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ESE502: Class: Self Assessment: Assignment 3

Determine your Philosophy of Education

Essay: Your Personal Philosophy

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What is Your Philosophy?

Each of us has a set of beliefs about the purpose and the meaning of life. What you teach, how you teach it and the expectations you have for students will be influenced by your philosophy. Read each of the following statements about the nature of education. Decide whether you agree or disagree with each statement. Use the following numbers to express your response:

    5 Agree strongly
    4 Agree
    3 Neutral
    2 Disagree
    1 Disagree strongly

______ 1. The curriculum of the schools would be subject-centered. Students should learn reading, writing, history, mathematics and science.
______ 2. The teacher should be an authority figure in the classroom.
______ 3. The purpose of education is to prepare students for life.
______ 4. Students should be permitted to determine their own curriculum.
______ 5. Material is taught effectively when it is broken down into small parts.
______ 6. The curriculum of a school should be determined by information that is essential for all students to know.
______ 7. The aim of education should be to cultivate the rational powers of students.
______ 8. The curriculum should focus on problem-solving skills. Students should learn how to define, analyze, and solve problems.
______ 9. Students who do not want to study should be allowed to spend their time the way they desire.
______ 10. People are shaped by their environment.
______ 11. The purpose of education is to teach students a core of knowledge that should be known by all educated persons.
______ 12. Moral truths should be taught in school.
______ 13. The curriculum of the school should be determined jointly by students, faculty, and other involved participants.
______ 14. Reality is determined by each individualís perceptions. There is no objective and universal reality.
______ 15. Programmed learning is an effective method of teaching information.
______ 16. The student must read and master key material.
______ 17. There exists a core of knowledge that everyone should know.
______ 18. The curriculum of the school should be built around the personal experiences and needs of the students.
______ 19. School should offer students a wide variety of curriculum options.
______ 20. Students learn best through reinforcement.
______ 21. The teacher is a master of various subjects.
______ 22. The curriculum of the schools should focus on the great thinkers of the past.
______ 23. Students should be actively engaged in experimentation and discovery.
______ 24. Effective learning is unstructured and informal.
______ 25. Reality is the physical world.
______ 26. The curriculum should be separated into individual subject areas rather than organized as integrated disciplines.
______ 27. Art should focus on the study of the masterpieces of the world's great artists.
______ 28. The role of the teacher is to guide students in their mastery of problem-solving processes.
______ 29. The purpose of school is to help students find the meaning of their existence.
______ 30. People learn from their reactions to prior stimuli.
______ 31. A key role of education is to preserve democracy.
______ 32. An effective education is not aimed at the immediate needs of the students or society.
______ 33. Art should focus on individual expression and creativity.
______ 34. Individuals are basically alone, since they never truly communicate with anyone else.
______ 35. The curriculum of the schools should focus on real world scientific observations and empirical laws of behavior.
______ 36. Academic rigor is an essential component of education.
______ 37. All students, regardless of ability, should study the same curriculum.
______ 38. An effective classroom is democratic.
______ 39. Each person has free will to develop as s/he sees fit.
______ 40. The role of the teacher is to motivate students by using external reinforcement.
______ 41. Effective schools assign a substantial amount of homework.
______ 42. Education should focus on the discussion of timeless questions such as What is beauty? or What is truth?
______ 43. Students should be active participants in the learning process.
______ 44. There are no external standards of beauty. Beauty is what individuals decide it to be.
______ 45. There is no innate sense of guilt or right or wrong.
______ 46. It is the role of the teacher to communicate knowledge to the student.
______ 47. Teacher-guided discovery is a key method of teaching students.
______ 48. The major way students learn is from each other.
______ 49. It is more important for a student to develop a positive self-concept than to learn specific subject matter.
______ 50. Frequent objective testing is the best way to determine what students know.

After responding to all 50 questions, write the number assign by you to each statement in the spaces below. Add the numbers in each column to determine your attitudes toward key educational philosophies.

Essentialist Perennialist Progressivist Existentialist Behaviorist
  1. _______   2. _______   3. _______   4. _______   5. _______
  6. _______   7. _______   8. _______   9. _______ 10. _______
11. _______ 12. _______ 13. _______ 14. _______ 15. _______
16. _______ 17. _______ 18. _______ 19. _______ 20. _______
21. _______ 22. _______ 23. _______ 24. _______ 25. _______
26. _______ 27. _______ 28. _______ 29. _______ 30. _______
31. _______ 32. _______ 33. _______ 34. _______ 35. _______
36. _______ 37. _______ 38. _______ 39. _______ 40. _______
41. _______ 42. _______ 43. _______ 44. _______ 45. _______
46. _______ 47. _______ 48. _______ 49. _______ 50. _______

The higher the score, the more you agree with educational philosophers who represent that viewpoint. The highest possible score is 50, and the lowest possible score is 10.

Adapted from Sadker, M.P. & D.M. (1988). Teachers, schools & society. New York: Random House

1. Once you have scored this self evaluation, send a summary of your scores and a one minute essay describing your feeling about the results.

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