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Philosophies and Themes

The existence of theories or broad ideas in the field of education plays an important role in understanding the way by which learning takes place among students and its corresponding effect to the society. Pedagogy or the study of becoming a teacher, which also includes the different teaching strategies that are implemented also, gives due attention and importance to the various schools of thought about education. Education philosophies are necessary in order to properly identify the teaching techniques and strategies that will be applied in the learning process of students.

In relation to this, educational philosophies are also relevant to parents and to the society as a whole because the training of students in educational institutions has a huge impact in the way they will contribute to the development of the society. Being the case, it is necessary that the various educational philosophies are critically studied. In doing so, this paper will discuss an excerpt from the book of Greene in order to properly identify the educational philosophy that is used in the aforementioned work.

Furthermore, the works of Adler, Dewey, and Illich will also be included. Greene’s Book Based on the excerpt of the book of Maxine Greene, he gives due emphasis and importance to the idea of individual freedom. Greene takes into account the work of different authors like Marx and Berlin in order to point out that individuals, specifically in the American society are not actually experiencing the true essence of freedom because they are constrained by institutions and other established beliefs that constraints their ability to freely think for themselves.

Freedom is defined by Greene as not the lack of responsibility but rather the free will to accept responsibility of an individual’s experience of the world. She uses the work of Isaiah Berlin in order to prove her point, wherein it states, “we are enslaved by despots – institutions or beliefs or neuroses – which can be removed only by being analyzed and understood. We are imprisoned by evil spirits which we have ourselves – albeit not consciously – created, and can exorcize them only by becoming conscious and acting appropriately” (Greene, 1988 p.

4). The constraints upon individuals by external influences is also regarded by Greene as a cause by which individuals merely regard themselves as an object in a larger society because they do not have the opportunity to think for themselves, as subjects that can actually revolutionize the society (Greene, 1988). Due to this, Greene argues that the main goal of education should be to assist students to realize their deep connection and responsibility within themselves and also their relation with other individuals in the world.

Students should understand that the primary reason for learning is in order to develop their intellectual talents that will paved the way for the establishment of a society that actually captures the real meaning of democracy, which supports a just and caring environment to live in (Greene, 1988). The major tenets of Greene’s arguments exemplify the radical educational philosophy because she asserts that learning is a radical catalyst that allows a deeper understanding of one’s self and the imaginary, which is way in order to inflict political force of change (Greene, 1988).

The radical educational philosophy advocates that the purpose of education is to heighten the awareness of people when it comes to the social and political contradictions in their culture. In the same manner, Greene believes that education is a way for students to maximize their intellectual capabilities, which is free from social and political constraints. In addition, Greene argues that the ultimate purpose of education is to aid students as well as teachers to establish the respective of their lives wherein teachers should challenge the given bound and restrictions, which often caused by institutions and other belief system.

Marxism has a huge influence in the radical philosophy of education. As such, it also influences the argument of radical writers to perceive education as a means for social change (Greene, 1988). Greene also holds the same belief that education is radical catalyst that can actually serve as a political force of change. As a result, Greene supports activities in the field of arts wherein it will allow people to awaken themselves through reflective encounters that are supported by such works.

The perceptive encounter of individuals with the arts can help them to actually get in touch with themselves, which is a prerequisite in changing the society that resembles democracy not merely as a kind of government but an actual way of life (Greene, 1988). John Dewey John Dewey, a prominent personality in the progressive educational philosophy also has its own stance when it comes to education and its relation to freedom and the society.

According to Dewey (1899), the concept of freedom or being free entails that individual have to be true to themselves wherein education has to have meaning for the life of people. Dewey gives due importance to the mind of individuals and their capability to consciously and expressly deal with the situation that they are in. In addition being free also includes the need of individuals to realize new possibilities in order for them to become open to their future self.

The arguments of Dewey are heavily influenced by the changes that are happening in the society, especially when it comes to the development of industry and commerce. The creation of new technological tools have largely affected the production and manufacturing of good which in turn also influence the way of life of the people. As such, in order for education to have a purpose in the lives of people it must adhere to the changes that are happening in the society. In line with this, Dewey (1899) argues that “individualism and socialism are at one” (p.

1). He further explain the aforementioned adage by stating that by allowing individuals to its full growth is the way by which the society can also be true to itself. Simply put, the development of individuals to its full potential is also necessary in order for the society to achieve its full development. In this sense, education contributes to the freedom of individuals because it helps individuals to find their purpose in life in relation to the changes that are happening in the society.

Being the case, the type of education that best prepares citizens to maintain their freedom is the one that helps them in addressing changes that are happening in the society and in the perspective of Dewey it is the one that trains them to become well-equip individuals in the time of great industrialization (Dewey, 1899). Ivan Illich The arguments of Ivan Illich in his work entitled: Why We Must Disestablish School exemplifies the radical educational philosophy that emphasizes the constraints and abuses that educational institutions have over individuals, especially those that belong in the lower level of the social class.

According to Illich (n. d. ), students are “schooled” in order to confuse them with “teaching from learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, fluency with the ability to say something new” (p. 1). Simply put, Illich argues that schooling does not help individuals to reach their full potential because they are teach with beliefs that actually help powerful institutions and people in the higher ranks of the social strata to achieve more and in turn, further place poor people in a disadvantageous situation.

In line with this, Illich believes that to be free means to liberate oneself from the constraints of institutions like schools that only confuse individuals of the real essence of education through lessons that are actually for the benefit of the dominant group in the society (Illich, n. d. ). In connection to this, Illich asserts that the society will continue to be dominated by influential groups unless individuals, especially those in the poor section of the society started to act together and inflict change in the society.

Change can take place by means of implementing the real essence of education wherein the things being taught does not only pursue the interests of the dominant group in the society. Being the case, the best type of education that will ensure the freedom of citizens is through the disestablishment of schools because schools only cater to the interest of rich students while leaving the poor in a worse situation (Illich, n. d. ). Mortimer Adler The work of Adler entitled: Freedom through Discipline embodies the idea that discipline is necessary in order for individuals to actually achieve freedom.

According to Adler (1944), freedom is identical with duty because it is necessary for individuals to realize that responsibilities are an indispensable part of freedom. In addition, he also points out that the development of the society is actually dependent upon the ability of individuals to properly realize and accomplish their respective duties. Education plays an important role in assuring that individual freedom is safeguarded because it is a means that prepare individuals for their responsibilities for citizenship as well as their obligations of having a moral and intellectual life (Adler, 1944).

Moreover, the best type of education that will ensure the freedom of individuals and the development of the society is liberal education because “only when his [individual] mind is disciplined by the liberal arts to perform the critical functions of a free intelligence, only when his character is rectified by moral virtues to perform the social duties of a free will, can student grow into free man, the good man, the good citizen” (Adler, 1944, p. 3). References Adler, M. J. (1944). Freedom Through Discipline: Elective System Defeats Purpose of Liberal

Education. Mutual Broadcasting System. Dewey, J. (1907). The School and Social Progress. Chapter 1 in The School and Society (19-44). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Greene, M. (1988). The Dialectic of Freedom. United States: Teachers College Press. Illich, I. (n. d. ). Why We Must Disestablish School. In P. B. Jackson (Ed. ), Trends in Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures: Central City and Suburban Comparisons 1965 to 1968. United States: Office of Education, Office of Program and Planning Evaluation.

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