde & Swiniarski’s “Isms”
Perennialism Essentialism Behaviorism Romantic Naturalism Progressivism Existentialism Reconstructionism Liberationism

17 Versions of Idealism Perennialism…there are absolute truths and standards…related to idealism, experiences are a mental representation rather than a representation of the world, classical humanism refers to the Greek philosophers dedicated to discovering reason and truth for humankind Essentialism…preserve the basic elements of human culture and transmit them to the young Romantic Idealism….innocence of youth…truth in natural world (senses).

18 Versions of ‘Realism’ Behaviorism….behavior can be managed, shaped, reinforced. Learning is the “real” consequence of sensory input. Mechanistic. Pragmatism….a compromise between the Ideal and the Realistic….Education should be ‘what works.’ In its Progressive form, Pragmatism was associated with democratic ideals; i.e. the work of John Dewey.

19 For me, life is …. A trial to be endured
A wonderful gift from the creator Survival of the fittest Without any particular meaning

20 Notions of Philosophy in Education Modern –Postmodern
Existentialism….truth is impossible. Life is absurd, only ‘existence.” Some existentialism shades toward the ideal; i.e. if we must endure our trial in life, it is best to ‘live as if’ truth, god, beauty, etc. were possible to achieve. Reconstructionism…seeks to reconstruct society through education. Based on Progressive notions, civil rights era learnings, and multicultural realities of a Postcolonial world. Anticipated by Gandhi…. Liberationism….basis in Marx. Class struggle, political literacy, critical literacy. An impetus toward the dynamic of ‘critical reflection.’

21 Existentialism What is it like to be an individual living in the world? What we have is existence…nothing else. Life characterized by absurdity and imminence of death. Passionate encounter with the problems of life and the inevitability of death Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Buber, Simone de Beauvoir Important decisions with limited knowledge

22 Reconstructionism Origins in Dewey, so progressive. World needs workable change (progress). Learning is about construction of worthwhile societal structures. Global, trans-cultural perspective. George Counts – reaction to U.S. Depression: Something new needed to be built….

23 Paulo Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970); Liberationism
“This then is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well….True generosity lies in striving so that these hands whether of individuals or of whole peoples– need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work, and working, transform the world.”

24 Philosophies of Education
Postmodernism…de-centers the subject There is no linear path to truth. Truth is variable, flexible, flattened. “The World is Flat.”

25 Postmodernism Roots in 1950s world of art
Themes including truth, language and its relation to thought, human nature and the self, the Other “What kind of power is embedded in educational issues, problems, and traditions?” Michel Foucault, Cleo Cherryholmes

26 Indian Philosophy Karma…what a person does influences what will happen to that person in the future Study, meditation, yoga can lead one to transcend cares and suffering Buddha…Siddhartha Gautama (6th century B.C.E.)…all suffering is based on an inability to discern what is real and what is fictitious Gandhi ( ) nonviolence toward living things Satyagraha…holding fast to the truth

27 Far Eastern Philosophy
21st century technology, global commerce, and population demographics demand that we know something of Eastern philosophy Confucianism…concerned with ethics and morality (foundation of Chinese civilization) five key relationships: ruler and subject, father and son, husband and wife, elder brother and younger brother, friend and friend Confucius (Kung Fu-tzu, B.C.E.)those most capable, should govern…moral and ethical men make the best rulers, principle of li…courtesy and ceremony Confucianism…a language of morals and laws Taoism…oneness with nature, noninterference

28 Michel Foucault “Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.”         “The work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it is, through the analyses that he does in his own field, to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will (where he has his role as citizen to play).”

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