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What is Philosophy? (By Roger Hiemstra, January, 2012)

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Title: What is Philosophy? (By Roger Hiemstra, January, 2012)


1
What is Philosophy?(By Roger Hiemstra, January,
2012)
  • Philosophy has been called many things and it can
    have many meanings
  • Those single words or statements on the right
    side are only some of them
  • What words would you add?
  • Wisdom
  • Reality
  • Theories
  • Meaning of Life
  • Nature of being human
  • Life perspectives

2
Here is One Definition
  • Putting the nature of the universe, including
    meaning, people, and relationships, into an
    understand-able or explainable perspective
  • What is your definition???

3
The purpose of this presentation is to acquaint
you with various philosophical systems or models.
Each system or model can be interpreted in terms
of the education or training of adults. Once you
examine a particular system or model, ask
yourself such questions as (a) With what parts do
I agree and with what parts do I disagree? (b)
How might they impact on or affect the way I
train or educate adults? (c) What does the model
have to say for my role as an adult educator or
trainer? Examine the visual representation of
these notions in the next slide.
4
Various Philosophical Systems or Models
Other Models
Other Models
Idealism
Humanism
Can be Interpreted in Terms of Educating/Training
Adults
With Implications for Training/Educating Adults
With Implications for Adult Educator Roles
5
IDEALISM(See http//www-distance.syr.edu/philchap
.html, Figure 12.1)
  • Meaning is in the ideals of life itself
  • Reality is made up of absolute truths
  • However, a truth sometimes is only in the eye
    of the beholder
  • Educationally this means the use of inductive
    reasoning, lecturing
  • Plato was an early key proponent of this model

6
REALISM
  • Meaning comes through empirically proven facts
  • Reality is made up of natural laws, facts
  • However, empirical facts are always subject to
    change
  • Educationally this involves scientific reasoning
  • Chisholm and Whitehead proponents

7
PROGRESSIVISM
  • Meaning comes through concrete facts
  • Theory based on truth makes up reality
  • Problem solving and experimenting are
    instructional techniques
  • But does this diminish the teachers role?
  • John Dewey a leading proponent (had a huge impact
    on American education)

8
LIBERALISM
  • Freedom comes through a liberated mind
  • Humans endowed with reasoning ability
  • Thus, educationally you teach learners the
    classics and develop their minds
  • But, the past may not relate to modern problems
    and situations
  • Aristotle was an early proponent

9
BEHAVIORISM
  • Human behavior tied to prior conditioning
  • External forces control all human behavior
  • Could learning be too complex for the control of
    certain behaviors?
  • Teaching methods include behavioral conditioning,
    feedback, drill and practice
  • B. F. Skinner well known proponent (he also
    impacted heavily on U.S. education)

10
HUMANISM(Read http//www-distance.syr.edu/sdlhuma
n.html for background)
  • Intellect distinguishes humans from animals
  • Humans have potential/innate goodness
  • Thus, educationally you facilitate and encourage
    self-direction
  • Some educational needs may be missed?
  • Abraham Maslow early proponent

11
RADICALISM
  • People themselves create meaning
  • Knowledge leads to an understanding of reality
    and, ultimately, necessary change
  • This approach can be idealistic in nature and
    often leads to confrontation
  • Teach by dialogue and problem solving
  • Paulo Freire prominent proponent

12
ECLECTICISM
  • Fortunately, there is a way of dealing with all
    the various models
  • Eclecticism is not a philosophical system or
    model, but rather is the synthesizing and
    per-sonal interpretation of various models to
    draw out the best components for yourself
  • Thus, you pull the best from various models in
    any effort to build your own statement of
    personal philosophy

13
Visit http//www-distance.syr.edu/ethics1.html
for Rogers personal statement of philosophy to
see how he drew from various philosophical models
to create his own statement. Go here for other
peoples statements. You can do the same thing
and you may want to use the worksheets shown as
Figure 12.2 in http//www-distance.syr.edu/philcha
p.html, as well as taking the Lorraine Zinn PAEI
instrument, and then scoring it (see Rog Hiemstra
for information on the instrument and scoring
it), as a way of thinking through the basics of
your own statement The overall point of this
exercise is to help you see that an ability to
write a personal statement of philosophy becomes
foundational to an under-standing of ethics and
how you will apply such understanding to what you
do professionally.
14
Selected References Archambault, R. D. (1964).
John Dewey on education. New York Modern
Library, Random House. Bambrough, R. (Ed.).
(1963). The philosophy of Aristotle (A. E.
Wardman J. L. Creed, Trans.). New York New
American Library of World Literature. Bergevin,
P. (1967). A philosophy for adult education. New
York Seabury. Brubacher, J. S. (1969). Modern
philosophies of education. New York
McGraw-Hill. Chisholm, R. M. (1961). Realism and
the background of phenomenology. Glencoe, IL
Free Press. Cushman, R. E. (1958). Therapeia
Plato's conception of philosophy. Chapel Hill,
NC University of North Carolina Press. Dewey, J.
(1916). Democracy and education. New York
Macmillan. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and
education. New York Macmillan. Elias, J. L.,
Merriam, S. (1980). Philosophical foundations of
adult education. Malabar, FL Krieger. Freire,
P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York
Herder and Herder. Lindeman, E. C. (1928). The
meaning of adult education. New York New
Republic. Maslow, A. (1976). Education and peak
experience. In C. D. Schlosser (Ed.), The person
in education A humanistic approach. New York
Macmillan. Rogers, C. R. (1969). Freedom to
learn. Columbus, OH Merrill. Skinner, B. F.
(1971). Beyond freedom and dignity. New York
Alfred A. Knopf. Taylor, A. (1926). Plato The
man and his work. London Methuen Co., Ltd.
Whitehead, A. N. (1933). Adventure of ideas. New
York Macmillan. Zinn, L. M. (1990). Identifying
your philosophical orientation. In M. W.
Galbraith (Ed.), Adult learning methods A guide
for effective instruction. Malabar, FL Krieger.
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