Student-Centred Educational Philosophy

Topics: Education, Language education, Philosophy Pages: 8 (2767 words) Published: May 20, 2013
1.0 Educational Philosophy
1.1 Introduction
There are five main philosophical schools of thought in education which are essentialism, perennialism, progressivism, existentialism and reconstructionism. However, here I have only chosen the philosophies which believe in student-centred approach. There are three philosophies that hold the similarity of being less authoritarian and placing the students as the centre in learning process. These three philosophies reject essentialism and do not agree with traditional mediums of teaching. They are recontructionism, progressivism, and existentialism 1.2 Reconstructionism

Reconstructionism is an important contribution of Theodore Brameld in the world of educational philosophy. Brameld in his book, ‘Education as Power’, says “education has two major roles: to transmit culture and to modify culture." In reconstructionism, education is seen as a way to bring out positive changes in society. The educational purpose of reconstructionism is to create social reform in which education serves as a mean to make people view society with a critical eye. Learners should never settle for what is but have to do critical thinking and dream of what should be. This branch of philosophy strives for a constant and positive change for the betterment of the society. A famous reconstructivionist, Paulo Freire (1921-1997) sees teaching and learning as a process of inquiry in which the child must invent and reinvent the world.

Theodore Brameld (1904-1987) and Paulo Freire (1921-1997) . Source: Google Image. The goal of reconstructionist learning is that the students themselves should conceive the good future. The students receive education as a preparation for their role in the future. Therefore, it is important for students to experience and taking social action on actual problems. Students should be willing to spend time in the community to learn its problems. Rote learning, memorization and direct-method are not preferable in recontructionism. Besides, reconstructionist students should possess a high sense of duty towards society. They are then are expected to be the leaders of reformation in society to form an observant, inquisitive, open-minded and highly capable society. As education should prepare students to become agents for change, reconstructionism philosophy believes that teachers must convince their students of the validity and urgency of the reconstructionist solution. However, teachers must do so with scrupulous scrutiny for democratic procedures. At the same time, learning process should enable the learners to be in control of their own fate and able to make social reform. 1.2 Progressivism

Source: Google Image
Progressivism is the educational application of a philosophy called pragmatism. John Dewey refined pragmatism and applied to education, which later became known as progressivism. Progressivism believes that school should encourage cooperation, not competition. According to Dewey, democracy and freedom are far superior to the traditional political ideas. He viewed progressive schools as a working model of democracy. In curriculum, progressivism also holds the same view as reconstructinism which the selection of subject content depends on the skills that will be needed in future society. This is because knowledge taught must help people to adapt to change. Progressivists believe that individuality, progress, and change are fundamental. In Progressivism, education is not to prepare students to live; it should be life itself. Learning should focus on understanding and action, not rote knowledge. Thus, it is believed that problem solving is the most effective way. As similar to reconstructinisim philosophy, progressivism prefers varied learning resources and it also views the best way to learn is through direct experience with the environment. As this philosophy puts more concern on students, teacher is seen as an advisor, not a director. The progressive teacher aids students...
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