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History of Philosophy Essay

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Until now, I have simply accepted education as it has been presented me, blind to fact that there was any kind of well developed philosophy behind it. After being introduced to the main educational philosophies, perennialism, essentialism, progressivism and social resconstructionism, I have had the opportunity to decide for myself which ones I believe in and why. I must agree with Thomas Locke that we are born into this world a blank slate. Living in such an affluent society, education in America is provided and required of all citizens. Education shapes us; we grow through it and with it as changing circumstances continue to alter the methods by how we are taught and why.
It is through our education however, that we learn and grow as individuals eventually prepared to become a contributing member of society. Therefore whatever philosophy we entrust our educational system too, deserves critical thought. Through experience, teachers too develop their own personal philosophy, derived greatly from their preference of the existing ones. It is impossible to be a great teacher without having developed a personal philosophy of education. Great teaches have the greatest effect on students. Through the study of these philosophies I have attempted to relate them to my own experience and for once deciding what I found works best and what I disagree with.
Focusing first on the teacher I immediately perceive perennialism, as disregarding the students personal learning expectations. This philosophy emphasizes the importance of existing concepts. While many teachers enjoy staying on topic I have yet to encounter one who I perceived as a strict believer in perennialism. While the fundamentals of perennialism are essential as they encourage ...


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...is certain knowledge that everyone should have a basic understanding of. Progressivism however, creates a higher standard. It incorporates the basics by relating them to real life, preparing us for the real world and allowing students to experiment with what interest and motivates them the most. Progressivism does not accept average. It challenges the essential knowledge standard. With essentialism, I believe that progressivism is the most efficient approach towards education. I had in mind before learning of the main philosophies, my best teachers. With that said I now have a better understanding of why they were the best, of what methods they experimented and how they must have perceived the educational system. I have developed an appreciation for each philosophy but only believe essentialism and progressivism to be the most practical and the most successful.




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