I had so much fun in studying the Major Educational Philosophies. It made me think of a better approach on teaching. It also made me realize that indeed, my beliefs in education lie in the philosophies of Progressivism and Social Reconstructionism. Now, for my ejournal entry in Module 3, I will share to you some of my insights about the four educational philosophies and about my understanding on it and its implication to me.
I really do not agree with the scenario wherein students were obliged to sit in a chair, and put their hand on a behave position on the table for a couple of hours. I feel like I’m a robot when I am doing that. That is why, maybe, I am not fan of the methodologies and educational philosophies of Essentialism and Perennialism. Perennialism focuses on the classical books and teachings of the past, while Essentialism focuses on teaching the basics—how to write, read and solve mathematics. Yes, it is important to know the basic but, for me it is better to teach these basics relative to the learner’s life. I found myself agreeing with what Progressivism and Social Reconstructionism entail. I believe that students learn best when they see the relevance of the topic to their own personal experiences and life and when they, themselves experience the relativity of the topic to their personal life. I can see myself teaching someday into a more democratic way than authoritative. Perhaps, I would let my student realize the importance of knowing how to divide numbers and put it into fraction through a situation where in a piece of cake should be divided equally to the group members. With this, I have not only promoted the problem solving and learning through experience of the Progressivism but I may also encourage the importance of fairness to my students, which would lie on the Social Reconstructionism. On the other hand, when we apply the Essentialism to the situation, I guess, I would teach division using a chalk and a board; perhaps, I would write the division sign and then solve an equation and then have a quiz. Likewise, if we are going to look at a Perennialism method, I guess, the same approach with the Essentialism would be used with just an additional historical background of division from the Great Mathematician of the past. There is nothing wrong with this situation I think, but I prefer of a more participative and active learning than passive learning. This is my preference, and I accept the fact that we would have different preferences. For you, are you an authoritative teacher or a learning teacher?
In this area, I would just define the four different educational philosophies based on what I have learned from the previous readings that I have. First is Perennialism, when I think of Perennialism, the first word that comes to my mind is classic. Perennialism focuses on the classical works of the past. According to them the importance and relevance of those classical works would not change. Second is the Essentialism, this is the traditional way of schooling, wherein students are ask to sit on a chair and listen to the teacher as they teach the basic knowledge that the student must know. Third is the Progressivism, here, they see more value on the experience of the student. They believe that through problem solving and experiencing the reality, they would learn best. Lastly is the Social Reconstructionism, here, social reform or changes would always be present in the discussion. They believe that the students have this capacity to know what is in danger with the society and to act for reconstruction of the destruction that our society received. Which education philosophy/ies would your beliefs lay? Do we share the same thoughts? I hope so ( Bagley; Cohen, 1999; Parkay, 2013; Schiro, 2007; Simon, Perrenialism, 2000; Simon, Progressivism, 2000a)
Upon knowing these things, I was able to identify myself and have deeper understanding on what and how to be like this and that. For instance, I was able to identify myself as a progressive social reformist, wherein I promote experience in learning the societal issues and the meaning of life by using the problem solving as a major tool to know the possible solutions to those problems and learn from it. I may not be totally a Social Reconstractionist since I would just give awareness to my students about the social issues that our society is experiencing. It is their choice whether to act or not. I am still respecting their freedom of choice that is why I am also partly a Progressivist. I would just promote the importance of experience and that’s it, it is up to the student if they would act for a social reform or remain as a student learning and applying the method of problem solving to their life. As long as they are not passive learners, I would support their learning and education. Moreover, I was also able to know the strengths and weaknesses of each educational philosophy. For instance, a passive education leads into one way learning resulting to powerless members of society. This is due to the fact that students just learned the theories and were not able to think deeper on it and apply it in the real life situation. (Am I right? Or left? Haha kidding ) I am not saying that it is not good to know the basics and the theories; this may in fact serve as foundation to a deeper learning. I am just promoting the power of experience in creating a deeper knowledge and learning. I believe that through time, when teachers are ready to accept this democratic approach of learning, more students would become great leaders, business owners, scientist and socially aware and responsible citizen. I believe that if we have a more progressive and social reformist educators, we could have more responsible learners and teachers that do not only depend their learning on the facts of the past and the basic but also on their personal experiences. Do we have the same beliefs?
Things to ponder:
*Students learn best by doing and experiencing the relevance of the topic to their personal life.
*A teacher that is also a learner from the students would promote a good learning communication with the students.
*Sitting for 6 hours on a chair is boring!
*Experience is indeed the best teacher!
*We can achieve social reform if we started the reform from ourselves.
*Teaching is learning
Bagley, W. (n.d.). An Essentialist’s platform for the advancement of American education.
Cohen, L. M. (1999). Section III – Philosophical Perspectives in Education . Retrieved 2016, from Educational Philosophies: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/PP3.html
Parkay, F. W. (2013). Philosophical Foundation of U.S Education (Chap 4). In F. W. Parkay, In Becoming a Teacher (9th edition) (pp. 108-128). Needham Heights, MA: Pearsin Allyn & Bacon.
Schiro, M. S. (2007). Social Reconstruction Ideology (Chap 5). In M. S. Schiro, In Curriculum Theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns (2nd edition) (pp. 133-173).
Simon, L. (2000). Perrenialism.
Simon, L. (2000a). Progressivism.