Educational Philosophies Influence Curriculum From The Establishment Of The American School Systems

1133 Words Jul 3rd, 2015 5 Pages
Educational philosophies influence curriculum from the establishment of the American school systems. The five major philosophies that have influence American education are: 1) Idealism, 2) Essentialism, 3) Perennialism, 4) Progressivism, and 5) Experimentalism. Idealism, Essentialism, and Perennialism are all teacher-based philosophies putting the teacher at the core of the educational experience, with students being passive members of the classroom. In contrast, Progressivism and Experimentalism are student-centered philosophies that focus on the child and their contribution and participation in the formation of classroom experiences, using teachers as guides to help students in their educational development. Although the philosophies differ, many of them define curriculum as a encompassing unit of goals, methods, materials and assessment.
Since the establishment of America’s first schools, the American people have disagreed not only about what the purpose of school is, but also about what schools should teach. Initially schools were supposed to “prepare men to vote intelligently and prepare women to train their sons properly. Moral training based on the Protestant Bible would produce virtuous, well-behaved citizens [who knew not only] the three R’s but [also] the general principles of law, commerce, money, and government” (Kaestle, 1983, p. 5). During the 1780’s educational theorists began calling for reform and in 1785 Massachusetts law…
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