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Chapter 3: Traditional Philosophies & Education
Transcript of Chapter 3: Traditional Philosophies & Education
Emily Krzemien Chapter 3:
& Education 3 central philosophic issues: Metaphysics: "The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of reality. "What is ultimately real?" is the basic question asked in the study of metaphysics." (Knight, 2008) Philosophy metaphysics epistemology axiology Epistemology: "The branch of philosophy that studies the nature, sources, and validity of knowledge..." (Knight, 2008). Axiology: "...the branch of philosophy that seeks to answer the question, 'What is of value?'" (Knight, 2008). Why different 'schools' of philosophy? We will be taking a deeper look into 3 of these 'schools': Differing beliefs and values regarding the 3 key philosophical elements (metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology) resulted in the development of many 'schools' of philosophy; each adopting their own set of core values and beliefs. As we take a tour through the development and beliefs of traditional philosophical 'schools,' one should understand the functions and limitations of labeling or defining each philosophical belief system. Though the labels serve as a means to organize and evaluate within the human brain, they can also limit understanding and over simplify a complex set of core values. Many philosophical systems have overlapping ideas about how the world works and the correct manner in which to approach it. Three separate philosphical issues were identified in chapter 2. Beliefs surrounded these issues serve as a guide and foundation for labeling and differentiating between each of the differing philosophical systems. See chart below. Functions of Philosohical view labeling practicies: Source:
Issues and Alternatives in Educational Philosophy
By: George R. Knight
www.CartoonStock.com Limitations of Philosohical view labeling practicies: Source:
Issues and Alternatives in Educational Philosophy
By: George R. Knight Setting a Purpose for learning: As an educator, why learn about philosophy?
According to Knight, "Educators must realize that all educational pracitces are built upon assumptions rooted in philosophy, and that different philosophic starting points may lead to varying educational practices." Misalignment between educational practices and beliefs hinder ability to reach goals.
When educators choose to adopt the latest trend without analysis of whether educational practice is alligned with personal philosophy it is refered to as the 'bandwagon mentality.'
As educators it is paramount that we are confident with out personal philosophy. Idealism
Neoscholasticism What is Idealism? Emphasizes realtity of ideas and thoughts over the material world. It considers the mind as true reality.
More concerned with the internal over the external world.
Rooted in the belief that the mind and its thoughts are real, while matter is a 'by-product' of the mind's reality.
Thoughout its history, idealism and religion have been closely linked because they both focus on the spiritual and otherworldly aspect of reality. Plato is considered the founder of idealism.
During Plato's lifetime, Athens began to grow following the Persian Wars.
Trade and commerce boomed and the culture of Athens began to shift toward a more individucal approach in contrast to the traditionally communal living of ancient Greece.
Plato's search for truth was a response to the fluxuation of culture at the time.
He founded idealism on the belief that there are 'universal truths'. It was these truths that served as the foundation for the development of idealism. Development of Idealism: For more biographical
information on Plato's life visit: Plato's Allegory of the Cave was an attempt to explain the idealist perspective. Plato's allegory describes the world of the senses where idealism believes reality is rooted. Idealist Philosophers The following philosophers developed idealism in modern thought:
Rene Decartes (1595-1650)
George Berkley (1685-1770)
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
Georg Hegel (1770-1831) What is Idealism? According to idealists, ideas precede material objects.
They explain this through the construction of a chair. They state that someone had to have the idea of a chair in mind before he or she could build one to sit on.
The metaphysics of idealism might be defined as a work of mind.
The clue to understanding idealists' epistemology lies in their metaphysics.
They emphasize the reality of ideas.
Knowing reality is not an experience of seeing, hearing, or touching.
It is rather taking hold of the idea of something and retaining it in the mind. Idealism and Education William T. Harris The Journal of Speculative Philosophy was founded by Harris.
He was the most influential American educational idealist.
Served as Superintendent of Saint Louis schools during 1870's.
He later became the United States Commissioner of Education. Educational Roles in Idealism The learner can be viewed as a microcosmic self who is in the process of becoming more like the Absolute Self (becoming as much like God as possible).
The learner strives for perfection because the ideal person is perfect. The Learner: Educational Roles in Idealism The Teacher: The teacher serves as a living example of what the learner can become.
Teachers stand closer to the Absolute Self. The Curriculum: The curriculum must be foremed around subjects that bring student into contact with ideas. History, literature, and pure mathematics are the most important subjects.
The social function is to preserve hearitage by passing along knowledge of the past. What is Realism? Realism is based on the philosophy that matter is independent of mind.
Aristotle was the founding father of this philosophical school.
He believed that basic constituents of every object are form and matter. Development of Realism Aristotle was a student of Plato.
Realism was a reaction against the abstract beliefs of idealism.
While Aristotle was very influenced by his teacher, he developed a philosophy built on the fundemental belief that form can exist without matter (God) but matter cannot be independent from form. What is Realism? Truth, for the realist, is viewed as observable fact. Sense perception is the medium for gaining knowledge.
Natural Law is to Realism what Alsolute Self is to Idealism.
Values are obtained by the observations of nature. Nature has moral lawa, Beauty reflects the logis and order of the universe.
Artists should recreate what they see to the best of their abilities.
Photography is an accepted art form. Aristotle Realist Philosophers: Realism found its way into the modern world through Francis Bacon's scientific method and John Locke's proposal that the human mind is a blank slate. http://www.themoralliberal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Francis-Bacon.jpg http://earthscience-bromley.wiki.lovett.org/file/view/20071210_ScientificMethod.png/156943405/20071210_ScientificMethod.png Education and Realism The Learner: Students are viewed as functioning organisms that can perceive the natural order of the world through sensory experience. Pupils can know the world through their senses.
Students respons to the environment stimuli and can be programmed in a manner similar to computers (Behavioristic Psychology).
They can be reinforced, disciplined, and shaped until they learn to make the proper responses. Education and Realism The Teacher: Teachers are considered sophisticaled observered who should give accurate information about reality in the quickest and most efficient manner.
The function is to demonstrate facts of the natural that have been verified by research.
Curriculum focuses on the physical world taught in such a way that they orderliness underlying the universe is evident. The Curriculum: Education and Realism Sciences and math are emphasized.
The "symbolics of information" (language and math) are important because they provided the 'entrance to an academic discipline.'
Students learn best if they can feel, smell, and hear an object as well as see it.
The social function is on the conservation of heritage. It is concerned with passing on proven facts and structural frameworks. is associated with such fields as:
Physics, Botany, Zoology, Sociology, Psychology, Logic, and various aspects of formal philosophy Idealism vs. Realism Idealism vs. Realism Complete a diagram using the information from the presentation. What is
Neo-Scholasticism? Scholasticism was an intellectual movement that developed in Western Europe between 1050 and 1350.
Their mission was to prove existing truth through rational process.
The emergence of Aristotle’s writings in Christian Europe spurred the rise of Scholasticism.
Aristotelian philosophy was just as divisive to Christendom as Darwinism would later be to nineteenth-century Christianity. Scholasticism can be seen as the attempt to rationalize theology in order to buttress faith by reason.
Thomas Aquinas was the foremost scholar during this period.
The essence of scholasticism is rationalism.
Neo-Scholasticism is a newer, updated version.
It is split into two branches: the religious and the secular branches.
Aristotle and Aquinas give it its roots.
Aristotle through his conception of people as rational animals and his development of deductive logic.
Aquinas said God is pure reason and the universe He create dis therefore also reason. Humans live in a rational world where they are capable of understanding. What is
Neo-Scholasticism? For more biographical information on St. Thomas Aquainas visit:
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2530 The metaphysics is a two-sided coin, the natural world that is open to reason and the supernatural that is understood through intuition and faith.
Intuitive or self-evident truths are found in analytical statements.
An example is, “God is good.”Synthetic statements depend upon our experience. For example, “San Francisco is 3,224 miles from New York.”
Neo-scholastics believe in a hierarchy of truth. At the lower level, people rely on reason. The higher level is the realm of principles and faith. Development of
Neo-Scholasticism Education and Realism The Learner: Students are rational human who have natural potential to acquire Truth and knowledge. The faculty psychology view believes the mind is thought to have different potentials or faculties, which must be carefully developed. The Teacher: The teachers are seen as mental disciplinarians with the capability of developing reason, memory, and will power in their students.The teacher’s responsibility is to decide what knowledge the child should learn. The curriculum focuses on sharpening intellect.
Math and foreign languages are viewed as the most important.
The subjects should do two things: explain the world to the student and train the intellect to understand the world.
The social function is conservative. Education and Realism The Curriculum: Perspective & Commonalities: There are common characteristics among idealism, realism, and neo-scholasticism:
Each has metaphysics
Each contains the truth of an a priori
Each sees the teacher as an authoritative figure
Curriculum is based on “solid” subjects and are “heavy” in intellectual content 5. Use the Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the three different philosophies presented in Chapter 3. 1. Assess the philosophies of education (idealism, realism, and neo-scholasticism) from the Chapter 3 presentation. Decide which category best applies to your teaching philosophy. Determine how you would feel if you were forced to shift your philosophy and teach under a new set of ideals. Would you be able to do this?
2. Highlight and briefly discuss the central philosophic core of each of the three philo
sophies- idealism, realism, and neo-scholasticism.
3. Discuss your initial impression of the philosophy of idealism. What aspects, if any, do you like? Also address any problems you see with this philosophy.
4. Discuss the roles of the learners, teachers, curriculum, and social function for each of the three philosophies. (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr Discussion Questions: Sources: Knight, George. (2008). Issues and Alternatives in Educational Philosophy, fourth edition. Michigan. Andrews University Press.
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