Educational Philosophy

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How do educational philosophies and theories affect the statement of purposes and goals, curriculum, instruction, and values?

Educational philosophies and theories help direct teachers in formulating their statements of purposes. For example, if a teacher believes that the constructivist theory is the best, then he or she will develop their instruction around activities that allow the students to bring their own experiences to the material they are learning. The teacher contends that the learner will assimilate new material into the context of former experiences. In essence, the goals and curriculum are centered on the learner. Discussions and kinesthetic learning activities will dominate instruction. On the other hand, if a teacher holds more value in the objectivist theory, then the instruction will be centered on curriculum goals and specific objectives. For the objectivist view, the teacher contends that the learner must learn through textbooks, rather than through student experiences. If this is the case, then the teacher will have specific goals and outcomes in mind which are independent of the learner’s background knowledge. For objectivist instruction, a teacher might choose to provide direct instruction, emphasizing key concepts that the learner must know. Other classical educational philosophies like experimentalism and existentialism also shape an educator’s statement of purpose. For instance, if a teacher believes in experimentalism, then a student’s reality will be based on the experiences they bring to the classroom. Of course, those realities and experiences are always changing; therefore, the experimentalist teacher will shape lessons that prompt students to understand society and its problems. For existentialist theory, the learner is prompted to discover how they fit into society. As a result, instruction is more like constructivist instruction where the student is encouraged to discuss freely and bring individual experiences to the...
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