Philosophy of Education Philosophies of Education Evolve Term Paper

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Philosophy of Education

Philosophies of education evolve in response to social and political changes. Moreover, philosophies of education reflect shifts in personal and collective consciousness, which also impacts the form and function of schools. Educators who practice their profession in accordance with their loftiest goals embolden our profession, enabling a plurality of voices to shine. At the same time, the shared features of an educational philosophy will maximize the potential of school systems in mediating conflicts. Even amid the plurality currently extant in education and in educational policy, it is possible to outline core values that can and should become normative. For example, philosophies of inclusion and egalitarianism should always define educational institutions even when these ideals are not entirely possible in practice. Transcendentalism and existentialism question educational methods and encourage creative approaches to the profession. Stanley Cavell offers one of the most sublime philosophies incorporating appreciation for non-linear modes of thought. And finally feminism remains the foundation of any educational philosophy that is personally meaningful, inherently practical, and socially just.

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Feminist educational philosophies do not limit discourse to gender, although gender may be a central metaphor to explore social inequity. Budding first around the 1960s and blossoming in full during the late 1980s, feminism and its sister philosophies like neo-Marxism have made profound impacts on my personal educational philosophy ("A History of Educational Theory"). Dewey's pragmatic theories pervade the philosophy of education, and are flexible and adaptable to any ideology.

Term Paper on Philosophy of Education Philosophies of Education Evolve Assignment

Before discussing a philosophy of education it may be helpful to define terms and clarify meanings. Education serves both personal-psychological and social functions. On the one hand, education exists and should always exist outside of the social institutions that support it formally. In other words, the school is only one of many vehicles for education. Learning is also far more than the acquisition of information-based knowledge; education entails the exploration of various modes of thinking. We teach how to think, not what to think. Creativity is therefore an essential component to my personal philosophy of education, but creativity grounded in the type of pragmatic learning emphasized by John Dewey (Garrison 1999).

When existential problems arise, such as the nature of truth itself, we can turn toward pragmatism as a mediator. Shook (2000) describes the potential conflicts that arise in the quest for perfect knowledge. Hearkening to a Platonic vision of ideal forms, Shook exclaims: "Transcendental realism is unnecessary and indemonstrable, and pragmatism's naturalistic empiricism is sufficient to guard against outright idealism (Shook 2000). Part of the challenge of education is to explore the possibility of a transcendent reality without laying claim to any objective truth. I believe that all claims to absolute knowledge and absolute truth are inherently problematic and therefore education should always seek broad-mindedness and flexibility as core ideals. On a practical level, schools should aim to expand their pedagogy to allow for different means of truth-finding other than the currently… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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