Philosophy and Education Continuum Chart

Modernity <------------------------------------------------------------------------> Post Modernity
Traditional and Conservative <---------------------------------> Contemporary and Liberal
Authoritarian (convergent) <--------------------------------> (divergent) Non-Authoritarian
General or World Philosophies
Ideas are the only true reality, the only thing worth knowing.
Focus: Mind
Reality exists independent of human mind. World of physical objects ultimate reality.
Focus: Body

Universe is dynamic, evolving. Purpose of thought is action. Truth is relative.
Focus: Experience
Reality is subjective, within the individual. Individual rather than external standards.
Focus: Freedom
Plato, Socrates

Pierce, Dewey
Sartre, Kierkegaard
Curricular Emphasis
Subject matter of mind: literature, history, philosophy, religion
Subject matter of physical world: science, math

Subject matter of social experience. Creation of new social order
Subject matter of personal choice
Teaching Method
Teach for handling ideas: lecture, discussion
Teach for mastery of facts and basic skills: demonstration, recitation

Problem solving: Project method
Individual as entity within social context
Character Development
Imitating examples, heroes
Training in rules of conduct

Making group decisions in light of consequences
Individual responsibility for decisions and preferences
Related Educational Philosophies
Focus: Teach ideas that are everlasting. Seek enduring truths which are constant, not changing, through great literature, art, philosophy, religion.
Focus: Teach the common core, "the basics" of information and skills (cultural heritage) needed for citizenship. (Curriculum can change slowly)

Focus: Ideas should be tested by active experimentation. Learning rooted in questions of learners in interaction with others. Experience and student centered.
Critical Theory
Focus: Critical pedagogy: Analysis of world events, controversial issues and diversity to provide vision for better world and social change.
Key Proponents
Robert Hutchins,
Jacque Maritain,
Mortimer Adler,
Allan Bloom
William Bagley;
Arthur Bestor,
E. D. Hirsch,
Chester Finn,
Diane Ravitch,
Theodore Sizer

John Dewey,
William Kilpatrick
George Counts,
J. Habermas,
Ivan Illich,
Henry Giroux,
Paulo Freire
Related Theories of Learning (Psychological Orientations)
Information Processing
The mind makes meaning through symbol-processing structures of a fixed body of knowledge. Describes how information is received, processed, stored, and retrieved from the mind.
Behavior shaped by design and determined by forces in environment. Learning occurs as result of reinforcing responses to stimuli.
Social Learning
Learning by observing and imitating others.

Learner actively constructs own understandings of reality through interaction with environment and reflection on actions. Student-centered learning around conflicts to present knowing structures.
Personal freedom, choice, responsibility. Achievement motivation towards highest levels. Control of own destiny. Child centered. Interaction with others.
Key proponents
R. M. Gagne,
E. Gagne,
Robert Sternberg,
J.R. Anderson
Ivan Pavlov,
John Watson,
B.F. Skinner,
E.L. Thorndike,
Albert Bandura

Jean Piaget,
U. Bronfenbrenner,
Jerome Bruner,
Lev Vygotsky
J.J. Rousseau,
A. Maslow,
C. Rogers,
A. Combs,
R. May