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Philosophies of

Education
Sherwin E. Balbuena
EdD Educl Leadership

DR. EMILIO B. ESPINOSA, SR. MEMORIAL STATE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY

Existential
Questions

What is life?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What am I living for?
What is reality?
Is the universe real?
What is good to do?
How should I live life
meaningfully?

In the
school
context

Why do I teach?
What should I teach?
How should I teach?
What is the nature of the
learner?
How do we learn?

Five Major
Philosophies
of
Education
(Bilbao, et
al)

Essentialism
Progressivism
Perennialism
Existentialism
Behaviorism

Essentialis
m

Why teach?
This philosophy contends
that teachers teach for
learners to acquire basic
knowledge, skills, and
values.

Essentialis
m

What to teach?
Basic skills or the fundamental Rs
-- reading, riting, rithmetic, right
conduct-- as these are essential to
the acquisition of higher or more
complex skills needed in
preparation for adult life.
Curriculum includes the traditional
disciplines such as math, natural
sciences, history, foreign language,
and literature.

Essentialis
m

How to teach?
Essentialist teachers
emphasize mastery of
subject matter. They are
expected to be intellectual
and moral models of their
students.

Progressivis
m

(Pragmatism or
Experimentalis
m)

Why teach?
Progressivist teachers teach to
develop learners into becoming
enlightened and intelligent
citizens of a democratic society.
They teach learners so they may
live fully NOW not to prepare
them for adult life.

Progressivis
m

What to teach?
Need-based and relevant curriculum. This
is a curriculum that responds to students
needs and that relates to students
personal lives and experiences.
More concerned with teaching the learners
the skills to cope change. Change is the
only thing that does not change.
Natural and social sciences. Teachers
expose students to many new scientific,
technological, and social developments,
reflecting the progressivist notion that
progress and change are fundamental.

Progressivis
m

How to teach?
Progressivists teachers employ
experiential methods. They believe
that one learns by doing. (John Dewey)
Problem-solving method makes use of
the scientific method.
Hands-on-minds-on teaching
methodology (e.g., field trips during
which students interact with nature or
society). Teachers also stimulate
students through thought-provoking
games and puzzles.

Perennialis
m (Rational
Humanism)

Why teach?
To develop the students rational
and moral powers.
Belief in the primacy of reason
and in the humans ability to
make rational judgments about
the goodness of things (Adler &
Hutchins).

Perennialis
m

What to teach?
The perennialist curriculum is a
universal one on the view that all
human beings possess the same
essential nature.
Heavy on humanities and general
education.
Great Books.

Perennialis
m

How to teach?
The perennialist classrooms are
centred around teachers. The
teachers do not allow the
students interests or experiences
to substantially dictate what they
teach. They apply whatever
creative techniques and other
tried and true methods which are
believed to be most conducive to
disciplining the students minds.

Existentialis
m

Why teach?
To help students understand and
appreciate themselves as unique
individuals who accept complete
responsibility for their thoughts,
feelings, and actions.
Existence precedes essence.
Education of the whole person,
not just the mind.

Existentialis
m

What to teach?
Gives a wide variety of options
from which to choose.
Emphasis on the humanities.
Vocational education to teach
children about themselves and
their potentials.
In the arts, students are
encouraged to practice individual
creativity and imagination.

Existentialis
m

How to teach?
Focuses on the individual.
Learning is self-paced, selfdirected.
Individual contact with the
teacher.
Teachers remain non-judgmental
and take care not to impose their
values on the students; since
values are personal.

Behavioris
m

Why teach?
Students behavior is a
product of his environment.

Behavioris
m

What to teach?
Teach students to respond
favorably to various stimuli in
the environment.

Behavioris
m

How to teach?
Arranges environmental
conditions so that students
can make the responses to
stimuli.
e.g., well-managed
classroom, use of attention
catchers and incentives.

Summary

Other
Philosophies
(accdg. to
Eisner)

Reconstructionism/Critical
Theory
Religious Orthodoxy
Reconceptualism
Cognitive Pluralism

Reflection

What philosophies of
education do our schools
adhere to?
In the historical
perspectives of our
educational system?

Thank you!

There are as many worlds


as there are ways to
describe them.
NELSON GOODMAN