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Jim Hill High School

Basic Philosophies of Education
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Basic Philosophies of Education
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Philosophy of Education

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Basic Philosophies of Education

I agree with Erik Erikson that people face eight major crises and that each crisis must be resolved successfully to prepare for a satisfactory resolution of the next life crisis (Ormrod, 2006; p.69). For example, if an infant has difficulties trusting adults in the trust versus mistrust stage, this infant may have problems trusting people later on in life, which may cause the other stages to be altered. In the classroom, this child who has had difficulties trusting people in his or her life will not be able to fully trust his or her teacher. This will lead to weak rapport between this particular student and the teacher. As a result, the student may not feel as though the teacher truly is concerned about his or her well being, thus performing poorly in the classroom.

            I agree with John B. Watson that infants can be molded or influenced; however, I disagree that the child is passive and knows nothing (Shaffer& Kipp; p.52). I believe that nature and nurture plays an equal role in children. Watson believed that nurture dominated nature. I have a cousin that was adopted. His biological parents were both extremely bright children, and he is highly intelligent as well. Also, is parents were from poverty stricken families and tended to get into a lot of trouble and act as if they had little education. My cousin was brought up in a very wealthy neighborhood, never got into trouble, and speaks intelligently. This proves that biological forces from his parents as well as the environment shaped the way he and his parents acted. I disagree with Watson and John Locke that the infant’s mind is as a tabula rasa (Webb, Metha, & Jordan, 2007; p.111). I believe that all individuals acquire some traits of their biological parents, regardless of their present environments.

I disagree with Skinner that all behaviors come from being conditioned (Shaffer et al, 2007). I believe some behaviors come from being conditioned. I agree that nature plays a large role in humans’ behaviors as well. His experiments proved that some behaviors could be conditioned.

             Bandura agrees with Skinner in that operant conditioning is a way of learning, but believes that people are cognitive beings (Shaffer et al, 2007). Bandura believed that one could be taught a behavior by modeling (Zirpoli, 2005; p.34). Like Bandura, I believe that children are active and are affected by what they believe will happen. I also believe children could be taught some things by modeling.

I agree with Piaget partially. I agree that the child is an active explorer who develops the scheme around him and will use assimilation and accommodation if something doesn’t fit in his or her scheme (Ormrod, 2006). However, there are many aspects of his theory that I disagree with. For example, Piaget concluded that knowledge has to be constructed. Similar to the neo-nativists, I believe infants are born with knowledge because it is a part of their genetic heritage. I came to this conclusion after reading of Wynn’s experiment. In the experiment, 5-month-old infants were shown a sequence of events that involved the addition or subtraction of objects. If the infants had some understanding of addition, they would be surprised at the results. This proved that infants had a certain level of object permanence and memory (Shaffer et al., 2007).

 I also believe that Piaget was wrong concerning egocentrism with preschool children.  In John Flavell’s study, 3-year-olds were showed a card with a dog on the front and a cat on the other side (Shaffer et al., 2007). The children understood that as they saw the dog, the person on the other side would be viewing the picture of the cat. This indicated that they knew what another person was seeing at the moment.

 I also disagree with him that children in the preoperational stage cannot learn to conserve. A study by Dorothy Field showed 4-year-olds with identity training could conserve and use their knowledge to solve many conservation problems that they were not trained to do (Shaffer et al., 2007).

Piaget was also wrong in suggesting that the cognitive growth was consistent. For example, an 8-year-old may be able to conserve (Shaffer et al., 2007). Children master concepts at different times and in different orders. I believe that cognitive growth is not necessarily consistent. I agree with Piaget that the student should engage in independent, discovery-based activities, but I also agree that they should work in groups to learn from one another. I agree that the experiences children have affect the rate of their development. I believe that children’s cognitive development influence their social and emotional development.

 I disagree with Piaget in that analytical reasoning is not available in the early years of one’s life. Usha Goswami concluded that relational primacy hypothesis is present in early infancy. Several 1-year-old infants were tested by having a toy placed out of their reach with a string on a cloth connected to the toy and another string not connected to the toy. With modeling, these infants chose the correct string, indicating they were able to use analytical reasoning (Shaffer et al., 2007).

I agree with Lev Vygotsky that children are active learners and that children’s intellectual development is closely tied to their culture (Shaffer et al., 2007). Like him, I believe that infants are born with a few elementary mental functions that are transformed by their culture into higher mental functions. For example, children may use a tape recorder in class to remember what the instructions were. Also, the Chinese number-naming system follows a base-ten logic. For example, 11 is translated as “ten one” and 12 is translated as “ten two.” In the English language, 11 is refereed to as eleven and 12 as twelve (Shaffer et al., 2007). The Chinese culture have the advantage in this case of understanding how to count more so than Americans have.

I also agree with Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development which indicates the range of tasks that are too complex to be mastered alone but can be accomplished with guidance and encouragement from a more skillful partner (Shaffer et al., 2007). Children understand quicker and easier with the help of someone on a higher level than they are. A study done by David and Roger Johnson proved that cooperative learning resulted in superior performance in more than half of their 378 studies (Shaffer et al., 2007). I further agree with Vygotsky that the nonsocial utterances of children illustrate the transition from prelinguistic to verbal reasoning (Shaffer et al., 2007). I believe that this language plays a major role in cognitive development. I also believe that the environment affects the cognitive development of the individual.

            Although I partially agreed with information from each theorist’s point of view, my theory best represents Lev Vygotsky’s theory. I believe that God prepared us from birth to make sense of the world. He has given us innate knowledge. Children are active learners and their intellectual development may depend on their specific culture.

 

 

 

References

 

 

Ormrod, J. E. (2006). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson- Merrill Prentice Hall.

 

Shaffer, D.R. & Kipp, K. (2007). Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence. Australia: Thomas-Wadsworth.

 

Webb, L. D., Metha, A. & Jordan, K. F. (2007). Foundations of American Education. Columbus, Ohio: Pearson- Merrill Prentice Hall.

 

Zirpoli, T. J. (2005). Behavior Management: Applications for Teachers. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson- Merrill Prentice Hall.

 

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