PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
Philosophy of education may be defined as the
application of the fundamental principle of the philosophy
of life to the work or Education
It offers a definite set of principles and establishes a
definite Set of aims and objectives.
7 Philosophies of education
1. Constructivism- based on the idea that people actively construct or make their own
knowledge, and that reality is determined by your experiences as a learner. Basically,
learners use their previous knowledge as a foundation and build on it with new things that
Why teach- Constructivists sees to develop intrinsically motivated and independent
learners adequately equipped with learning skills for them to be able to construct
knowledge and make meaning of them.
What to teach- The learners are taught how to learn. They are taught learning processes
and skills such as searching, critiquing and evaluating information, relating these pieces of
information, reflecting on the same, making meaning out of them, drawing insights, posing
questions, researching and constructing new knowledge out of these bits of information
How to teach- In the constructivist classroom, the teacher provides
students with data or experiences that allow them to hypothesize, predict,
manipulate objects, pose questions, research, investigate, imagine, and
invent. The constructivist classroom is interactive. It promotes a dialogical
exchange of ideas among learners and between teachers and learners. The
teacher's role is to facilitate this process.
Knowledge isn't a thing that can be simply deposited by the teacher into the
empty minds of the learners. Rather, knowledge is constructed by learning
through an active, mental process of development: learners are the builders
and creators of meaning and knowledge. Their minds are not empty, Instead,
their minds are full of ideas waiting to be "midwifed" by the teacher with
his/her skillful facilitating skills.
William C. Bagley Professor of education at Teachers College,
Columbia University (1917–1940)
He is commonly referred to as the founder of essentialist educational
Why teach. This philosophy contends that teachers teach for
learners to acquire basic knowledge, skills and values. Teachers teach
“not to radically reshape society but rather to transmit the traditional
moral values and intellectual knowledge that students need to become
What to teach. Essentialist programs are academically rigorous. The
emphasis is on academic content for students to learn the basic skills or the
fundamental 4R’s: READING, ‘RITING , ‘RITHMETIC, RIGHT CONDUCT- as
these are essential to the acquisition of higher or more complex skills
needed in preparation for adult life.
The essentialist curriculum includes the “traditional disciplines such as math,
natural science, history, foreign language, and literature. Essentialists frown
upon vocational courses or other courses with watered-down academic
content. The teachers and administrators decide what is most important for
the students to learn and place little emphasis on students’ interests,
particularly when they divert time and attention from the academic
How to teach. Essentialist teachers emphasize mastery of subject matter.
They are expected to be intellectual and moral models for their students.
They are seen as “fountains” of information and as “paragons of virtue,” if
ever there is such a person. To gain mastery of basic skills, teachers have to
observe “core requirements longer school day, a longer academic year.”
With mastery of academic content as the primary focus, teachers rely heavily
on the use of prescribed textbooks the drill method, and other methods that
will enable them to cover as much academic content as possible like the
lecture method. There is heavy stress on memorization and discipline.
-Progressivism was developed by John Dewey's American philosopher and
- Belief that students are more likely to develop a love of education and become
Why teach. Progressivist teachers teach to develop learners into becoming
enlightened and intelligent citizens of a democratic society. This group of teaches
learners so they may live life fully NOW not to prepare them for adult life.
What to teach. The progressivists are identified with need-based and relevant
curriculum. This is a curriculum that "responds to students needs, and that
relates to students personal lives and experiences.
Progressivists accept the impermanence of life and the inevitability of
change. For the progressivists, everything else changes. Change is the only
thing that does not change. Hence, progressivist teachers are more
concerned with teaching learners the skills to cope with change. Instead of
occupying themselves with teaching facts or bits of information that are
true today but become obsolete tomorrow, they would rather focus their
teaching on the skills or processes in gathering and evaluating information
and in problem-solving.
The subjects that are given emphasis in progressivist schools are the natural
and social sciences." Teachers expose students to many new scientific,
technological, and social developments, reflecting the progressivist notion
that progress and change are fundamental... In addition, students solve
problems in the classroom similar to those they will encounter outside of
How to teach. Progressivist. teachers employ experiential methods.
They believe that one learns by doing. For John Dewey, the most popular
advocate of progressivism, book learning is no substitute for actual
experience. One experiential teaching method that progressivist teachers
heavily rely on is the problem-solving method. This problem-solving
method makes use of the scientific method. (You will learn more of this in
your Principles and Strategies of Teaching.)
Other hands-on-minds-on-hearts-on teaching methodology that
progressivist teachers use are field trips during which students interact
with nature or society. Teachers also stimulate students through thought-
provoking games, and puzzles.
- Believe that the focus of education should be the ideas that have lasted over
Why teach. We are all rational animals. Schools should, therefore, develop
the students' rational and moral powers. According to Aristotle, if we neglect
the students reasoning skills, we deprive them of the ability to use their
higher faculties to control their passions and appetite.
What to teach. The perennialist curriculum is a universal one on the view
that all human beings possess the same essential nature. It is heavy on the
humanities, on general education. It is not a specialist curriculum but rather
a general one. There is less emphasis on vocational and technical
education. Philosopher Mortimer Adler claims that the "Great Books of
ancient and medieval as well as modern times are a repository of
knowledge and wisdom, a tradition of culture which must initiate each
generation" What the perennialist teachers teach are lifted from the Great
How to teach. The perennialism classrooms are "centered around
teachers." The teachers do not allow the students interests or experiences
to substantially dictate what they teach. They apply whatever creative
techniques and other tried and true methods which are believed to be
most conducive to disciplining the students' minds. Students engaged in
Socratic dialogues, or mutual inquiry sessions to develop an understanding
of history's most timeless concepts."
- JEAN PAUL SARTRE, French philosopher, novelist, and playwright
-The philosophical belief that we are each responsible for creating purpose or
meaning in our own lives.
Why teach. The main concern of the existentialists is to help students
understand and appreciate themselves as unique individuals who accept
complete responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and actions." Since
'existence precedes essence', the existentialist teacher's role is to help students
define their own essence by exposing them to various paths they take in life
and by creating an environment in which they freely choose their own
What to teach. "In an existentialist curriculum, students are given a wide variety
of options from which to choose." Students are afforded great latitude in their
choice of subject matter. The humanities, however, are given tremendous
emphasis to *provide students with vicarious experiences that will help unleash
their own creativity and self expression.
Existentialism encourage individual creativity and imagination more than
copying and imitating established models.
How to teach. "Existentialist methods focus on the individual. Learning is
self-paced, sell-directed. It includes a great deal of individual contact with the
teacher, who relates to each student openly and honestly, To help students know
themselves and their place in society, teachers employ values clarification
strategy. In the use of such strategy, teachers remain non-judgmental and take
care not to impose their values on their students since values are personal.
-Proponents: John B. Watson was an American psychologist who
popularized the scientific theory of behaviorism
- Focuses on the idea that all behaviors are learned through interaction
with the environment.
Why teach. Behaviorist schools are concerned with the modification
and shaping of students' behavior by providing for a favorable
environment, since they believe that they are a product of their
environment. They are after students who exhibit desirable behavior in
What to teach. Teachers use behaviorism to show students how they
should react and respond to certain stimuli. This needs to be done in a
repetitive way, to regularly remind students what behavior a teacher is
looking for. It teach students to respond favorably to various stimuli in the
How to teach. Behaviorist teachers "ought to arrange environmental
conditions so that students can make the responses to stimuli. Physical
variables like light, temperature, arrangement of furniture, size and
quantity of visual aids have to be controlled to get the desired responses
from the learners. Teachers ought to make the stimuli clear and interesting
to capture and hold the learners attention. They ought to provide
appropriate incentives to reinforce positive responses and weaken
eliminate negative ones." (Trespeces, 1995)
7. Linguistic philosophy
- Noam Chomsky is an American linguist "the father of modern linguistics",
-The belief that language is at the root of all learning, We learn best by using
Why teach. To develop the communication skills of the learner because the ability
to articulate, to voice out the meaning and values of things that one obtains from
his her experience or life and the world is the very essence of man. It is through
his/her ability to express himself herself clearly, to get his her ideas across, to make
known to others the values that he she has imbibed, the beauty that he/she has
seen, the ugliness that he/she rejects and the truth that he she has discovered.
Teachers teach to develop in the learner the skill to send messages clearly and
receive messages correctly.
What to teach. Learners should be taught to communicate clearly - how to send
clear, concise messages and how to receive and Correctly understand messages
-Communication takes place in three (3) ways - verbal, nonverbal, and paraverbal.
- There is need to teach learners to use to communicate clearly and precisely their
thoughts and feelings.
- There is need to help students expand their vocabularies to enhance their
- There is need to teach the leaners how to communicate clearly through non-
verbal means and consistently though para- verbal means.
- Teach them to speak as many languages as you can. The more languages one
speaks, the better he/she can
How to teach. The most effective way to teach language and
communication is the experiential way. Make them experience sending and
receiving messages through verbal, non-verbal and para-verbal manner.
Teacher should make the classroom a place for the interplay of minds and
hearts. Teacher should facilitate a dialogue, exchange of words and ideas
“Your philosophy of education is your “window”
to the world and “compass” in life.”
Your philosophy of education is reflected in in your dealings with students,
colleagues, parents and administrators. Your attitude towards problems and
life as a whole has an underlying philosophy. It is how you will articulate
your thoughts on how you perceive the learner, on what are the right
values, on what and on how you must therefore teach. If you articulate your
philosophy of education, you will find yourself more consistent in your
dealings with other people, in your actions and decisions.
As a teacher you have tremendous power. You can make a difference in the
life of the young.
By formulating your philosophy of education, this will give you direction on
what you should do and be to your students to ban agent of change.
All in your philosophy of education must spell out very clearly what you and
how you should teach, how you should relate to your students to make a
Teacher Maerina’s Philsophy of Education
As a grade school teacher
Has a natural interest in learning and is capable of learning.
Is an embodied spirit
Can be influenced but not totally by his/her environment.
Unique, so comparing a child to other children has no basis.
Does not have an empty mind, rather is full of ideas and it is my
task to draw these ideas
I believe in Every Child
“I believe that there are unchanging values in changing times and
these must be passed on to every child by my modeling, value
inculcation and value integration in my lessons.”
I believe that my task as a teacher is to facilitate the development of
every child to the optimum and to the maximum by:
Reaching out to all children without bias and prejudice towards and
“least” of the children.
Making every child feel good and confident about himself/ herself
through his/her experiences of success in the classroom
Helping every child master the basic skills of reading, communicating
in oral and written form, arithmetic and computer skills.
Teaching my subject matter with mastery so that every child will use
his/ her basic skill to continue acquiring knowledge, skills and values
for him/ herself to go beyond the basic literacy and basic numeracy.
Inculcating or integrating the unchanging values of respect, honesty,
love and care for others regardless status in my lessons.
Consistently practicing these values to serves as model for every
S IE R R A
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