This week for ECS 200, the main focus is the Social-Historical Constructions of Schooling. One of the pieces of readings that I will focus on this blog was a reading from my ECS 100 textbook on the Philosophical Roots of Education. This reading focused on the philosophies that influence education.
While reading through this text, a lot of things jumped out at me and I found myself making a lot of connections to my own previous schooling and education that I am seeing today. One of the first things that jumped out to me was that idealists and many educators believe that block play teaches students understandings of mathematical and scientific concepts such as size, balance, dimensions and volume (Edmunds, 2015, p. 213). I have magnetic blocks that fascinate one of my clients and I now know that they are learning more than just free play ideas, they are also gaining mathematical and scientific knowledge as well!
When I think back to my own schooling in high school, I realize that my high school math teacher taught with an Essentialism philosophy in mind. Due to a standardized A.P. test, the teacher stuck to the curriculum of the class and taught in very old school ways. They taught through writing notes, giving us worksheets and having tests at the end of the chapters. Not every class will work with an Essentialism philosophy, but thankfully this approach worked for my math teacher.
The practical application on page 216 of the text stuck out to me a lot because I noticed connections between this application and resiliency, which we have discussed in previous classes (Edmunds, 2015). Existentialism leads to Social Reconstructionism which challenges students to choose to make their own lives, regardless of the community that they grew up in. Resiliency also challenges students to not allow their upbringing define them.
The text discussed a lot about Social Reconstructionism and I found the line, “Truth has been defined by the powerful but it does not necessarily reflect the realities of the less-privileged groups” on page 228 really got me thinking (Edmunds, 2015). In previous classes, we have discussed the different lenses and philosophies that should be taken into account when creating curriculum and teaching which came from the Social Reconstructionism philosophy. I realized that Aline is challenging us as a class to look from this perspective and open up our lenses. I also found myself connecting truth defined by power to the media and the truths that are fed to us because the powerful deem them to be important. People do not hear the truths about the things that the powerful do not think are important.
Overall, this reading gave me a lot of information about philosophies that influence education. Now that I know all of these philosophies, I am still left wondering how do teachers choose the right philosophy to follow for their school and classroom?
Thanks for reading my blog post!
Edmunds, A. (2015). Educational foundations in canada. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press Canada.