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Philosophy of Education

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Amy Rector-Aranda

on 13 November 2018

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Transcript of Philosophy of Education

Introduction to the Foundations of Education
of Education
Doing philosophy
EDST 1001, University of Cincinnati | Amy Rector Aranda
: what is the nature of reality? (aka, Ontology)

: what is knowledge?

: what is valued and why?
(Ethics, Morality, Aesthetics)

Socrates and Plato = Platonic Philosophy
St. Augustine, Descartes, Kant, Hegel
The material world, which is changing and imperfect, is just a representation of perfect and eternal
Goal of education
The search for truth through ideas
Responsibility to use that truth to enlighten others
Role of the teacher
Use the
method to bring out the ideas that already exist in students' minds (
Link ideas to action
Be a role model
Methods of instruction
Dialectical conversation
Students encouraged to discuss, analyze, synthesize and apply ideas
Work in groups or individually, research, oral and written work
Study the "classics," Great Books, basics, three R's
Only through studying the
material world
or matter is it possible to develop ideas.
Aristotle, Aquinas, Bacon, Locke, Whitehead, Russell
Symbolic Logic - Syllogisms, Fallacies

Inductive Reasoning vs. Deductive Reasoning

Scientific Method
What is the "good life"?
Systematic Thinking
Goal of education
Questions concerning the good life, truth, beauty, etc. can be answered through studying the material world
Apply the principles of science to modern problems
Role of the teacher
Should have a solid knowledge of basic disciplines and transmit this to students
Must be clear, consistent, teach definitive, objective methods of evaluating
Methods of instruction
Lecture, Q&A, competency-based assessment
Essentialist: there is an objective body of knowledge the student must master
Basics - reading, math, science, humanities
The foundations perspective is a lens for viewing schools analytically from a variety of approaches that, taken together, provide the viewer with an understanding of the connections between teacher, student, school, and society. The foundations perspective also serves to relate educational organization and processes, and educational theory and practice. Most important, it links the understanding of these relationships to meaningful activitythe - improvement of schools.
Educational Foundations
Sadovnik, Cookson, & Semel, p. 14
Progressive, action-oriented, grounded in
, concerned with finding
processes that work
and Critical Theory
Existentialism and Phenomenology
Goal of education
Growth leading to more growth, education as an end in itself (it's the only goal)
Where ideas can be implemented, challenged, restructured to improve the social order
Dialectic of freedom
, balance between social and individual needs, democracy
Role of the teacher
Facilitator who encourages, offers suggestions, questions, helps plan and implement course of study
Methods of instruction
method in nontraditional yet natural ways
Individualized study, projects, group and individual work
Start with problems and use interdisciplinary curriculum of
expanding environments
to solve


I think,therefore I am.
What is truth?
What is beauty?
Goal of education
Focus on the individual and individuality, developing the self
Should help individual deal with the non-rational, unpleasant, conflictual, absurd and chaotic in their lived experience
A constant state of becoming and liberation, creating one's "life world"
Role of the teacher
Should understand their own and their students' lived worlds
Must take risks, expose themselves, work to enable and empower students to become "wide awake"
Methods of instruction
"methods" of instruction as currently taught!
Learning is intensely personal, teacher must discover what works
Student and teacher learn cooperatively - nontraditional, nonthreatening
Posing questions, generating activities, and working together to discover
Heavy on the humanities - literature, art, drama, music
Exposes to problems and possibilities, horrors and accomplishments
Kierkegaard, Buber, Sartre, Greene
Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty
We create ourselves and our experience of the world, and must make sense of life's
The phenomena of
, and
in the
individual's experience.

we create chaos, order, good & evil
"existence precedes essence"
constant state of becoming
Goal of education
Reproduction theories
: To reproduce the economic, social, and political status quo
Education in a capitalist society reproduces the ideology of the dominant class, but
empowering students
with the insight necessary to
Marx, Bowles & Gintis, Apple, Freire, Giroux
Resistance theories
: To enable individuals to understand this, and construct alternative visions and possibilities
Role of the teacher
A "transformative intellectual" who engages students in critical examination of the world
Involved in a critical pedagogical process with the student
Methods of instruction
Dialectical approach, questions and answers that move students to new levels of awareness
Rigorous analysis of what is taken-for-granted, to reveal underlying assumptions and alternative possibilities
Curriculum is not objective or value-free; it is socially constructed, codified into what those in power want students to know (
Teachers must understand this and reshape curriculum to represent a fairer view of the world
Multicultural, feminist, emphasis on marginalized perspectives of the oppressed groups
critique of capitalism
Rejects any master narrative explanations of knowledge. Must create
new forms of knowledge
, analyzing competing discourses and voices.
Goal of education
To produce knowledge, but also capable subjects in a democracy
Address concerns with differences in a politically transformative manner
Democratic, emancipatory, anti-totalitarian, anti-authoritarian
Role of the teacher
Transformative intellectuals, agents of change (like neo-Marxist)
Involved in schools, but also politically in communities and society toward democracy
"dialogue across differences"

Methods of instruction
Similar to neo-Marxist methods
Critical pedagogy
Classroom as a site for political action
Systematically offers alternatives to racism, classism, sexism
Incorporation of different voices, identities in social, historical context
pedagogy of the oppressed
dominant & subordinate classes
Indigenous American
Education is a lifelong process of learning how to be in the world through experience and participation in a greater
community of life
Goal of education
To achieve harmony and integration with all life
To foster cultural and ecological literacy and transactional competence
Role of the teacher
One who is "wide awake"
Reads growth of the student and recognizes inner lessons available through experiences
Methods of instruction
Ritual, mythology, storytelling
Individuals are enabled to trust their natural instincts, listen, look, create, reflect, and apply their intuitive intelligence
We are made of spirit, mind, and body
Wisdom leads individuals toward right living and spiritual
Methods of instruction
Great variety: oral tradition, ancient writings, as well as technology
Emphasis on students learning for themselves
Begins with sense experience, but goal is to move toward consciousness and enlightenment apart from that experience
Siddhartha Gotama
Mahatma Gandhi

Care and relational
are at the center of human growth and progress.
Goal of education
To create a more just and caring, relationally interconnected world
Challenges traditional reliance on objective knowing, a-historic presumptions, and exclusion of emotion


Goal of education
To achieve wisdom, maintain the family structure, establish the law, and provide for social and economic concerns
Sees suffering as beneficial to our development if it leads to wisdom
Individuals gaining wisdom and virtue can ultimately change society
Role of the teacher
Teacher-student relationship is important; teacher is revered by student
Teacher is seen as a
who has already achieved transcendence and can guide the student along the true path to their own inner freedom
Learn about the physical world, but ultimate aim is to understand the spiritual
Emphasis on prescriptive rules and gaining harmony with laws of nature
Integrates culture, language, personal wellness, family support, community connectedness, leadership preparedness
Meaning is looked for in everything, especially nature
Environmental, social, cultural crises cannot be solved by same education that created them
Recognizes intersectional roles of gender, class, race, sexuality, human rights, identity, subjectivity, the body, the family, knowledge, and power
Role of the teacher
Uses care, trust, mutual empathy, shared power, and interpersonal connection to help students reach their individual and communal potential
Every teacher is a moral educator, and social/moral issues should be discussed
Methods of instruction
Educators must be allowed to use their moral and relational judgment in responding to the needs of each student
Reflexivity, critical thinking, personal and collective empowerment, re-imagining
Gives voice and attention to topics and perspectives that have traditionally been excluded or marginalized
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