EDUCATION PHILOSOPHIES 6
Pragmatismand Reconstructionism as Philosophies of Education
Pragmatismand Reconstructionism as Philosophies of Education
Thedynamisms of the current fast moving environment have had asignificant impact on nearly every aspect of the human life.According to Cohen (2013), one of the areas that have been greatlyinfluenced by the present day technologically connected world iseducation. This is exhibited in that way this sector is beingreshaped courtesy of innovation and advancements in technology.Today, there are several ways and strategies through which learningis offered. Actually, Lowell (2015) notes that teaching is fastbecoming one of the most interesting professions all across the worlddue to such philosophies that have evidently increased educationalopportunities for not only students, but also tutors. Based on theabove underpinning evidence it is important to explore pragmatism andreconstructionism as the two common philosophies of education uponwhich most of these strategies are founded.
Definitionof the Philosophies
Pragmatismand reconstructionism are two philosophies of education that havereceived a lot of approval from various educational experts andstakeholders. According to Lindemann (2014), the support is largelybecause the approaches and strategies advocated for by thesephilosophies have proved to be incredibly effective in not onlyhelping students master their syllabus, but also gain crucialinsights on how to be holistic individuals. As Cohen (2013) notes,pragmatism as an educational philosophy emphasizes on the need toteach learners the critical lessons of life. In other words, it is aphilosophy that is anchored towards making education more about lifeand growth as opposed to merely mastering the syllabus. Practicingthis philosophy requires teachers to engage more with studentsthroughout the education practice. Engagement in this context mightentail involving them more in the education process. In addition, thelessons should be crafted and presented in a way that anchors towardsteaching practical things about life that the learners can easilyrelate with. According to Lowell (2015), such teaching method greatlyhelps them grow into better people, and this is the ultimate goal ofthe philosophy.
Reconstructionism,on the other hand, is an educational philosophy that puts a lot ofemphasis on what is deemed right and rational from an ethicalperspective. Cohen (2013) notes that educators who believe in thisphilosophy often strive to teach and inspire their students to beagents of the much-desired change in the society. Change in thiscontext is facilitated by these students when they learn theimportance of questioning the numerous social inequalities that existin most of our current settings. As such, any true reconstructionisteducator will always push for regime change, especially concerningthe education systems being used by most governments across theworld. According to them, the most ideal curriculum that aligns withtheir wishes, goals and aims is one that highlights social reform asthe number one objective of education.
Socialreconstructionism philosophy has its roots in the World War II.According to Lowell (2015), it was coined by Theodore Brameld, wholived between 1904-1987, and was disheartened by the happeningsduring the war. He recognized that human beings have the ability touse technology and other resources to either build or destroythemselves. Surprisingly, however, education emerged as the mostideal tool of uniting humanity beyond race or religion. As such,through his philosophy, Brameld advocates for its usage as a means ofpreparing people for creating the new social order.
HowI Would Use the Two Philosophies in My Classroom
Teachingis a profession that has always been dear to me. Ever sincegraduating and becoming a Pre-K teacher, I have enjoyed thechallenges that come with dealing with young and aspiring Pre-K kidswho are so eager to make a mark in their lives. To me, it is a verycritical responsibility because as Lindemann (2014) notes, I amdirectly involved in almost every decision that they make duringclass activities. Ideally, this implies that I am under constantpressure to always formulate and use the most ideal approaches andstrategies while not only teaching them, but also associating withthem beyond their school work.
Toachieve the above, I am definitely going to build my teachingstrategies around the pragmatism and reconstructionism philosophiesof education. This is mainly because these two emphasize on ateaching approach that links the learner to the real world. Ashighlighted earlier for instance, the pragmatism philosophy advocatesfor teaching real-world things about life that the learners caneasily relate with. This is the ideal type of practical learning thatI would wish my Pre-K kids to undergo. For example, if I know thatmajority of my students are from urban areas, teaching them with alot of reference to intense agricultural science might not have a lotof impact. This approach would work better in a classroom withmajority of the population being farmers’ children ideally becauseto them, agricultural science is very practical.
Thepragmatism philosophy requires the teacher to know his or herstudents well. This knowledge is critical because it helps indetermining whether a particular approach will work well or not.Using the above example shows that when majority of my class arefarmers’ children, I need to use examples that they can relate withregardless of whatever topic I am teaching. According to Lindemann(2014), one way of going about it is using examples and experimentswith things such as livestock or plants when teaching a subject likescience.
Socialreconstructionism, on the other hand, strives to build holisticindividuals that make a positive contribution to the society. Assuch, I will use this philosophy to formulate a teaching approachthat will help my Pre-K kids become better agents of the much-desiredchange in the society as they grow up. According to Cohen (2013), anexample of a perfect teaching approach that is anchored on thisphilosophy is one whose actions are based on sound reasoning asenshrined in our ethical values and virtues. My main objective hereinis to mold a conscious class that is aware of the environment aroundit.
Undeniably,being aware in this context implies not only having the knowhow, butalso the courage to question the various social inequalitieshappening in our current settings. Young people are always termed asthe future of any society or country. Therefore, as a teacher, itrests upon my shoulders to ensure that I inspire them to becomeagents of viable and positive change in the world as they grow up.Lowell (2015) notes that exposing them to discussions about sensitivetopics in the classroom is one way of teaching them how to understandand appreciate different perspectives as well as the freedom ofexpression.
Educationhas changed significantly in the past few years. Much of this changehas been seen in the way learning is presented in differentenvironments. Apparently, there are currently many factors thataffect Pre-K students’ abilities to learn and develop throughschool. Surprisingly however, a clear understanding of the pragmatismand reconstructionism philosophies of education gives useful insightsinto how some these factors such boredom, rigidity of the syllabusand lack of practicality of the teaching methods can be addressed.
Cohen,M. (2013). Philosophical Perspectives in Education. Journalof Education, 23(4),37-39.
Lindemann,R. (2014). How Education is Changing. Journalof Education, 5(1),6-8.
Lowell,K. (2015). Pragmatism as a school of Philosophy. TheRevolution, 5(11),269-271.