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Social Reconstructivism

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Stephanie Chando

on 24 February 2013

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Transcript of Social Reconstructivism

Education Philosophies Webquest:

Social Reconstructivism

AKA Social Reconstructionism Basic assumption is that society is unhealthy and has many problems
However, people have the power to find solutions to these problems and to keep society from destroying itself
In order to accomplish this, we must have a vision in mind of a society that has resolved all these problems
This vision provides us with ideas of how to reconstruct our society
Furthermore, the means by which we can construct society are provided via education
Educators of this philosophical approach teach other human to recognize social inequities inherent in their society, critically analyze these problems and their causes, develop a vision of a society where such problems do not exist, and then empower students to use this vision to enact social change George S. Counts Counts was influenced by educational reformers John Dewey and Francis Parker while studying education at University of Chicago in 1913 (Lagemann, 1992). He became an early proponent of the progressive education movement, particularly critical social reconstructivism. He influenced many subsequent educational theorists and theories of education. In addressing the Progressive Education Association in 1932 he said that responsible educators, “cannot evade the responsibility of participating actively in the task of reconstituting the democratic tradition and of thus working positively toward a new society” (Aubrey, 1984). Theodore Brameld Credited as the father of the social reconstructivist movement in education, Brameld held the then-radical philosophy that education should focus on teaching people to analyze and then come up with solutions for social issues (Net Industries, 2013). A prolific writer, he tackled many controversial subjects, as illustrated by his pieces, Karl Marx and the American Teacher (1935), and Minority Problems in Public Schools (1945). During the McCarthy era he came under attack for the incorporation of communist themes into his theories of education (Shimahara & Conrad, 1991). Brameld considered the role of education to be to transmit and modify culture. He believed that American culture is in a state of crisis and when in crisis, “our role as educators is to modify and innovate” (Theodore Brameld Papers, 2005). Paulo Freire An idea central to Freire’s work is that of, “conscientization,” which, translated from the original Portuguese “conscientização” meaning both, “critical consciousness” and, “consciousness raising” (Steinberg, 2012). Coined in his 1972 work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, it is the philosophy that it is the responsibility of human beings to be conscious of our social reality and act together to transform our environment (Freire Institute, 2013). He was imprisoned in his native Brazil, following a 1964 coup d’etat for what the new regime considered “subversive elements” in his teaching (Steinberg, 2012). While in prison he began his book, Education as the Practice of Freedom. Freire was a major proponent of, “intergenerational equity,” in which teacher and student are equal partners in learning and reflecting together (UCLA, 2013). Harold Rugg 1889-1974 George S. Counts Theodore Brameld 1904-1987 1921-1997 1886-1960 Originally a civil engineer, Harold Rugg became interested in education while teaching civil engineering at Millikin University. He started reassessing how curriculum was created (Nelson, 2013). During and after the 1930s, Rugg was a leading spokesperson for social reconstructivist education. “Formal education could, and should, be utilized as an agent of social change…. integrity could be nurtured through creative self-expression” (Gale, 2006). He used the textbooks he wrote to disseminate the philosophy of social reconstructivist education to a great number of students. Widely considered to be his three most important books, Culture and Education in America (1931), The Great Technology (1933), and American Life and the School Curriculum (1936), spoke to the problems in American society and the role of the classroom in solving them (Gale, 2006). Harold Rugg Paulo Freire Main Theorists Henry Giroux Karen Zuga Michael Stephen Schiro David Flinders Current Advocates “As a moral and political practice, education produces the modes of literacy, critique, sense of social responsibility, and civic courage necessary to imbue young people with the knowledge and skills needed to enable them to be engaged critical citizens willing to fight for a sustainable and just society.”
-Dr. Giroux on why social reconstructivist education is important in an interview for “Global Education” magazine 2013 Influenced by the work of Paulo Freire, Dr. Giroux is an advocate of critical pedagogy and particularly social reconstructivism (Hudson, 2011). He is a prolific writer, having authored 50 books and over 300 articles (Giroux, 2013). Though he is currently focused on social reconstructivism through media, much of his career has been focused on reconstructivist education through cultural studies (Barroso Tristn, 2013). “If administrators and teachers do not take a stand on the issues, students will not be able to take a stand.”
-Dr. Zuga in "Social Reconstruction Curriculum and Technology Education” (1992) Faculty Emeritus at Ohio State University, Dr. Zuga teaches technology education in the School of Education and Teaching (OSU Directory, 2013). Her objective is to apply the philosophies of social reconstructivism to technology education. Dr. Zuga has written that the way to gain, “true social change for good” is through technology (Zuga, 1992). “[Student-led] discussion allows students to expose their thoughts and values to each other, have [them] challenged and reconstructed in light of insights obtained from the discussion and any group consensus that might arise from it.”
- Michael Schiro in "Curriculum Theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns" (2008) Throughout his career, Schiro has tackled many pressing issues in education, working for school segregation in the 1960s and to improve urban education in the 1970s. He specializes in mathematics education and curriculum theory (Sage, 2013). Schiro is an advocate for progressive education, favoring service learning and social reconstructivism (Schiro, 2008). His writing includes, "Curriculum Theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns" and "Curriculum for Better Schools: The Great Ideological Debate." “A highly academic curriculum can be enacted in ways that avoid some of the disadvantages typically assumed by those who argue that an academic curriculum is elitist as well as irrelevant to much of a student’s lived experience”
– Dr. Flinders on the advantages of social reconstructivist education (2004) Professor of Curriculum Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Dr. Flinders is particularly interested in non-traditional education and inquiry methodology (Flinders, 2013). Much of Dr. Flinders’ work centers in calling on educators to reevaluate the way they teach (Flinders, 2004). The Basics (Schiro, 2007) A sexuality education curriculum from this perspective would... (Schiro, 2007) Allow room for intense discussion
Treat children as adults with valid opinions of their own, build agency and empower youth to make their own decisions
Include service learning or social engagement projects where students gain direct experience in creating and enacting solutions to social problems
Example: High school students identify that pregnancy among their peers is a problem. In coordination with students, teacher develops a lesson plan to empower students to create and enact their own peer education program within the school to provide education on safer sex practices and healthier communication around sex.
“It is important to note that the 'reconstruction of the curriculum'... 'would not call for the addition of new subjects. Indeed, to superficial observation, perhaps no important changes would be discernible. The same disciplines would be taught... Children would learn to read and write and figure; they would work and play together. But the ... orientation would be different... [T]he emphasis everywhere would be placed on the social and co-operative... [S]ubject matter composing the curriculum would be given a social meaning.'" (Counts, 1934, pp. 544–546, as cited in Schiro, 2007, p. 142) Potential Classroom Setups Create physical space to allow for collaboration and discussion among students Create classrooms outdoors and in the local community; Empowering students to be involved directly in solutions to social problems Reciprocal Learning in the Classroom Role of the Educator Role of Student Reciprocal Learning Process The major role of the educator in social reconstructivist education is not to force thoughts into the heads of students, but to lead by example and to guide students to form their own thoughts. Through discussion and activity the educator mentors students to think critically, and to build their own thoughts and views. The educator must then shape the students’ views into action to remedy social ills. The second role of the educator is to act according to Fiere’s concept of intergenerational equity. An educator must be open to learning from students, as well as teaching them. Educators must have a large generalist knowledge-base and be willing to expand this based upon the issues identified by students and the corresponding research requirements. “The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” (Horton & Freire, 1990) “Educators need to assume the role of leaders in the struggle for social and economic justice... Educators must connect what they teach and write to the dynamics of public life... and... concern for... democracy.” (Giroux, as cited in Schiro, 2007) “[The] teacher hopes to help a student to be not dependent upon instruction in order to function as an adult in society, but to be willing to experiment and to try new ideas and skills.” (Zuga, 1992) “[Intergenerational equity] is characterized by a complex of ideas, concepts, hopes, doubts, values and challenges in dialectical interaction with their opposites striving towards their fulfillment.” (Freire, 1972) The role of the social reconstructivist student is to be self reflective, open and creative. Students must allow the instructor to guide them. They should work with each other and keep an open mind to new points of view and new values that they might incorporate into their own worldview. Students must build critical thinking skills, participate in discussions, collaborate, take responsibility for themselves and learn problem solving skills. “The roles of teacher and learner each respectively and mutually entail those of the other, the one in effect defining the parameters of meaning and communication of the other.” (Nystrand, 1997) “Education... becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” (Freire, 1972) “[The student] constructs a unique mental representation of the material to be learned and the task to be performed, selects information perceived to be relevant, and interprets that information on the basis of his or her existing knowledge and existing needs.” (Schuell, as cited in Elliot, Kratochwill, & Littlefield-Cook, 2000) Gags off: Students speak out on rape at University of Virginia And now for some lesson plans... “MORE THAN A LABEL” from The Institute for Humane Education teaches students to think critically about internal and external bigotry and then has them brainstorm actions to reduce bigotry within themselves and their communities. Can be utilized to address labels attributed to sexual minorities as well. (Link:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8jmBGVoBkQCZDBjNmY3MzktYjJhNC00MTM1LTgxZTktZDk5MzIxNTBmNDFj/edit?pli=1&hl=en)
“SOMETHING IS WRONG: EXPLORING THE ROOTS OF YOUTH VIOLENCE" from Project-NIA empowers student to better understand the links between oppression and violence. (Link:http://project-nia.org/docs/Something_Is_Wrong-Curriculum.pdf)
“ADDRESSING DISCRIMINATION” from Advocates for Youth helps student to identify how discrimination feels and empowers them to develop ways to speak out against it. (Link:http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/for-professionals/lesson-plans-professionals/204?task=view)
"LESSON PLAN BOOSTER: HOW CAN STUDENTS HELP A BULLIED PEER?" from Education World helps teachers facilitate discussions regarding bullying within the local school community and society-at-large and encourages students to find ways to safely support peers who are being bullied. (Link:http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/student_engagers/bullying_student_engager.shtml) Academic sources such as university archives or professor biographies
Peer reviewed journal articles or scholarly writing, such as online textbook chapters or lesson plans
Established organizations (website exists for at least a year and is still active) recognized by some form of review board or governing body
No “wiki” sites where potentially unskilled users generate content with little to no citations Criteria for a good resource Aubrey, R. F. (1984). Reform in schooling: Four proposals on an educational quest. Journal of Counseling & Development, 63(4), 204-214. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.1984.tb02802.x
Barroso Tristan, J. M. (2013). Henry Giroux: The necessity of critical pedagogy in dark times. Retrieved from http://truth-out.org/news/item/14331-a-critical-interview-with-henry-giroux
Elliot, S., Kratochwill, T., & Littlefield-Cook, J. (2000). Educational psychology: Effective teaching, effective learning (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Flinders, D. J. (2013). Profile: David J Flinders. Retrieved from http://portal.education.indiana.edu/ProfilePlaceHolder/tabid/6210/Default.aspx?u=dflinder
Flinders, D.J. (2004). Teaching for cultural literacy: A curriculum study. In D.J. Flinders and S.J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (2nd ed.) (pp. 285-296). New York, NY: RoutledgeFalmer.
Giroux, H. (2013). Henry Giroux, personal website. Retrieved from http://www.henryagiroux.com/index.html
Harold Rugg. (2006). Gale encyclopedia of biography. Toronto, ON, Canada: Gale Group.
Horton, M., & Freire, P. (1990). We make the road by walking: Conversations on education and social change. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Hudson, M. (2011). Education for change: Henry Giroux and transformative critical pedagogy. Retrieved from http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/1734
Lagemann, E. C. (1992). Prophecy or profession? George S. Counts and the social study of education. American Journal of Education, 100(2), 137-165.
Nelson, M. (2013). Harold Rugg (1886 - 1960) education, social, school and curriculum. Retrieved from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2381/Rugg-Harold-1886-1960.html
Net industries. (2013). Theodore Brameld (1904–1987). Retrieved from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1800/Brameld-Theodore-1904-1987.html
Nystrand, M. (1997). Dialogic instruction: When recitation becomes conversation. Opening dialogue: Understanding the dynamics of language and learning in the English classroom. (pp. 1-15). New York, NY: Teacher's College Press, Teacher's College, Columbia University.
Ohio State University Directory. (2013). Karen Zuga. Retrieved from http://pro.osumc.edu/profiles/zuga.1/
Oliver, D. W. (1987). Reflections on Peter Carbone's "the social and educational thought of Harold Rugg." Social Education, 47(7), 583-587.
Paulo Freire Institute at University of California, LA. (2012). About Paulo Freire. Retrieved from http://www.paulofreireinstitute.org/
Sage Publishing. (2013). Michael Stephen Schiro. Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/authorDetails.nav?contribId=529007
Schiro, M. S. (2007). Curriculum theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (Chapter 5: Social reconstruction ideology can be found online at http://www.hci.sg/admin/uwa/MEd7_8678/Social_Reconstruction_Ideology.pdf)
Shimahara, N., & Conrad, D. (1991). Theodore Brameld's culturological vision: Profile of a reconstructionist. Qualitative Studies in Education, 4(3), 247-330.
Steinberg, S. (2013). The Freire Project. Retrieved from http://www.freireproject.org/content/paulo-freire
The Freire Institute. (2013). Education, conscientization and a pedagogy of the oppressed. Retrieved from http://www.freire.org/paulo-freire/
Theodore Brameld Papers. (2005). University of Vermont libraries special collections
Zuga, K. (1992). Social reconstruction curriculum and technology education. Journal of Technology Education, 2(3), 48-58. Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v3n2/pdf/zuga.pdf References Created by Stephanie Chando & Erin Crabill

Widener University
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