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Name: Cyndi Griffiths
Presenter: Amy Carey
Philosophy: John Dewey
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Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reflection

I am overwhelmed by the degree to which John Dewey underscores so many areas in today’s education. There is a national movement to restructure or dissolve GATE programs. The following Dewey quote supports this direction, ““In order to have a larger number of values in common, all the members of the group must have an equable opportunity to receive and to take from others. Otherwise, the influences which educate some into masters, educate others into slaves - not isolated but interconnected.” Students enrolled in GATE curriculum were consistently exposed to enrichment programs and expectations of rigor that were not has apparent in non-GATE programs. Consequently, the GATE programs were setting up a system of have’s and have-nots – or to use Dewey’s language “ masters and slaves.” It’s interesting to read/hear Dewey’s view on testing – I interpret his statement to guide intervention and instruction. As an administrator, there is great opportunity to support teachers and the campus instructional systems using testing data, but we need to reassure teachers that this is truly the purpose. After years of using testing to compare teachers and students, ultimately many teachers view testing as punitive. As a society, we use testing to measure student growth and to keep teachers accountable. I notice that Dewey doesn’t touch on accountability.


Name: Amy
Presenter: Carey
Philosophy: John Locke
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

John Locke is another familiar name to me, yet someone I knew little about. It is interesting how much influence he has had on our culture, political systems and education. With regard to education I think his philosophy that church and state should be separate works well in our current schools, as we serve a diverse population of students with varying religions and belief systems. I also wonder how much Locke's rationale has been used in court cases in which the question of religion and schools has come into play. I agree with the Locke's notion that knowledge comes from experience. However, I don't completely agree with the idea of the "Tabula Rasa: the mind is a blank slate at birth, no innate predestination for life path and no innate knowledge... A person is entirely a product of the education they receive." If this were true, educators would be able to shape students more as what they intend, yet this isn't the case. In my reality, children are products of many factors: education, family, society, and possibly even personalities that are innate from birth.


Name: Amy
Presenter: Cyndi
Philosophy: Noam Chomsky
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

This presentation made me think of many aspects related to language and education. First, the idea that language will develop as long as it is in a nurturing environment. I think it is important to consider speech disabilities, which in this case the “nurturing” that needs to take place is more than natural and that schools and educators must intervene to implement a special plan that will nurture the child’s language development. I also thought of bilingual education programs and second language learners which made me also think that again the school must take careful considerations concerning pedagogy and how to nurture the language needs of these children. This quote reminded me of my own education philosophy and how it is also connected to ideals of Freire and Dewey: The process of education is a way of driving out interest and natural creativity (as well as natural skills and abilities) from minds of children. Finally, the quote, “Language is a uniquely human biologically based cognitive capacity” is one idea I questioned. What would Chomsky say about animal communication and the school of thought that animals indeed have a “cognitive capacity” associated with language.


Name: Amy
Presenter: Gail
Philosophy: Libertarianism
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

I knew almost nothing about libertarianism until now. I’m not sure I completely understand it yet, but I don’t think this philosophy aligns with my own very much. I think that when there is far too little when it comes to rules and order, is impedes progress. I think that in human nature we push to the limit to see what we can and cannot get away with. We see this in adults and children. Students behave in a classroom based on the structure that is set up. When they realize that they cannot behave a certain way, the behavior is corrected. The same takes place among staff in a school. I’m concerned that too many ideals in libertarianism might cause people to go to far. Yes, people should live according to morals but we can’t rely on this alone. It is structure that helps people step up to these standards.


Name: Amy
Presenter: Elizabeth
Philosophy: Non-Reductive Physicalism
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

The most important elements that I took from this philosophy were the importance given to unity, peace, environmental, humanitarian, pacifism and being good to animals. When I think of the implications this has on education I first think of school climate and culture and next, the curriculum. Administrators shape the climate and culture of a campus. Relationships among staff, among teacher and students, and also among students should be unified, peaceful, supportive, and cohesive in order for learning and progress to take place. The elements of this philosophy can be implemented into the curriculum as well, linking topics with content areas to social justice and improving the condition of the earth. For example, a unit about water could connect to preservation, and keeping bodies of water clean.


Name: Amy
Presenter: Sarah
Philosophy: Maxine Greene
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

What a refreshing philosopher. I love that Greene stresses the arts in education. Her philosophy is extremely important today because we live in a time where there is a lot of emphasis on language arts and science yet little emphasis on the arts. As an administrator I hope to no only lead the staff to excel in academics but also to use creative teaching methods through the arts. We could give awards not only for academics but for artistic talent as well. We could involve the community and hold school events celebrating the arts. It’s important to remember that the curriculum should be delivered in different avenues and that some children may learn best through creative and artistic ways.


Name: Gail Fedalizo
Presenter: Evenings Pesentations
Philosophy: John Dewey, et all
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

Presenter: Amy Carey

Philosopher: John Dewey

It is amazing to me to see just how influential John Dewey's philosophy in turn of the 19th century has affected today's education for all stakeholders (administrators, teachers, students and parents). The comic strip depicting a nervous child taking the standardized test while anxiety stricken teachers, administrators, and state educators understand their future relies soley on students passing this test. Dewey's psychologic research has instituted a dilemma in education that I think is still prevalent: over analyzing educational reform. To see that NCLB has progressed from a promising hope to almost becoming a colassal failure goes to show that even government leaders with the best intentions just can't replace what has worked best int he classroom... the in-class teachers knowing what's best for their respective students. Statistics don't show the emotional affect teachers endure day in and day out. I understand its a two-way street but if teachers can buy into Dewey's pedagogic creed then I would honestly feel confident that our students will have that hope for a brighter future.

Presenter: Cyndi Griffith

Philosopher: Noam Chomsky

Chomsky's theory on language cogniition and it's relation to education is imperative in evaluating both a teacher's communicative effectiveness towards his/her students and determining a student's ability to comprehend and articulate the information passed from his/her teacher(s). Chomsky's focus was basically dissecting how language is processed in the brain but more importantly, it is the language received during the exchange of communication that is emphasized in his cognitive theories. The practice of applied cognitive theory in relation to education could have a magnitude of success in understanding the local psyche of students within a school's proximity. Where I am going with this is that federal and state education code may not truly benefit students living in areas where crime, gangs, and economic hardship is prevalent. For example: the case against standardized testing and particularly No Child Left Behind has garnered so much criticism because it has been viewed that teachers will soley teach to the passing of these standardized tests (assisted by multiple choice answers) thus ultimately undermining the true meaning of attaining educational enlightenment. Additionally, Chomsky's theories application has greatly influenced special education by discovering new and improved techniques to improve student comprehension. For example students with dysexlia may benefit the most in identifying specific student's learning processes. Rather than trying to solve the issue, Chomsky favors engaging techniques to strengthening a special education student's brain with critical thinking skills (similiar to going to the gym strengthening your muscles).

Presenter: Elizabeth

Philosopher: John Locke

John Locke's views on education has been influential in education reform for decades using his two-stage model of of "simple" and "complex" knowledge theory. Locke's philosophical views that a mind begins with a blank slate and is then molded through experience; is a obvious proclamation however it's his notion that no single body shall have absolute power thus seperation of powers should be implemented. How this applies to education is this exact philosophy of seperating the influence of religion and federal mandated standardized testing and limiting legislature power to dictate and influence education (ie the failure of NCLB). In my opinion, state education code should dictate laws because federal mandates may not benefit certain states where there is an obvious disparity of academic success and failure. For example, what may/may not work in California could be relevant/irrelevant to Florida. Locke obviously held libertarian views (free will) and in education he would favor more power for teachers to dictate education because let's face the truth, teachers have the experience necessary to make the best choices for students and not some public official sitting in an office reading statistical figures from a standardized test.


Name: Elizabeth Schoenthal
Presenter:
Philosophy: Locke
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

Reading through Amy's reflection about Locke I think i would have have to agree with her that Locke's philosophy was heavily influential in America's laws about the separation of church and state. I think with him though he came to the notion of the separation to save the church from being run by the state, rather than the state being influenced by religion as it is interpreted today in our political and school systems. I agree that i don't totally buy in on the idea of the mind being a totally blank slate when we are born. Although i think to Locke Education did not only take place in a school, but all of our experience contribute to our education and i do agree with that.