Philosophy of Education

Fall 1996

Greg Moses
(316 Fontaine Hall, ext. 2217)
Marist College

Some Education Links

Required Texts:

John Dewey. Middle Works, Vol. 4: Essays on Pragmatism and Truth. Southern Illinois UP. Maria Montessori. Secret of Childhood. Ballantine. Carter G. Woodson. Mis-Education of the Negro. Africa World. Paolo Freire. Education for Critical Consciousness. Continuum.

Course objectives: Philosophy of Education is required of all Marist Education majors in order to, "aid the student in reflecting on the place and meaning of education in modern American society."

As students of the Philosophy Department in the Division of Humanities, it is expected that your education will prepare you to become, "reflective, critical, and engaged citizens." "This would include a deepening of the appreciation of the diverse and transcendent dimensions of human experience through an exploration of ultimate human concerns and their social, communal, and personal implications."

Furthermore, it is traditionally expected that college-educated persons will display sophisticated habits of communication and informational literacy. This means that we shall be able to confront information, sift it, and draw conclusions with integrity and creativity.

Course design: In order to provide an environment for our reflections upon "the place and meaning" of education, we shall survey the works of four figures who have made noteworthy contributions to the theory and practice of education in the 20th Century (see Dewey, Montessori, Woodson, and Freire above). With each figure we shall want to examine ultimate concerns and explore their implications. Through the device of discussion teams, students will be asked to take an active part in the presentation and evaluation of these texts. The instructor will give frequent quizzes to assess comprehension of the texts and discussions. In addition, three short papers (of 6 pages or 1500 words each) will be required in which students identify and explore issues that arise during our reading and discussion. A final meditation (of 14 pages or 3,500 words) will allow students to develop with more depth an approach to the guiding question of the course: "What is the place and meaning of education today?"

Course requirements: The final grade will be based on the following components, each weighed equally:

Class participation, including quiz scores and discussion teams
First paper (6 pages or 1,500 words)
Second paper (6 pages or 1,500 words)
Third paper (6 pages or 1,500 words)
Final meditation (14 pages or 3,500 words)

Note: Regular attendance is expected. Three unexcused absences (i.e. more than one week) will result in the deduction of one full letter from your overall grade. Five unexcused absences (more than two weeks) will result in a "D." Seven unexcused absences (more than three weeks) will result in an "F." Excuses will be accepted within ten days of an absence.

Praxis option: Students may integrate community activity according to their own interests and initiatives. A list of options is available from the instructor, but students are encouraged to explore their own connections. The community activity will serve as a substitute for some portion of the course requirements listed below. The intention of this option is to encourage critical reflection that is organically related to community service, thus the selected activity should be viewed as an enhancement of thought, not a replacement.

(Quizzes will be frequent)
1 (Sept. 2-6)
Dewey 267-291
Introduction and orientation

2 (Sept. 9-13)
Dewey 3-30
Dewey 31-77
Discussion groups

3 (Sept. 16- 20)
Dewey 116-142
Discussion groups

4 (Sept. 23-26)
Dewey 143-155 & 293-317
Dewey 146-205
Discussion groups
First paper due (2 copies in a folder)

5(Sept. 30-Oct. 4)
Montessori Part I
Discussion groups
Assessment exercises

6 (Oct. 7-11)Montessori Part II
Discussion groups
Assessment exercises

7 (Oct. 14-18)
Montessori Part III
Discussion groups

8 (Oct. 21-25)
Woodson 1-51 Discussion groups
Second paper due (2 copies)

9 (Oct. 28-Nov. 1)
Woodson 52-110
Discussion groups
Assessment exercises

10 (Nov. 4-8)
Woodson 111-156
Discussion groups
Assessment exercises

11 (Nov. 11-15)
Woodson 157-205
Discussion groups

12 (Nov. 18-22)
Freire 1-59
Discussion groups
Third paper due (2 copies)

13 (Nov. 25-27)
Freire 63-84 Discussion groups
Assessment exercises

14(Dec. 2-6)
Freire 93-164 Discussion groups
Assessment exercises

15(Dec. 9-13)
Discussion groups

16 (Dec. 16-21)
Final paper due

Back to Home Page for Prof. Greg Moses