For our module 3, Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, and Social Reconstructionism was tacked. I have learned the influences and expressions of these philosophies in our society. I have also learned the educational implications in each of these philosophies in our school system and in this journal, I will be sharing my insights in each one of them.
In the readings that I have read under Essentialism, I have learned that this type of philosophy is the most represented in schools. Its advocacy is about the “back-to-basics movements”, has a pre-determined curriculum, and is a teacher-centered type of classroom environment.
In all honesty, I find Essentialism to very “essential” in the way how I learn and understand things in my life , not only as a student but most importantly as an individual. I believe, my teachers in elementary and high school were very effective in instilling this philosophy in our process of learning. Thus, I have to agree this is most common type of philosophy that we often experience in school and I have to say that if I become a teacher, then I would have to call myself as essentialist teacher who will be stressing the importance of essential skills and knowledge that my students must ought to know for the contribution of socioeconomic efficiency of society. What I also appreciate in this type of philosophy is the fact that students here are taught discipline, hard-work and respect for authority. It makes sense why there is a focus on mastering subject-contents for students have to work hard and must have the right discipline in learning subject-contents in the future.
Since Perennialism is rooted in Realism, its truth is “timeless and universal” (Parkay, 2013). For a perrenialist, their aim is to educate the rational person. Thus, A Perennialist believes that intellect should be the focus of education like reading the “Great Books”of the Western Curriculum like Shakespeare and Homer. It was Robert M. Hutchins who is a leading Perennialist spokesman who advocated that education should do away with non-intellectual activities like athletics and physical education and instead should aim for the development of intellectual powers of man. He clearly is one great man and I admire him for having such advocacies like this. Trying to train the intellect and doing away with music, arts, and physical activities are considered to be unimportant and must not be the goal or aim of school or in other words should not be part of a school curriculum especially in America. In all honesty, Mr. Hutchins must be a die-hard-Perennialist for this matter and I do have some concerns in becoming a Perennialist teacher for I do think and believe in teaching holistically the child and that includes the development of both the physical and moral aspect of self. I just don’t think that I am ready in becoming a solid Perennialist teacher for this matter. However, I do agree that teacher should maintain “social distance” to avoid interference in learning.
According to a Progressivist view, truth constantly changes with time and circumstances. Thus, for them, new ideas are important in making the future better than the past. Student’s interest is being highly valued rather than academic discipline and because it is student-centered, freedom in determining school experience for students is also very important. Added to this, Progressivism arose against the traditional schooling (Ozmon, 2011).
What I truly like about the Progressivist philosophy is the fact that instructors in this type of classroom are passionate about what they are teaching. For me, learning should be always a two-way process and student’s voice is given importance just like the teacher. Thus, they have advocated in the very first place that learning should always be “active” rather passive. For me, letting the student’s voice be heard and let them speak their minds is an extraordinary thing to do as a teacher. Helping them realized and know what things are important can be of course a bit challenging but this can solve if a teacher keeps an open-mind in teaching and learning at the same time. I just also happen to remember that since reality in a Progressivist world constantly changes with time and circumstances, the one can definitely expect that with the advent of technology like computers, cell phones, etc., teachers can keep up with the said changes that we are experiencing in society because they have already prepared themselves about this matter.
How many times do I have to encounter this term “Social reconstruction” in college? In fact, I remember reading an article about this philosophy in my Literature class and who would think that I will be meeting this term again for my EDS 111 class. I am actually glad that social reconstruction was also part in one of the philosophies of education. In the readings that were provided, I have learned that Social construction emerges due to reason that humankind has reached a serious cultural crisis of global dimensions like exploitation, war, violence. Thus, social reconstruction was a means to reconstruct society by integrating new technological and scientific developments (Ozmon, 2011).
Obviously, just like the Progressivist view, Social Reconstruction was also a means to do away with the traditional things that we have learned in school. Thus, a Social reconstructivist teacher involves the students in activities to criticize and transform the society that we live in which is a total opposite of the Perennialist that conforms only to enduring beliefs.
Also, I can’t help myself but relate Social reconstruction to Jacque’s Derida’s Theory of Deconstruction, a theory that is against logocentrism. According to Derrida, centralized knowledge must be “decentralized” or “deconstructed” to fully benefit the learner which is also in line with Freire’s assertion that banking education mirrors the oppressed society.
Parkay, F.W. (2013). Philosophical Foundations of US Education (Chap.4). In Becoming a Teacher (9th edition),(page 108-128). Needham Heights, MA: Pearson Allyn and Bacon. Available at http://catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/assets/hip/gb/hip_gb_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0205625096.pdf
Ozmon. 2011. Philosophical roots of education (Chap 1), 7-38. Available at http://catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/assets/hip/gb/hip_gb_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0132540746.pdf