Philosophy Assignment 2 –Adult Educational Philosophies – Benefits and Challenges Sameer Ahmed
Presented to: Dr. Terre Eversden
In partial fulfillment of requirements of
WED 486 – Adult Learning
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Terre Eversden to have given me an opportunity to present a paper on the Adult Educational Philosophies – Benefits and Challenges & their involvement in real life scenarios or the environment we live in. The paper captures the benefits, challenges and example to each Adult Education Philosophy i.e. Liberal, Behavioral, Humanistic and Progressive. Abstract
An adult education philosophy, or philosophical orientation, is the categorization of an individual's beliefs, values, and attitudes toward adult education and what the purpose and outcome of adult education should be. In this paper, I shall discuss of Liberal Educational Philosophy, Behaviorist Educational Philosophy, Progressive Educational Philosophy, Humanistic Educational Philosophy and finally Radical Humanistic Philosophy. These are the Adult Educational Philosophies. Benefits and Challenges of each of these philosophies shall be discussed in brief. Keywords: liberal, behaviorist, progressive, humanistic, radical, educational, philosophy
Liberal Educational Philosophy
The liberal adult education philosophy stresses the development of intellectual powers. Liberals always seek knowledge. They work to transmit knowledge and clearly direct learning. The educator is the "expert", and directs the learning process with complete authority. Learning methods used include lecture, study groups, and discussion. Socrates, Plato, and Piaget were practitioners of the liberal philosophy. (Note: Liberal adult education does not refer to liberal political views; it is related to Liberal Arts.). According to liberal adult education, "the educated person possesses the four components of a liberal education: rational or intellectual education which involves wisdom, moral values, a spiritual or religious dimension, and an aesthetic sense" (Elias & Merriam, 1995, p. 26). Liberal adult education emphasizes liberal learning, organized knowledge, and the development of the intellectual powers of the mind. It also stresses philosophy, religion, and the humanities over science. The teacher is given a prominent place within this philosophy, and must be well-versed in many intellectual interests. Liberal adult education employs heavy promotion of theoretical thinking. This philosophy is suited for adult learners because it requires life experience in order to fully gain from the reflection and contemplation involved in liberal education's goals. To illustrate the significance of this philosophy, Elias and Merriam (1995) write: As long as the human person does these things [searches for truth, desires to develop their moral character, strives for spiritual and religious visions, and seeks the beautiful in life and nature], the liberal tradition in education will be a potent force. (p. 42). The negatives of liberal approach are not everyone is critical thinkers and problem solvers and their opinions can be swayed by others. Example: A liberal classroom setting is a more traditional environment. In the classroom you my just have a lecture or even break students or adults into study groups to help each other out. Another option is critical reading and discussion. This approach allows students to free themselves from past experience. They are able to prepare themselves for diversity and change. It teacher teaches them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers.
Behaviorist Educational Philosophy
A major tenet of behaviorism is the belief that "all human behavior is the result of a person's prior conditioning and is determined by external forces in the environment over which a person has little or no control" (Elias and Merriam, 1995, p. 79). Because behaviorism...
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