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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: Sarah Grosskreutz
Philosophy: Catherine Macaulay
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

Considering the time, social, and non-existent political status for women; I found Catharine Macaulay extremely interesting and surprisingly intellectual. The one fascinating fact about Catharine was that she educated herself of which she focusing on the history of the rise to power and fall to grace for both Greece and Rome. The fact that the both societies promoted both democracy and capitalism; it's no surprise to see that Catharine favored republican (political) values and more often libertarian views. The fact that Catharine's philosophical ideas had any resemblance of influence in England amazes me because of the her known position to recognize the plight of Americans to revolt and force independence from the English crown. Regardless of her English ancestries and loyalties, she will forever be an influence in American history for her correspondence with the founding fathers of the United States. This is big deal to me because not only did a women stand for what she felt was morally right, but she stood up and passionately expressed positions regardless if they were accepted by society and/or influential political and intellectual peers. Catharine's strength and passion is what I think will have a big influence on my own personal ideologies because knowing what you feel is morally right even though many may criticize because society does not share your sentiments; goes along way for me to maintain my position (values).


Name: Gail Fedalizo
Presenter: Maxine Greene
Philosophy: Sarah Grosskreutz
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

Learning about Maxine Greene's philosophical outlook on the importance of arts in education is so motivating to me as a future administrator. As a pioneer in advocating the importance of the arts program in education, Ms. Greene understands the true benefits of how an arts program facilitates improving creativity, curiosity, and personal expression. At a time where constant budget cuts are shelving the arts program in most school districts, its a breathe a fresh air to see Ms. Greene in her tender and fragile state to passionately defend the very essence of the arts program and how kids nowadays are being robbed of their creative freedoms to expand and develop their minds in appreciating art in all it's wonderful characteristics. I feel that Ms. Greene's tenacity for defending what she feels is vital for all students; will leave a lasting impression on me. I'm certain when I'm in a administrative position somewhere down the road, i'll have to make some tough decisions just to appease the district and board that won't be favorable to the parents and the community. Preparing for passionate defenders of programs lost to the budget is an inevitable experience. Understanding the importance of this scenario can help me to possibly research alternative solutions that are mutually acceptable by both parties or even possibly prepare myself for some backlash from stakeholders affected by my administrative decisions.


Name: Gail Fedalizo
Presenter: Elizabeth Schoenthal
Philosophy: Non-Reductive Physicalism
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

In terms of non-reductive physicalism from a theological standpoint, are how certain processes and even things can't be described in terms of logic but as utterly indescribable. For instance Elizabeth's example that a person in love with another is not necessarily in love but a chemical within said person's brain is released thus causing you to feel cognitively attached to the other person. As a result of this theory each person is technically soul-less and the theory of soul-mates is non-existent. After further research surrounding non-reductive physicalism, I found a contrary soul theory which entails abandonment of reductionism in science and of body-soul dualism. According to Murphy, non-reductive physicalism preserves the critical properties and attributes of human nature, and potentials for human experience, which have been described in religious scriptures and assigned to the soul. What does this all mean and how does all this apply to my current philosophical approach to education? Well since I currently practice not letting my religious faith dictate my decision making within the district; I won't allow non-reductive physicalism play a part in it as well.


Name: Gail Fedalizo
Presenter: Cindi Griffith
Philosophy: Edmund Burke
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Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Reflection

Considered the father of conservatism, in the readings Edmund Burke comes off to me as a bit of a brash person. For example, like Catharine Macaulay, Burke staunchly defended the American Revolution and recognized the reasoning to force independence from the English Crown. However, in his typical two-faced fashion, Burke denounced the French Revolution. Additionally, Burke intentionally wrote a book that sounded surprisingly familiar to a recent release by Lord Bolingbroke. Burke's intention of the book was to mock Lord Bolingbroke but soon discovered the many praises for supporting Lord Bolingbroke. After intimating to other that the book was a satire, Burke ended up acknowledging this in his second edition. Although he was an advocate for democracy, Burke was not in favor of equality amongst races and particularly women (with Catherine Macaulay famously telling Burke to "...shove it....". For this very reason, regardless of his contribution to conservatism; it's morally difficult for me to comprehend and buy-into Edmund Burke as a influential philosopher. His ego and hypocrite ways far outweigh his legacy as a famous liberal conservatist and preference for organic reform. I don't know if I can allow a man's philosophy who advocates for disparity between economic classes (people desire to be ruled and controlled) be allowed to influence my moral obligation to society.