Bachelors of Science in Education, Special Education University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma 1982 Masters of Education, Counseling Northeastern State University Tahlequah, Oklahoma 1989 Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the Oklahoma State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATION July, 2012 UMI Number: 3524500 All rights reserved. The quality of this reproduction is dependent on the quality of the copy submitted.
In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. Critical to an advancing society is the need for teachers to recognize and utilize best teaching practices. Teaching requires knowledge of the subject matter and the skills to effectively engage learners. The best educators conceptualize teaching as anything that might promote student learning. Therefore, the teacher is the engineer of the learning environment (Bain, 2004). Many educators believe that learning is the purpose of all education, however educators differ substantially in how they engineer the learning environment through their classroom teaching styles and educational philosophies.
Some educators consider the role of the teacher that of transmitting knowledge through a teacher-centered approach, while others consider the role of the teacher that of leading the student to construct knowledge through a learner-centered approach (McCarthy & Anderson, 2000). The teacher’s role in the learning process is often defined by educational philosophy. The manner in which they view their role in the classroom, how they view the student-teacher relationship and the method of instruction, all reflect their philosophy and beliefs about education (Petress, 2003; Youngs, 1979).
Educational Philosophy At the most basic level, philosophy is a quest for wisdom and understanding (Ozmon & Carver, 2007). It “…raises questions about what we do and why we do it” (Elias & Merrium, 1995, p. 5). A philosophy of education is “…a set of ideas and beliefs that guides teachers’ 1 actions and provides a framework for thinking about educational issues” (Kauchak & Eggen, 2011, p. 197). Educational philosophy is the basis that shapes the structure and goals of the relationship between the faculty and the student. When considering the inter-relationship of philosophy and activity it is clear that philosophy inspires one’s activities and gives direction to practice” (Elias & Merrium, 1995, p. 5). Faculty beliefs about the purpose of education, expectations in the student-teacher relationship, the teaching-learning process and what methods of instruction to use, are all guided by their educational philosophy (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005; Petress, 2003). A clear understanding of philosophy provides a solid foundation for effective analysis of educational practices and professional growth (Conti, 2007; Elias & Merrium, 1995).
The five traditional western philosophies, which form the structure of most educational practices, are idealism, realism, pragmatism, existentialism, and reconstructionism. These western philosophies serve as a foundation and perspective for analysis of educational practices (Ozmon & Craver, 2007). There are five educational philosophies which were identified as having roots in traditional schools of western philosophy which form the structure of most educational practices.
The five educational philosophies are: liberal, behaviorist, progressive, humanistic, and radical (Zinn, 2004). Professional educators are likely to be influenced in their actions by one or more of these five philosophies. Regardless of teachers’ awareness of their educational philosophy, their beliefs are reflected in their behavior (Youngs, 1979). “True professionals know not only what they are to do, but are also aware of the principles and reasons for so acting” (Elias & Merriam, 1995, p. 9).
What teachers believe and practice in the classroom is related to educational philosophy and to teaching style. 2 Teaching Style The five educational philosophies have each been categorized as influencing either teacher-centered or learner-centered teaching styles (Conti, 2007; Johnson, Musial, Hall & Gollnick, 2011; Zinn, 2001). Conti (1998) describes teaching style as the qualities and behaviors displayed by a teacher which are consistent from situation to situation regardless of curriculum content.
Teacher-centered teaching styles are consistent with traditional philosophies of idealism and realism, and the educational philosophies of liberal and behavioralism (Conti, 2007; Zinn, 2004). Learner-centered styles are consistent with traditional philosophies of pragmatism, existentialism and reconstructionism, and the educational philosophies of progressivism, humanism and realism (Conti, 2007; Zinn, 2004). Teacher-centered style is defined as a formal, controlled, and autocratic instructional style which assumes the learners are passive (Conti, 2004).
Learner-centered style is defined as a pattern of instruction that is responsive, problemcentered, democratic and employs a collaborative learning environment (Dupin-Bryant, 2004). Regardless of an educators’ teaching styles, their beliefs should be evident in their teaching (Heimlich & Norland, 1994). Teaching style is the application of an educator’s philosophy demonstrated in classroom practices. Teaching style includes the “implementation of philosophy; it contains evidence of beliefs about, values related to, and attitudes toward all the elements of the teaching-learner exchange” (Heimlich & Norland, 1994, p. 0). College of Education Teacher Education Program Teacher education programs are expected to refer to the mission and goals of their colleges in defining excellence in teaching for their own program, course development and teaching styles (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2008). This study investigated a comprehensive university in the Midwestern part of the United States of America. 3 For the purposes of this study the university was given the fictitious name of Newton State Univeristy (NSU).
The long history of the teacher education programs at NSU was reflected in the growth of the size and scope of its educational programs and the number of its graduates. The influence of professional national and state accrediting bodies, such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP), was evidenced by the university’s College of Education (COE) having a well-defined conceptual framework and educational philosophy. The Philosophy of the Unit statement, the COE Conceptual Framework, and other documents, informed the field of educational ideology for the college.
Through an inspection of the language and expressed expectations contained in these documents, it was apparent to the researcher that the COE advocated an educational philosophy and a teaching style preference consistent with learner-centered teaching style and humanistic and progressive educational philosophy. Problem Statement Although the College of Education advocated a learner-centered approach, the teacher education faculty may be like many other higher education faculty and may not believe in such classroom practices and philosophies (Labaree, 2005).
This potential dichotomy of beliefs between the teacher education faculty and the COE could be a possible source of conflict. What was not known was whether this was typical of the teacher education faculty at this Midwestern state university. For those colleges with clearly defined mission statement, like that of the COE, it is necessary that any fissure between the faculty and college be made apparent. Based on the COE mission statement, Philosophy of the Unit statement, the Conceptual Framework and the rubric criteria, it was implied that the teacher education faculty use 4 ompatible teaching approaches to instruct their teacher candidates. However, it was unknown whether the teacher education faculty themselves preferred to conduct their classrooms utilizing learner-centered approaches. Through an assessment of the faculty beliefs, their teaching style preferences may be made apparent. Such a discovery would ascertain whether the philosophy and teaching style preferences of the teacher education faculty were congruent with the ideology of the COE. The mission statement of a university provides the vision and foundation for its employees and stake holders (Velcoff & Ferrari, 2006).
If there is tension or conflict between the beliefs and values of COE and the teacher education faculty the foundation of the university could become ambiguous and unstable (Andreescu, L. 2009). There was no information about the educational philosophy and teaching style preferences of the teacher education faculty at this Midwestern state university. A survey of the teacher education faculty would ascertain the degree of alignment between the philosophy and teaching style preferences held by the teacher education faculty and those professed by the College of Education.
Purpose The purpose of the study was to describe the educational philosophies and teaching style preferences the teacher education faculty members at this Midwestern state university and to determine the extent to which these matched with the university’s College of Education educational philosophy and preferred teaching style. Research Questions 1. What are the education philosophies and teaching styles of the teacher education faculty? 2. What are the relationships of the education philosophies and the demographic variables of the teacher education faculty? 5 3.
What are the relationships of teaching styles and the demographic variables of teacher education faculty? 4. What are the relationships between the education philosophies and teaching styles of the teacher education faculty? 5. To what degree are the education philosophy and teaching styles of the teacher education faculty similar to the stated education philosophy and preferred teaching style of the College of Education? Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework constructed for this study was underpinned by two theoretical constructs: philosophy and teaching styles.
There were five educational philosophies; liberal, behavioral, progressivism, humanism and radical. These five educational philosophies were adapted by Zinn (2004) from the writings of Ellias and Merriam (1995). The educational philosophies each have a basis in five traditional western philosophies (Ellias and Merriam ,1995). The concepts of teaching styles include teacher-centered and learner-centered teaching (Conti, 1989; Kauchak & Eggen, 2008).
The theoretical constructs of andragogy is influential in this study due to the nature of the relationship of the teacher education faculty and their adult learners who are pre-service teacher candidates (Muirhead, 2007). One of the central objectives of the teacher educators and the COE in this study is to teach pedagogical concepts to the preservice teacher candidates. For these reasons, andragogy and pedagogy are conceptually relevant to this study and are a part of the theoretical framework; however they are beyond the scope of the study’s research questions.
The theoretical constructs and the theoretical framework will be addressed further in chapter two. 6 Methodology The participants responded to an e-mail which provided a link to an on-line survey. All full-time and part-time graduate and undergraduate teacher education faculty were asked to participate in the study; however all did not choose to participate. The on-line survey contained the Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI), the Principles of Adult Learning Scale (PALS) and a demographic questionnaire. The concept of educational philosophy was measured with PAEI.
The concept of teaching style was measured with PALS. Descriptive statistical methods were used to establish the profiles for each instrument and demographic variables. Frequency distributions were used to construct the educational philosophy and teaching style profiles for the participants. Analysis of variance was used to examine the relationship among the demographic variables and the educational philosophies and among the demographics and the teaching styles. Chi Square analysis was used to examine the relationship between educational philosophies and teaching styles.
Frequency distributions were used to describe the degree to which the teacher education faculty and the COE were congruent in educational philosophy and teaching style preferences. Table 1 lists the data analysis techniques related to the research questions of this study. Table 1 Summary of Research Questions, Data Sources and Procedures Question Data Source Procedure 1. Education PAEI Frequency distributions philosophies profile Teaching styles profile PALS Frequency distributions 2. Education philosophies and demographic variables 3.
Teaching styles and demographic variables 4. Relationship between PAEI & demographics PALS & Demographics PAEI & PALS 7 ANOVA ANOVA Chi-Square Education Philosophy & Teaching Styles 5. Teacher education faculty Philosophy & teaching Style and COE PAEI & PALS Frequency distributions Significance of the Study This research has the potential to benefit both teacher educator faculty and teacher education programs by helping them understand the importance of relationship of educational philosophy and teaching style.
This study focuses on previously unknown information about the NSU teacher education faculty and the previously unidentified level of congruence between the educational philosophy and teaching styles of the COE and the NSU teacher education faculty. Therefore, this study’s significance lies in the findings, conclusion and recommendations of the research that will help improve professional development and practice of the teacher education faculty and the COE at this university. A strengthening of awareness of how congruence of beliefs and behaviors relate to teaching and learning is central to the study’s significance.
Resolution of the dissonance between the teaching style preferences of COE and teacher education faculty has potential to enhance the NSU teacher education program and provide professional growth. Key Terms Philosophy: Belief about reality, the nature of knowledge epistemology, what is good and valuable in the world and the logic of reasoning. The five western philosophies (a. k. a. traditional philosophies) are idealism, realism, pragmatism, existentialism, and reconstructionism. Educational Philosophy: Ideas and beliefs that guide teachers’ actions and provides a framework for thinking about educational issues (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005).
The educational 8 philosophies are based on five western philosophies. The five educational philosophies: liberal, behaviorist, progressive, humanistic, and radical. Teaching Style: Distinct overt application of teacher beliefs that is persistent from situation to situation regardless of the content (Conti, 1998). Learner-Centered: An interactive learning process in which the learners are actively engaged in experiences and role of the teacher is to serve as a facilitator who is focused on the students’ abilities and needs.
Learner-centered style is consistent with the western philosophies of pragmatism, existentialism, reconstructionism, and the educational philosophies of progressivism, humanism and realism (Elias & Merriam, 1995; Conti, 2007). Teacher-Centered: A formal, controlled, and autocratic instructional style which assumes the learners are passive. Teacher-centered teaching styles are consistent with the western philosophies of idealism, realism, and the educational philosophies of liberal and behavioralism (Elias & Merriam, 1995; Conti, 2007).
Newton State University (NSU): A fictitious name given to the Midwestern state university where the study was conducted. Andragogy: The art and science of teaching adult learners (Knowles, Holton, Swanson, 1998). Pedagogy: The art and science of teaching children (Ozuah, 2005). 9 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Philosophy Rene Descartes’ famous declaration, “Cogito ergo sum,” “I think therefore I am,” (Yaldir, 2009, Tweyman, S. 2005) could be the way that some teachers describe their unmindful connection between their teaching and their philosophy of education.
A philosophy provides a foundation for understanding and guiding professional practice (Kauchak & Eggen, 2002). All professions have philosophies which help guide actions and beliefs within their vocation. A common organizational practice is to have a philosophy statement that reflects the beliefs and philosophical priorities which guides the institutional leadership (Graham & Havlick, 2005). Philosophy can exert a powerful influence on professions, such as architecture, medicine and in education (Kauchak & Eggen, 2002). It is a professional practice for educators to develop and profess their philosophy statement (Kauchak &
Eggen, 2002). Whether or not they are aware of their philosophy, a teacher’s beliefs and behavior are guided by their educational philosophy (Kauchak & Eggen, 2002; Petress, 2003). The teaching-learning process, expectations of the role of the student and what method of instruction to use, are examples of actions guided by a teacher’s educational philosophy (Conti, 1982; Elias & Merium, 1995; Kauchak & Eggen, 2002; Zinn, 1983, 2004). A philosophical orientation to education allows for comparison with beliefs versus practices. A clear understanding of philosophy provides a solid foundation for effective analysis of teaching and 0 institutional educational practices (Conti, 2007; Elias & Merrium, 1995; Graham & Havlick, 2005). Traditional Schools of Philosophy Philosophers have developed answers to questions about reality, the nature of knowledge epistemology, what is good and valuable in the world and the logic of reasoning (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). These efforts have manifested in five philosophies, considered by many to be the traditional western philosophies which are the pillars for most educators (Conti, 2007; Kauchak & Eggen, 2005; Ozmon & Craver, 2007).
The five traditional philosophies, which form the structure of most educational practices, are idealism, realism, pragmatism, existentialism, and reconstructionism. Idealism. Idealism is one of the oldest Western philosophical views. It was established in ancient Greece by Plato (Harwood, 2010). Idealists hold the view that the world does not exist independent of the human mind and that the true nature of reality is based upon ideas. The constant change that occurs in the physical world strengthens the idealists’ conviction that ideas are the only reliable form of reality (p. 4). Teachers using curriculum based on idealism focus on content which emphasizes teacher-led instruction on time-honored ideas and works of literature, history, art, and music (p. 211). It was established in ancient Greece by Plato, and was brought into modern history by idealists such as Kant and Hegel (Harwood, 2010).
Mortimer Adler’s book (1988), Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind, advocated a curriculum based on these timehonored subjects. Adler placed more emphasis on the ultimate goal of developing intellectual skills which leads to higher rder thinking and awareness, and less on promoting students’ understanding of content. Teachers serve an essential role for idealists. “To idealists, ultimate 11 reality exists in the world of ideas, so they believe that teaching and learning should focus on ideas” (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005, p. 211). With this ultimate reality, which exists in the world of ideas, teachers lead their students to become rational, logical thinkers and to develop values through classic, enduring ideas (Ozmon & Craver, 2007). Realism. Realism is also a historic philosophy, having roots to Aristotle, Francis Bacon and John Locke (Ozmon & Carver, 2007).
Realists center their beliefs on the constancy of the physical universe and argue that the “features of the universe exist whether or not a human being is there to perceive them” (Kauchak & Eggen, 2002, p. 211). Realists claim important ideas and facts can only be taught and learned through studying the material world. The universe and the essence of all things exist objectively and thus they are not an extension of the mind (Harwood, 2010). The learning environment includes emphasis on order, lecture, practice and high levels of time on task (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). Curriculum consistent with realism emphasizes essentials, such as math, science, reading and writing, because they are tools to help us understand our world” (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005, p. 211). Teachers who use educational practices based in realism set goals for their students to use observation, experimentation, and critical reasoning in order to learn and understand logical and natural laws. Realism is noted for the scientific method as the central idea of instruction (p. 211). Pragmatism. Pragmatism is considered a more modern philosophy. American educator, John Dewey, was one of its central proponents (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005).
Pragmatism rejects the “…idea of absolute, unchanging truth, instead asserting that truth is what works” (p. 212). Pragmatists contend truth is relative to the experience of the individual. Because experiences change, the perception of truth changes and the methods for dealing with these also change. 12 Pragmatists accept the methods of science for understanding the human person and solving problems (Elias & Merriam, 1995). Pragmatism philosophy places an emphasis on collaborative learning and problemsolving skills in a self-regulated learning environment (Elias & Merriam, 1995; Kauchak & Eggen, 2005).
The process involved in learning is as important as the content in a pragmatist’s classroom (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). Teacher practices based upon pragmatist philosophy “doesn’t de-emphasize the importance of knowledge, but instead attempts to connect it to children’s interests” (p. 212). As a result, emphasis is placed on the tools of problem-based learning, subject integration, and direct hands-on experiences, which focus on individual accountability and development (p. 212). Existentialism. Existentialism holds a strong view concerning freedom of choice.
Existentialists assert all people possess total freedom of choice and thus are personally responsible for all aspects of their lives and society (Elias & Merriam, 1995). “Existentialists stress awareness, consciousness, perception and the total meaning-structure of the individual, his vision and death, his word choices and other aspects of his relating life” (p. 111). Influential existential writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Carl Rogers, and Abraham Maslow believed humans become a construct of ourselves, which requires total commitment to a self-determined destiny (Harwood, 2010; Kauchak & Eggen, 2005).
Empathy and unconditional caring are more important to learning than student attainment of content objectives (Harwood, 2010; Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). The existential teacher views education as “an individual’s search for understanding” (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005, p. 214). Reconstructionists. In the philosophy of reconstructionism, the societal function of education is a central premise (Ozmon & Craver, 2007). There are two major principles of this 13 philosophy. The first is society is in constant need of reconstruction or change.
The second principle is that social change involves both reconstruction of education as well as the use of education in reconstructing society (Ozmon & Craver, 2007). Reconstructionists declare that schools and teachers should serve as agents to both address social inequities and to enact the ideals of democracy (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). An American educator, Theodore Brameld and Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, were both influential social reconstructionists who strongly promoted that teachers and schools should serve as agents for marginalized people and advocates for a more just and equitable society.
Teachers encourage students to become an actively involved force for social change. Teachers influenced by reconstructionist philosophy place emphasis on teaching students to expose hidden bias and on inspiring students to influence the world today as well as in the future (Kauchak & Eggen, 2011, 2005). Philosophies of Education From Aristotle and Plato to Dewey, Rogers and Freire, the traditional schools of philosophy have served as a foundation to educational schools of thought.
Although they have useful implications for the field of education, the traditional philosophies were not developed as philosophies of education. “A philosophy of education is a conceptual framework embodying certain values and principles that renders the educational process meaningful (Merriam & Brockett, 2007, p. 28). ” An educational philosophy typically includes, “terms, aims and objectives, and curricula, methods and the teaching-learning transaction, the role of society, and the roles of student and teacher (p. 28). Zinn (2004) adapted Elias and Merriam six educational philosophies liberal, behavioral, progressive, humanistic, and radical, which were identified as having roots in traditional schools of philosophy (Elias and Merriam, 1995; Zinn, 2004). The 14 differences in these philosophies centers upon the concept of knowledge, the role of the learner and the role of the teacher and the purpose of the curriculum (Conti, 2007). Liberal Education. Like Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, the liberal education philosophy emphasizes the development of intellectual power (Zinn, 2004).
This philosophy is not associated with liberal political views; liberal education philosophy stresses traditional, classical humanism based on the liberal. It is supported by more contemporary educators such as Houle, Adler, and Piaget (Zinn, 2004) and has its roots in idealism and realism traditional schools of philosophy (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). Emphasis is placed on general, liberal humanities education to shape a rational mind. The task of education is to impart knowledge of eternal truth and preparation for life through great works of literature, philosophy, history and science (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005).
Teachers with the liberal education philosophy might be referred to as the expert ‘sage on the stage’ transmitting knowledge with an authoritative approach to a rigorous intellectual curriculum (Zinn, 2004; Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). Teaching methods based in this philosophy often include lecture, critical reading and discussion, which direct the student in the broadest sense “intellectually, morally, spiritually and aesthetically” (Zinn, 2004, 72). From a practice standpoint, liberal education is oriented toward conceptual and theoretical understanding and not just absorbing and using facts (Elias and Merriam, 1995).
Behavioral Education. Behavioral education is a contemporary philosophy with its foundation in the early 1900’s from psychologists Watson, Pavlov, Thorndike and Skinner. Behaviorists believed psychology should be about the science of behavior and not about science of the subjective mind (Slavin, 2000). Behaviorism is consistent with the traditional philosophy of realism which utilizes absolute law and scientific method to stress knowledge and skills useful 15 in today’s world (Conti, 2007). It professes the purpose of education is to promote skill development and behavioral change (Zinn, 2004).
Emphasis is placed on compliance with standards and societal expectations. The teacher’s role is of manager and controller of the learning environment through prediction and direction of learning outcomes. Some teaching methods used by behaviorists include programmed instruction, skill training, competency-based and criterion-referenced assessments, mastery learning, and feedback and reinforcement. The learner is expected to take an active role in learning and expected to practice new behavior and respond to feedback and reinforcement (Zinn, 2004). Behaviorism is associated with a learnercentered teaching style(Conti, 2007).
Generally the process of learning involves the educator diagnosing specific learning needs and evaluating progress towards meeting those needs. Accountability for learning is placed on the shoulders of the learner using competency-based behavioral objectives for evaluation (OBrian, 2001). Several models of behaviorist adult education exist. Special education programs, computer based training, adult basic education programs, vocational training and military training are often based on behavioral educational philosophy (OBrian, 2001; Zinn, 2004). Progressive Education.
The educational focus of progressivism is the notion that the child is an experiencing organism capable of learning by doing; education should be life itself, not preparation for living. Progressive education is aligned with the traditional philosophy of pragmatism (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). Prominent educators include Spencer, Dewey, Bergevin and Lindeman (Zinn, 2004). John Dewey’s ideas about education reform in the early part of the 20th’century created both excitement and criticism (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). His emphasis on “seeing learners actively involved in real-world problems” was considered a stimulating concept in the traditional 6 educational system (p. 200). Critics of Dewey’s reform principles believed “progressive education seemed to de-emphasize content and cater to student whims” (p. 200). Progressive schools encourage cooperation rather than competition; the free interplay of ideas enhance individual effectiveness in society through practical knowledge and problem solving skills (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005; Zinn, 2004). School is viewed as a microcosm of society with emphasis on learning through application of experience and problem solving (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005).
Classrooms are designed for experiential learning and spaces to learn from each other through active learning and cooperative group learning experiences. The teacher is a guide and organizer for experiential learning through use of scientific method, integrated curriculum, project method and problem based learning (Zinn, 2004). Constructivist teaching, a progressive based teaching method in which knowledge is actively constructed by the pupils, is consistent with the traditional pragmatism philosophy (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005; Ozman &
Craver, 2007). All three, pragmatism, progressivism, and constructivism, “emphasize concrete experiences, real-world tasks, and the central role of the individual in determining reality and promoting learning” (Kauchak &Eggen, 2005, p. 220). Humanistic Education. In the classroom, humanistic philosophy, also known as humanism, places emphasis on a nondirective approach to education which focuses on individual choice rather than on academic subjects or timeless ideas (Conti, 2007).
Humanism, which is closely associated with the philosophy of existentialism, is influenced by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, who were primary contributors from the field of psychology (Elias & Merriam, 1995). Carl Rogers stressed person centered and unconditional regard. Maslow is most well known for his hierarchy of motivation which evaluates needs based on growth and being needs, 17 culminating in self-actualization (Slavin, 2000). Several adult educators have contributed to this theory, however Malcolm Knowles may be the most well known in the field of adult education.
He spawned the concept of adragogy as a specific teaching strategy for adults (Elias & Merriam, 1995). The function of school from the humanistic educational philosophy is to enhance personal growth and development and to facilitate self-actualization (Zinn, 2004). Teachers are facilitators and partners in students’ growth; however they do not direct the learning. Through the use of self-directed learning, discovery, and experiential learning, the learners assume the responsibility for their education. Cooperation, group tasks and communication are valued as a part of the process of growth (Zinn, 2004).
Specific education programs which are based on humanistic educational philosophy are limited. Examples include self-actualization workshops, self-esteem building programs, and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California (OBrian, 2001). Some educators consider progressivism to be controversial because too much emphasis is placed on “children’s interests and self-esteem and that knowledge and understanding has been sacrificed ” (Kauchak & Eggen , 2005, p. 218). Radical Education. In the radical education, the political power of the individual is viewed as a esponsibility to create and change history and culture through reflective action (Zinn, 2004). Education’s purpose is to bring about, through education, fundamental social, political and economic changes in society. The educational focus is recognition that society needs to be reconstructed and that education must take the lead in that reconstruction (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). The exploration of the political nature of education, including social control and power in schooling and a rejection of the politics of exclusion is reflected in the radical education influenced curriculum.
Founded in existentialism, and closely aligned with postmodernism, the 18 consciousness of the freedom of choice, the responsibility for making choices, and cognitive as well as affective components of human development, are all important to the beliefs of radical education (Kauchak & Eggen, 2005). Paulo Freire, a Brazilian philosopher and educator, may be the most prominent figure in the radical education movement (Elias & Merriam, 1995). Freire suggested one must become aware of one’s oppression, which requires a movement through several stages of consciousness.
For Freire, as the learner gains an understanding (consciousness) of individual freedoms, they are able to change their environment and social conditions. Freire’s efforts in literacy campaigns and literacy training for peasants the local people resulted in change their own culture (Elias & Merriam, 1995). The radical education teacher serves as the coordinator who does not determine the direction of learning but suggests and empowers the learner (Zinn 2004). Equality between the learner and the teacher provides learner autonomy, dialog, problem posing and critical reflection.
Social action and noncompulsory learning are ways of ‘de-schooling” the learning process (Zinn, 2004). Radical philosophy is associated with the learner-centered teaching style (Galbraith, 2004). Regardless of the philosophical tenants of one’s belief and practice, philosophical questions about education ask why educators use a particular teaching method in order to“(a) provoke reflection, (b) systematically analyze and evaluate procedures, and (c) determine the appropriate philosophy or philosophies to back or drive the ractice” (Strom, 1996). An educator’s philosophy provides beliefs about the purpose of education, influences the expectations for the teaching-learning process, provides a foundation for professional growth and the methods of instruction (Conti, 2007; Elias & Merrium, 1995; Kauchak & Eggen, 2005; 19 Petress, 2003). Whereas one can read about schools of philosophy and how they contrast and even overlap, it is much more difficult to categorize one’s actions in the classroom by a particular philosophical approach” (Elias & Merriam, 1995).
When an educator is able to clearly articulate one’s philosophy they are distinguished as a professional educator instead merely a practitioner (Heimlich & Norland, 1994). If an educator is not able to espouse their philosophy their decisions may be swayed by routine, convention or current educational trends. Educators who are not aware or committed to their beliefs and ideologies are not able to vocalize their values and assumptions, make justifications for curriculum, or defend their stance in the professional or political arena (Elias & Merriam, 1995; Galbraith, 2004; Heimlich & Norland, 1994).
Elias & Merriam (1995) advocated the need for a more systematic investigation of philosophies held by educators. It is believed theoretical writings have advanced to the point where such an investigation is both possible and necessary (Zinn, 2004). Educators who can identify their philosophy of education “have a very good source of assistance in the Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI)” (Heimlich & Norland, 1994, p. 39).
The PAEI categories used to interpret an educator’s philosophy include the purpose of “education, learner, teacher, key words, methods and people and practices” (Heimlich & Norland, 1994, p. 39). Teaching Styles The range of behaviors and decisions that represent teaching style may vary according to a particular situation, however the teacher’s personal philosophy provides the basis for these (Conti, 1989). Teaching style is one’s philosophy put into action. It includes teaching practices & methods, recognition of learners, expectations of the student-teacher relationship (Conti, 1989; Kauchak & Eggen, 2008).
The amount of variation in a particular situation “will be limited by 20 tenets of the teacher’s educational philosophy and by the strength to which that teacher adheres to that educational philosophy” (p. 4). “The way curriculum is organized, the manner in which instruction is delivered, the character of school environment and the processes used in testing and grading are informed by the philosophical views held by educators” (Johnson, Musial, Hall & Gollnick, 2011, p. 48).
Research studies, using Zinn’s Philosophy of Adult Education, examined by Conti (2004) Inventory (PAEI), “reveals that educational philosophy and teaching style are directly related and that the process that discriminates groups in this relationship is the educator’s view of the role of the teacher in the teaching-learning process” (p. 77). It is crucial for teachers to reflect on their philosophy about teaching and its effect on all aspects of their teaching style (Heimlich & Norland, 1994). Teaching style is not the same as teaching method.
Teaching style could be described as “the range of behaviors in which a teacher can operate comfortably according to a certain value system” (Conti, 1989, p. 4). The way in which the teacher consistently functions inside this range defines the teacher’s teaching style. It is broader than immediate teaching strategies which are employed to attain a specific instructional objective and cannot be determined by looking at a single isolated action of the teacher (Conti, 1998). There are two commonly accepted types of teaching styles; teacher-centered and learner-centered (Conti, 1989, 1998, 2004).
Teachercentered, involves a formal, controlled, and autocratic instructional style which assumes the learners are passive (Conti, 2004). Teacher-centered teaching styles are consistent with the philosophies of idealism, realism, liberal and behavioralism (Elias & Merriam, 1995; Conti, 2007). The teacher’s role in the teacher-centered style is to design an environment that stimulates the desired behavior and discourages those which have been determined to be undesirable (Conti, 1998). Presenting information and monitoring student progress through high structure, high 21 evels of time on task and emphasis on student understanding with critical questions is typical of this traditional teaching style (Kauchak & Eggen, 2008).
“Historically, classroom instruction was teacher-centered, which means that teachers carefully specify goals, present the content to be learned, and then direct learning activities” (p. 405). “Criticisms of teacher-centered instruction lead to a wave of reform, resulting in what is commonly called learner-centered instruction, in which teachers guide learners toward an understanding of the topics they study, rather than telling or lecturing” (p. 05). The belief that the student should be actively engaged in the learning process and role of the teacher is to serve as a facilitator in the learning process is known as learner-centered. It focuses on the experiences, abilities and needs of students. Learner-centered style is consistent with the philosophies of pragmatism, existentialism, reconstructionism, progressivism, humanism and realism.