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Educational Theory in American Schools: Philosophy in Action Chapter 10.

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1 Educational Theory in American Schools: Philosophy in Action Chapter 10

2 Teacher Centered Educational Theories Perennialism: an educational theory that focuses on enduring principles of knowledge; nature, human nature, and the underlying principles of existence are considered constant, undergoing little change

3 Perennialism Focus of learning: activities designed to discipline the mind Learners are rational and spiritual people Perennialist curriculum: the three Rs, character training, educating the intellectual elite, trade and skill training for others

4 Essentialism An educational theory 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

5 Essentialism Common core of information and skills that an educated person in a given culture must have Three basic principles: a core of information, hard work and mental discipline, teacher- centered instruction Back to basics movement is essentialist Draws equally from Idealism and Realism…important difference in emphasis from the notions of everlasting truth that perennialists espouse

6 Essentialism Focus of learning: transmit the cultural heritage and develop good citizens. Schools are places where children come to learn what they need to know and the teacher is the person who can best instruct students in essential matters

7 Behaviorism A psychological theory that asserts that behaviors represent the essence of a person and that all behaviors can be explained as responses to stimuli Closely linked to Realism…the environment, particularly the interpersonal environment, shapes human behavior Reinforcement: positive…things students like and negative…things students wish to avoid

8 Positivism A social theory that limits truth and knowledge to what is observable and measurable Auguste Comte (1798-1857)…three historical periods…theological era, things explained in reference to spirits and gods…metaphysical era, things explained in terms of causes, essences, inner principles…positive period, thinkers did not attempt to go beyond observable, measurable fact

9 Student Centered Educational Theories Progressivism…an educational theory that emphasizes that ideas should be tested by experimentation and that learning is rooted in questions developed by the learner Opposes authoritarianism and favors human experience as a basis for knowledge, favors the scientific method and also student involvement Learning how to think rather than what to think

10 Reconstructionism An educational theory that calls on schools to teach people to control institutions and to be organized according to basic democratic ideals Progressivism too focused on the needs of the child and fails to develop long range goals for society Need to analyze world events, explore controversial issues, develop a vision for a new and better world

11 Humanism An education theory that contends that humans are innately good—that they are born free but become enslaved by institutions Not a blank slate but born with certain innate qualities and tendencies… “God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil.” Emile

12 Humanism I-Thou relationships rather than I-it People share their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, fears, and aspirations in an environment of caring Educational programs that address the needs of the individual are usually more costly per pupil than group centered programs…we live in a time of unit-cost scrutiny

13 Constructivism An educational theory that emphasizes hands- on, activity-based teaching and learning during which students develop their own frames of thought Closely associated with Existentialism Focuses on the personalized way a learner internalizes, shapes, or transforms information that results from the emergence of new cognitive structures

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