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Chapter 4 Pragmatism and Education

Team members
Paul Bohac Frederick Glover Jacquie Berger Brenda Welch

Historical Background
Francis Bacon John Locke Jean-Jacques Rousseau Auguste Comte Charles Darwin Charles Sanders Pierce William James

Pragmatism Timeline

John Dewey
Nature of Experience Individuality and Social Relation Religious Experience Aesthetic Development Pragmatism as a Philosophy of Education

Brown Barge Middle School


Philosophy We believe that each student, working at his own pace, has the right to pursue academic, social, and personal goals in a nurturing, supportive environment. We believe that secure students will be motivated to accept the challenge of differentiated integrative curriculum designed to produce academic excellence at Brown Barge Middle School. The ultimate goal at BBMS is to assist students in becoming happy, productive, and knowledgeable young people who believe in themselves and their ability to make a positive contribution to society.

Brown Barge Middle School


Curriculum: Goals include
(1) Ad Hoc Stream Development Committee
(a)Attempt to standardize the stream documents, use half for revision of individual stream. (b) Ad Hoc/Curriculum was asked to provide in-service on stream writing.

(2) Journals
(a) Purpose and use of the journal, will discuss evaluation of journal (b) Possible in-service to staff on use of the journal for new faculty and review for all.

Integrative Curriculum
It is not subject centered. It is student centered. It is not textbook/worksheet based. Involves theme-based learning.

Integrative Curriculum
It does not label or track students into rigid ability groups. Develops higher level thinking skills analysis, synthesis, evaluation.

Integrative Curriculum
It is not dependent on lecturing, rote learning, or drill.
Is permeated by the concepts of democracy and respect for human dignity and, therefore, shows value for diverse cultures.

Intersects students personal concerns and social issues and, therefore, makes learning relevant for students.

Experiment
Please follow the directions given by the team.

Focus Questions
How is pragmatism similar and different from idealism and realism?
Although John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau contributed to the progressive movement they were more closely associated with the philosophy of idealism. What central element of the writings of both Locke and Rousseau was incorporated into pragmatism and the progressive movement?

Focus Questions
Discuss your thoughts about why pragmatism is seen as most effective in a democratic society?
Pragmatists give great importance to experiencing things. Discuss your ideas of the possible shortfalls of this approach.

Focus Questions
The readings gave an example of how exploration could be demonstrated to be linked to many subject areas. Try to think of some concentration of your own and explain how you would link it to various subject areas. Explain Dewey's scientific method and how it affects education.

Focus Questions
Compare and contrast Dewey's educational philosophy with our society's approach and your own.

Pros and Cons


Pros
Less use memorization and drill Links and broadens disciplines Emphasize individualism and personal choice Less constraining environment for students Truth may change Recognize differing needs of children Recognize diverse cultures Play is an important method of learning

Pros and Cons


Pros
Selected student approaches that spark interest Encourage parental and social involvement Individual abilities or positions should be classified based on families

Cons
Accepts situations the way they are and teaches society how to live with it

Pros and Cons


Cons
Does not work well in an undemocratic society Can be misinterpreted as permissive Not all knowledge can be gained through experience Linear thinking, decisions made within traditional constraints

Pros and Cons


Cons
A student can receive As and still not be a master Seen as anti-industrial. Emphasis on social issues. Lack of specificity make it difficult to apply