Reconstructionism as a philosophy in education stands for change.
It draws its strength in the fact that society is not static.
In most societies it is common knowledge that schools and the education sector are pioneers to change and development.
The question therefore is:
What is the purpose of schools to the reconstructionist theory?
EDUCATION SERVES THE FOLLOWING POURPOSES:
Education is to bring out positive change in society.
Examples of the positive change include:
Reduction in poverty levels
Advancement in Technology
Improved levels of living of which examples include:
Better methods of farming, improved attitudes to access medical care, Practice of better ways of environmental management
What does this mean to a Curriculum developer?
1. The Curriculum made should consider the current and future needs of a society.
2. The other important implication to the Curriculum expert is to design course structure that gives learners freedom to try out own ideas and also improve on the existing knowledge.
3 Design a course structure that enables learners to discover knowledge on their own, such that teachers will not “spoon feed” the learners.
4. The teaching of innovations in terms of thinking and practical skills becomes crucial at every stage in the education process. Creativity must be credited in order to encourage innovations and inventions.
What is the role of the teacher in this philosophy?
1. Facilitate learning activities
2. Stimulate learning
Facilitating learning means that the teacher avails opportunities to learners to experience and work with subject matter in question.
How do we stimulate and facilitate learning?
By asking questions
Compelling people to think
Motivating learners to suggest what they think about topical issues
It is associated with the following philosophers:
John Dewey, Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel.
It zeros down on the learners.
Rousseau an English philosopher is viewed as the “discoverer of the child”
What does this mean to us?
Rousseau thought that education of a child should be based upon the nature, needs, abilities, interests and perspective of life.
The pragmatists view of the Curriculum is that it should be based on the attributes of learners.
Emphasis is put on the current and future experiences of learners.
Learners other than the subject determine the quantity and quality of the teaching and learning experiences.
The learner’s ability should determine the pace to complete the syllabus.
They further suggest that activities and content should arise from the active interest of the learners.
To “discover the child”. What does this mean?
It means that Schools and teachers should help learners to find out their abilities or potential in the fields of study that are available.
The School system and the Teachers should motivate learners to have interest in the tasks at hand /school activities.
Teachers should encourage learners to undertake research at various levels for academic progress.
Teachers should use language and examples that promote a friendly environment for academic empowerment within the Classroom and after school.
Teachers should give opportunities for development of new ideas with the scope of knowledge.
The School system should monitor and evaluate progress of knowledge acquisition quite often.
The School system should encourage all learners to participate in the activities within the class and those that go on outside formal classes.
The school system should develop interest in efforts of learners for academic boost.
The School system should avail opportunities for sharing knowledge and self expression to learners.
This philosophy favors the subject than the learner.
It assumes a fixed Curriculum for every body.
The assumption that all learners are the same is paramount.
To the perenialists knowledge is a discipline of the mind.
The role of the teacher is therefore to empower learners with intellectual abilities.
This requires the teacher to be well trained in the management of content, classroom management and discipline of Students.
The Philosophy puts much emphasis on the ability to work with the brain. For example if a learner can recall what was taught in class, reproduce the principles by stating them and perform mental related skills. That then is a good student.
The school of thought is exam oriented and fails to dig deep into other competencies that are long term. For example if a learner has acquired basic facts he or she may not need to conceptualize the subject content to pass the exam set in mathematics. Wholesome education entails: Facts, basic ideas, Concepts and Principals that govern the subject.