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Educational Philosophies: Comparison of Attributes

Categories Traditional Contemporary

Philosophical Realism Idealism & Realism Pragmatism Pragmatism
- orientation

Theoretical- Perennialism Essentialism Progressivism Reconstructionism


Direction in  preserving the past (knowledge,  growth, reconstruct present,

time values) change society, shape future

Educational  fixed, absolute, objective  changeable, subjective, relative


Educational  focuses on teaching  focuses on active self-learning


Intellectual  train, discipline the mind  engage in problem-solving, social

focus tasks

Subject-  for its own self-importance  all have similar value


Curriculum  composed of three Rs  three Rs, arts, sciences, vocational

Learning  cognitive learning, disciplines  exploratory, discovery

Grouping  homogeneous  heterogeneous, culturally diverse

Teacher  disseminates, lectures, dominates  facilitates, coaches, change agent

Student  receptacle, receives knowledge,  engages discoverer, constructs
passive knowledge
Social  direction, control, restraint  Individualism

Citizenship  cognitive, personal development  personal, social development

Freedom  conformity, compliance with  creativeness, self-actualization,

and authority, knowledge and discipline direct experiences

Excellence  excellence in education, academic,  equality of education, equal

vs. Equality rewards and jobs based on merit change to disadvantaged

Society  group values, acceptance of norms,  individual growth, individual ability,

cooperative and conforming importance of individual

Adapted from Ornstein’s and Oliva’s Educational Philosophies. From the dissertation of Dr. David E.
Diehl entitled “A Study of Faculty-Related Variables and Competence in Integrating Instructional
Technologies into Pedagogical Practices.” ©2005-06. Revised 2006. Reprinted by permission.