6411 Aiou Solved assignments

Course: Foundation of Education (6411)
Level: ADE/B.Ed
Semester: Autumn, 2019


Q.1 How does religions foundation of a nation can play role in its education. Explain with relevant examples in details?


Religion and education, two of humankind’s most ancient endeavors, have long had a close relationship. Historians and social scientists have written about this relationship and about how the two may influence each other.

This chapter presents a broad overview of scholarly research into the ways religion can affect educational achievement. It is not an exhaustive survey of the academic literature, but instead a brief summary of some explanations proposed to account for attainment differences among religious groups. Religion is certainly not the only reason for this variance; many other factors may play an equal or greater role, including economic, geographic, cultural factors and political conditions within a country or region.

The chapter begins with an historical look at ways in which scholars suggest that various religions have influenced education, especially the spread of literacy among laypeople. This section also explores how historical patterns sometimes help explain contemporary patterns in educational attainment. Next, this chapter considers hypotheses about how the cultural norms and doctrines of a religious group may affect educational attainment. It concludes with a look at some leading theories for the stark differences in educational attainment between Christians and Muslims living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Looking to the past

Contemporary access to schooling — a solid pathway to educational attainment — depends on a country’s educational infrastructure. In many instances, the foundations of that infrastructure are based on facilities originally built by religious leaders and organizations to promote learning and spread the faith.

In India, the most learned men (and sometimes women) of ancient times were residents of Buddhist and Hindu monasteries. In the Middle East and Europe, Christian monks built libraries and, in the days before printing presses, preserved important earlier writings produced in Latin, Greek and Arabic. In many cases, these religious monasteries evolved into universities.

Other universities, particularly in the United States and Europe, were built by Christian denominations to educate their clergy and lay followers. Most of these institutions have since become secular in orientation, but their presence may help explain why populations in the U.S. and Europe are highly educated.

Apart from their roles in creating educational infrastructure, religious groups were foundational in fostering societal attitudes toward education.


There is considerable debate among scholars over the degree to which Islam has encouraged or discouraged secular education over the centuries. Some experts note that the first word of the Quran as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad is “Iqra!” which means “Read!” or “Recite!”; they say Muslims are urged to pursue knowledge in order to better understand God’s revealed word. Early Muslims made innovative intellectual contributions in such fields as mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, medicine and poetry. They established schools, often at mosques, known as katatib and madrasas. Islamic rulers built libraries and educational complexes, such as Baghdad’s House of Wisdom and Cairo’s Al­Azhar University, to nurture advanced scholarship. Under Muslim rule, southern Spain was a center of higher learning, producing such figures as the renowned Muslim philosopher Averroes.

But other scholars contend that these educational attainments, and the regard that Muslims had for intellectual inquiry in realms outside religion, were gradually attenuated by a complex mix of social and political events over several centuries. These events included foreign invasions, first by the Mongols, who destroyed the House of Wisdom in 1258, and then by Christians, who pushed Muslims out of Spain in 1492. Some scholars argue that the educational decline began earlier, in the 11th and 12th centuries, and was rooted in institutional changes. In particular, contends Harvard University Associate Professor of Economics Eric Chaney, the decline was caused by an increase in the political power of religious leaders who prioritized Islamic religious learning over scientific education. Their growing influence helped bring about a crucial shift in the Islamic approach to learning: It became dominated by the idea that divine revelation is superior to other types of knowledge, and that religious education should consist of learning only what Islamic scholars had said and written in the past.

In the view of some historians, this shift severely constricted intellectual inquiry in the Muslim world as the natural sciences, critical questioning and art were downplayed. Education became primarily the study of established, traditional religious and legal canons. This change also tightened religious scholars’ control over the education of Muslims in Africa and the Middle East — a hold that was not broken until colonial governments and Christian missionaries introduced Western-style educational institutions.

Some scholars argue that the decline in secular learning and the narrowing of intellectual inquiry among Muslims have been exaggerated, or did not take place. Columbia University history professor George Saliba writes: “In particular, the decline of Islamic science, which was supposed to have been caused by the religious environment … does not seem to have taken place in reality. On the contrary, if we only look at the surviving scientific documents, we can clearly delineate a very flourishing activity in almost every scientific discipline” after the 12th century.

Nowadays, Islamic religious leaders and religious schools still have great influence on education in some Muslim-majority countries, but they compete with government and private schools offering secular topics.


In the view of some scholars, the 16th-century Protestant Reformation was a driving force for public education in Europe. Protestant reformers promoted literacy because of their contention that everyone needed to read the Bible, which they viewed as the essential authority on doctrinal matters. Driven by this theological conviction, religious leaders urged the building of schools and the translation of the Bible into local languages — and Reformation leader Martin Luther set the example by translating the Bible into German.

Some scholars, however, argue that the “Second Reformation” of the German Pietist movement in the 17th and 18th centuries was even more influential in promoting literacy. Historians Richard L. Gawthrop of Franklin College and the late Gerald Strauss of Indiana University note that in addition to stressing the need for personal Bible reading, the Pietists persuaded German authorities to mandate Bible reading as “the chief instrument of religious instruction in primary schools, [which was] a powerful impetus to the spread of mass literacy.”

In more recent times, religion was a prime motivator in establishing U.S. schools run by faith groups — including Quakers, Protestants and Catholics — that educated generations of immigrant families.

Historically, however, Christianity and science often have come into conflict with each other, as illustrated by the 17th century clash between astronomer Galileo Galilei and the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the condemnation by prominent religious leaders of Charles Darwin’s 1859 theory of human evolution. The Scopes Monkey trial in 1925 further highlighted the rift between science and some branches of Christianity over the theory of evolution, a contentious relationship that endures even today.

In sub-Saharan Africa, meanwhile, scholars describe how religious missionaries during colonial times were the prime movers in constructing educational facilities and influencing local attitudes toward education. These missionary activities, the scholars conclude, have had a long-lasting positive impact on access to schooling and educational attainment levels in the region.

Research by Baylor University sociologist Robert D. Woodberry, for instance, suggests that Protestant missionaries in Africa “had a unique role in spreading mass education” because of the importance they placed on ordinary people’s ability to read scripture. As a result, they established schools to promote literacy wherever they went and translated the Bible into indigenous languages.

Harvard University economics professor Nathan Nunn, who contends that education was “the main reward used by missionaries to lure Africans into the Christian sphere,” says that in addition to establishing schools, “missionaries may have altered people’s views about the importance of education.”

Woodberry and Nunn conclude, however, that Protestant and Catholic missionaries had differing results. Except where they were in direct competition with Protestant missionaries, Catholic missionaries concentrated on educating African elites rather than the masses, Woodberry observes. And Nunn notes that Protestant missionaries placed greater stress than Catholics on educating women. As a result, Protestants had more long-term impact on the education of sub-Saharan African women.

6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019


Scholars of Buddhism note that Siddhartha Gautama, the religion’s founder, often is called “teacher” because of his emphasis on “the miracle of instruction.” He considered learning essential for attaining the Buddhist goal of enlightenment.

“In many ways, Buddhism is particularly dedicated to education because unlike many other religions it contends that a human being can attain his or her own enlightenment (‘salvation’) without divine intervention,” writes Stephen T. Asma, a professor of philosophy at Columbia College Chicago.

Buddhism is “also extremely empirical in its approach, suggesting that followers try the experiment of dharma (i.e., Buddha’s Four Noble Truths) for themselves to see if it improves their inner freedom,” Asma notes, adding: “Because the philosophy of Buddhism takes this pragmatic approach favoring education and experiment, Buddhism has little to no formal disagreement with science (as evidenced by the Dalai Lama’s ongoing collaboration with neuroscientists).”

This theoretical openness to scientific knowledge, however, did not always play out at the practical level within Buddhist communities, Asma contends. “Powerful Buddhist monasteries, especially in China and Tibet, frequently resisted modernization (including science) for fear of foreign influence and threats to entrenched Buddhist power structures,” he writes.

Despite this tension between theory and practice, Buddhism has been a major influence on the educational systems of many places, especially India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Tibet. From around the fifth century onward, Buddhist monasteries emerged as centers of education, not just for monks but also for laymen. Several monasteries became so large and complex that they are considered prototypes of today’s universities. In India, the most famous of these educational centers — Nalanda, in what is now Bihar state — is said to have had 10,000 students from many different countries, and offered courses in what then constituted philosophy, politics, economics, law, agriculture, astronomy, medicine and literature.

In Thailand, monastic schools located in Buddhist temples were the main source of education for male children for many centuries, though they offered primarily religious education. When the Thai government introduced Western-style, secular education around the beginning of the 20th century, it used monastic schools as the vehicle for reaching the wider population. As of the 1970s, “almost 50 per cent of Thailand’s primary schools [were] still situated in Buddhist monasteries.” Similarly, in Japan the Buddhist monastic education tradition was so influential that one 19th-century scholar of Japan wrote that “Buddhism was the teacher under whose instruction the nation grew up.”


For Hindus, education vanquishes a fundamental source of human suffering, which is ignorance, says Anantanand Rambachan, a professor of religion at St. Olaf College. As a result, education has been highly valued in Hinduism since the religion’s inception in ancient times. Hindu scriptures urge adherents to seek knowledge through dialogue and questioning, and to respect their teachers. “Learning is the foundational stage in the Hindu scheme of what constitutes a good and a meaningful life,” Rambachan says. Since ignorance is regarded as a source of human suffering, he adds, “the solution to the problem of ignorance is knowledge or learning.”

The Hindu esteem for education is reflected in different ways. To start with, the most authoritative Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, a word that comes from the Sanskrit root word vd, which means knowledge, Rambachan says.

University of Florida religion professor Vasudha Narayanan says Hindus regard two types of knowledge as necessary and worthwhile. The first, vidya, is everyday knowledge that equips one to earn a decent and dignified life. The second, jnana, is knowledge or wisdom that brings awareness of the divine. This is achieved by reading and meditating on Hindu scriptures.

Historically, the caste system in India was a huge barrier to the spread of mass literacy and education. Formal education was reserved for elite populations. But in the seventh and eighth centuries, the vernacular language of Tamil began to be used for religious devotion in southern India, which led to greater access to all kinds of knowledge for a wider group of people. “That is when you start having men and women of different castes composing poems of praise for God, poems that are still recited in temple liturgy today,” Narayanan says.

Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, both secular and religious education came to be seen by Hindus as a universal right, and it gradually began to be extended to all members of the faith. Still, today, the vast majority of Hindus (98%) live in developing countries – mainly India, Nepal and Bangladesh – that have struggled to raise educational standards in the face of widespread poverty and expanding populations, which helps explain why Hindus have relatively low educational attainment compared with other major religious groups.

6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019

Q.2 Philosophical foundation of realism is very similar to naturalism. Discuss how these are similar and how these are different from each other?

Contemporary philosophy of mind is an important source of psychological insight that is frequently ignored by psychologists in their research deliberations. Conversely, scientific theories and methods are resources that many philosophers of mind deem irrelevant to their philosophical work. However, there is a well-established outlook in contemporary philosophy known as naturalism, which asserts that philosophy is continuous with science and which attempts to formulate and evaluate philosophical theories by using the research findings and investigative means of the various sciences. Naturalism, in all its variety, is probably the reigning outlook in contemporary philosophy, and it is especially popular in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind. In their informative and innovative target article, Kievit and colleagues (this issue) profitably combine resources from the philosophy of mind, scientific methodology, and empirical science to demonstrate that two prominent theories of the mind–body relation—the identity theory and the supervenience

theory—can be articulated and tested using structural equation modeling methods. Kievit et al. are concerned to move these two speculative theories from their customary position of metaphysical isolation in philosophy into the realm of cognitive neuroscience. In doing so, the authors have two main goals. The first is to demonstrate how two well-known theories in the philosophy of mind can be made scientific by testing them empirically. As such, this part of their project can be regarded as a contribution to naturalized philosophy of mind. The authors’ second goal is to show how the statistical methods of structural equation modeling can be employed in cognitive neuroscience to illuminate the relation between psychological and neurological properties. In the course of pursuing these goals, Kievit et al. have instructive things to say about the relation between philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience, and about the construction of theories and the use of scientific methods. Written by authors who combine philosophical, psychometric, and substantive psychological expertise, the target article is a testament to the idea that the disciplines of philosophy and psychology can be profitably conjoined. In this commentary, I focus on matters that arise from the authors’ pursuit of their first goal—the naturalization of philosophy of mind—by considering a number of ways in which philosophy and scientific psychology might be brought together to their mutual advantage. My focus for the most part is on methods of inquiry. I begin with a big picture consideration by briefly discussing the philosophies of empiricism and scientific realism and their attitudes to naturalized philosophy. I then comment on Jagewon Kim and David Lewis’s views of naturalism in the philosophy of mind and consider their relation to the naturalism of the target article. Thereafter, I comment specifically on some limitations of structural equation modeling, the method of choice in the target article, and the useful but neglected method of inference to the best explanation. After that, I suggest that philosophy and psychology might be encouraged to use each others’ methods to their mutual advantage. Before concluding, I draw attention to the philosophy of normative naturalism. I suggest that it can help psychologists better understand the foundations of behavioral science methodology.

Traditional Empiricism: Philosophy and Science Separated

Given that psychology grew out of philosophy, and has operated as a self-conscious science for more than 100 years, the suggestion that psychology and philosophy should join forces to their mutual advantage will strike some psychologists as unwelcome advice. For psychology is still saddled with the traditional empiricist idea that philosophy and science are different in kind, both in subject matter and in method. Many of its practitioners think that philosophy is a discipline with its own unique problems and investigative styles based on a priori armchair reflection, whereas psychology is regarded as a science whose substantive claims are founded a posteriori on empirical evidence. Consistent with this understanding of the differences between the two disciplines, the philosophy of standard empiricism is taken to be a privileged and unrevisable philosophy of science. It is deemed to exist prior to, and apart from, science and provide a foundation of certain, or near certain, knowledge about science. As an autonomous and insular discipline, this philosophy has not looked to learn systematically from the various sciences.1 Consistent with this empiricist outlook, philosophy is viewed by a majority of psychologists as a dispensable luxury that has little, if anything, to do with their workaday world as scientists. Because of this attitude

to philosophy, I think it will come as both a surprise and a puzzle to many readers that the authors of the target article are intent on evaluating the scientific worth of philosophical theories.

Naturalistic Realism: Philosophy and Science Conjoined

It is well known in philosophical circles that orthodox empiricism is an outmoded philosophy of science and that its conception of philosophy is difficult to defend. Scientific realism is the major alternative to empiricist philosophy of science. One attractive form of this philosophy, naturalistic realism (Hooker, 1987), is so called because it is a realist theory of science based on naturalism. According to this theory, scientific reasoning, including theorizing, is a natural phenomenon that takes its place in the world along with other natural phenomena. Further, philosophy and science comprise a mutually interacting and interconnected whole. As a philosophical theory about science, naturalistic realism has no privileged status and may be revised in the light of scientific knowledge. Similarly, the naturalistic realist foresees that philosophical conclusions, tempered by scientific knowledge, may force changes in science itself. According to one influential view of naturalism, philosophy and science are interdependent. This interdependence takes the form of mutual containment (cf. Quine, 1969), though the containment is different for each. Philosophy is contained by science, being located within science as an abstract, critical endeavour that is informed by science. Science is contained by philosophy because the latter, amongst other things, provides a normative framework for the guidance of science. Naturalistic realism maintains that philosophy of science is that part of science concerned with the critical in-depth examination of science in respect of its presuppositions, aims, methods, theories, and institutions. Philosophy of science naturalized is in a sense science applied to itself: It employs the methods of science to study science; it is, where appropriate, constrained by the findings of science; and it is itself a substantive theory of science. As such, naturalized philosophy of science is at once descriptive, explanatory, advisory, integrative, and reflective of science. Being positioned within science, naturalistic philosophy is well placed to study science, learn from science, and instruct science. The proponents of naturalized philosophy of science are many and varied (Rosenberg, 1996). Prominent among them are Richard Boyd, Clifford Hooker, Ronald Giere, Larry Laudan, and Philip Kitcher. Not all of these philosophers are scientific realists (and not all scientific realists are naturalists), which raises the question, Why is it advantageous to combine scientific realism and naturalism in a philosophy of naturalistic realism? One reason is that naturalism is the best methodology we have available to us; it gives us our best methods and encourages us to constrain our theorizing in light of reliable scientific knowledge. A further reason is that its principled commitment to both antianthropocentrism and fallibilism affords us a realistic defence of realism, one that is true to our makeup as cognizers. Finally, by embracing naturalism, realism becomes an integrated whole that affords us the best explanatory theory of the cognitive dynamics of science (cf. Hooker, 1987). I briefly remark on the explanatory worth of scientific realism later. What of realism regarding the mental? I think it is evident that we have good reason to be realists about mentality in both philosophy of mind and scientific psychology. Realism in the philosophy of mind has all the characteristics of philosophy of science operating in the domain of the mind. In both scientific and (lay) folk psychology, the explanatory and predictive achievements of our theories about the mental, modest though they often are, are sufficient to warrant a realist outlook (cf. Fletcher, 1995).

Naturalism and Scientific Method Structural Equation Modeling

By using structural equation modeling methods to evaluate the identity and supervenience theories, Kievit et al. adopt the hypothetico-deductive method of theory appraisal. The hypothetico-deductive method, which has long been the method of choice for the evaluation of psychological theories, is commonly characterized in minimalist terms: The researcher takes an existing hypothesis or theory and submits it to indirect test by deriving from it one or more observational predictions that are themselves directly tested. Predictions borne out by the data are taken to confirm the theory to some extent; those that do not square with the data count as disconfirming instances of the theory. One feature of Kievit et al.’s research, which makes the hypothetico-deductive method fit for their purpose, is that it takes the two theories it tests as givens, irrespective of their origin. In using the hypothetic deductive method, it matters not that the identity and supereminence theories of the mind/body relation were formulated in philosophers’ armchairs. All that matters is that they are stated in propositional form and can, with suitable specification, be made amenable to empirical testing. It is a feature of structural equation modeling that it uses goodness-of-fit measures as a basis for judging the acceptability of the models it tests. Leaving aside difficulties in determining the corroborative value of these measures,6 it should be emphasized that goodness-offit is a criterion of empirical adequacy (Rodgers & Rowe, 2007) that by itself provides insufficient grounds for assessing the credibility of competing models. This limitation is a special case of the problem known as the underdetermination of theories by data (better, empirical evidence), and an attractive solution to this problem is to supplement measures of empirical adequacy by appealing to the so-called superempirical or theoretical virtues such as explanatory power, fertility, and simplicity (cf. McMullin, 1983). Although the use of criteria such as these do not “close the gap” between theory and empirical evidence, they do reduce it, thereby enabling the researcher to manage this particular underdetermination problem. Inference to the Best Explanation As just noted, the orthodox hypothetico-deductve method takes predictive accuracy as the sole criterion of theory goodness. However, when explanatory criteria are invoked, a quite different approach to theory appraisal is employed—an approach known as inference to the best explanation (Haig, 2009; Lipton, 2004; Thagard, 1992). I think that this alternative perspective on theory appraisal could be used with profit to evaluate metaphysical theories like those considered in the target article. With inference to the best explanation, the ideas of explanation and evidence come together, and explanatory reasoning becomes the basis for evaluating theories: The explanatory goodness of theories counts in their favour; conversely, the explanatory failings of theories detract from their credibility. According to Thagard (1992), inference to the best explanation is essentially a matter of establishing relations of explanatory coherence between propositions within a theory. On this account of inference to the best explanation, to infer that a theory is the best explanation is to judge it as more explanatorily coherent

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6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019

Q.3 Educational Perennialism falls under which philosophy? What kind of curriculum would a perennial society will follow?

Answer: Perennialism

“The purpose of the university is nothing less than to procure a moral, intellectual, and spiritual revolution throughout the world” — Robert Hutchins

Perennialism is a teacher-centered educational philosophy that focuses on everlasting ideas and universal truths. To clarify, Perennialism suggests that the focus of education should be the ideas that have lasted for centuries believing the ideas are as relevant and meaningful today as when they were written. This educational philosophy aims to prepare students for life by developing their intellectual and moral qualities through emphasizing knowledge and the meaning of knowledge, servings to enhance student’s critical thinking skills in their search for individual freedoms, human rights and responsibilities through nature.

Educational Leaders

  • Mortimer Adler
  • Jacques Maritain
  • Robert Hutchins
    Perennialism in Education

The aim of Perennialism in Education is to develop power of thought, internalize truths that are universal and constant and to ensure that students acquire understanding about the great ideas of Western civilization. This is the most conservative, traditional, and flexible philosophy. Perennailism stimulate students in how to think critically and thoughtfully; cultivating the rational mind.

Role of Teacher — perennailism is a teacher- centered philosophy, in which the teacher is less concerned with student interest and more concerned with transferring knowledge from older generations to younger generations. The teacher will focus on the importance of reading and will often use the underlying reading lessons to make a moral point. Teachers use history, religion, literature, and the laws of science to reinforce universal ideas that have the potential to solve any problem in any era.

Curriculum and Methods — Perennialism is the classroom is focused on the curriculum and nature need. Curriculum will focus on attaining cultural literacy, stressing students’ growth in enduring disciplines. They stress learning through reading and analyzing the works by history’s finest thinkers and writers. Perennialists believe that reading is to be supplemented with mutual investigations with teacher and minimally directed discussions through the Socratic method in order to develop historically oriented understanding of concepts. Less emphasis on vocational and technical education and more on the humanities.

Educational perennialism also infrequently referred to as Universal Curriculum is a normative educational philosophy. Perennialists believe that one should teach the things that are of everlasting pertinence to all people everywhere, and that the emphasis should be on principles, not facts. Since people are human, one should teach first about humans, rather than machines or techniques, and about liberal, rather than vocational, topics.

Although perennialism may appear similar to essentialism, perennialism focuses first on personal development, while essentialism focuses first on essential skills. Essentialist curricula thus tend to be much more vocational and fact-based, and far less liberal and principle-based. Both philosophies are typically considered to be teacher-centered, as opposed to student-centered philosophies of education such as progressivism. However, since the teachers associated with perennialism are in a sense the authors of the Western masterpieces themselves, these teachers may be open to student criticism through the associated Socratic method, which, if carried out as true dialogue, involves a balance between teacher activity and student activity, with the teacher promoting discussion.

Secular perennialism

The word perennial in secular perennialism suggests something that lasts an indefinitely long time, recurs again and again, or is self-renewing. As promoted primarily by Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler, a universal curriculum based upon the common and essential nature of all human beings is recommended. This form of perennialism comprises the humanist and scientific traditions. Hutchins and Adler implemented these ideas with great success at the University of Chicago, where they still strongly influence the curriculum in the form of the undergraduate Common Core. Other notable figures in the movement include Stringfellow Barr and Scott Buchanan (who together initiated the Great Books program at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland), Mark Van Doren, Alexander Meiklejohn, and Sir Richard Livingstone, an English classicist with an American following.

Secular perennialists espouse the idea that education should focus on the historical development of a continually developing common oriented base of human knowledge and art, the timeless value of classic thought on central human issues by landmark thinkers, and revolutionary ideas critical to historical paradigm shifts or changes in world view. A program of studies which is highly general, nonspecialized, and nonvocational is advocated. They firmly believe that exposure of all citizens to the development of thought by those most responsible for the evolution of the occidental oriented tradition is integral to the survival of the freedoms, human rights and responsibilities inherent to a true Democracy.

Adler states:

… our political democracy depends upon the reconstitution of our schools. Our schools are not turning out young people prepared for the high office and the duties of citizenship in a democratic republic. Our political institutions cannot thrive, they may not even survive, if we do not produce a greater number of thinking citizens, from whom some statesmen of the type we had in the 18th century might eventually emerge. We are, indeed, a nation at risk, and nothing but radical reform of our schools can save us from impending disaster… Whatever the price… the price we will pay for not doing it will be much greater.

Hutchins writes in the same vein:

The business of saying … that people are not capable of achieving a good education is too strongly reminiscent of the opposition of every extension of democracy. This opposition has always rested on the allegation that the people were incapable of exercising the power they demanded. Always the historic statement has been verified: you cannot expect the slave to show the virtues of the free man unless you first set him free. When the slave has been set free, he has, in the passage of time, become indistinguishable from those who have always been free … There appears to be an innate human tendency to underestimate the capacity of those who do not belong to “our” group. Those who do not share our background cannot have our ability. Foreigners, people who are in a different economic status, and the young seem invariably to be regarded as intellectually backward …

As with the essentialists, perennialists are educationally conservative in the requirement of a curriculum focused upon fundamental subject areas, but stress that the overall aim should be exposure to history’s finest thinkers as models for discovery. The student should be taught such basic subjects as English, languages, history, mathematics, natural science, philosophy, and fine arts. Adler states: The three R’s, which always signified the formal disciplines, are the essence of liberal or general education.”

Secular perennialists agree with progressivists that memorization of vast amounts of factual information and a focus on second-hand information in textbooks and lectures does not develop rational thought. They advocate learning through the development of meaningful conceptual thinking and judgement by means of a directed reading list of the profound, aesthetic, and meaningful great books of the Western canon. These books, secular perennialists argue, are written by the world’s finest thinkers, and cumulatively comprise the “Great Conversation” of humanity with regard to the central human questions. Their basic argument for the use of original works (abridged translations being acceptable as well) is that these are the products of “genius”. Hutchins remarks:

Great books are great teachers; they are showing us every day what ordinary people are
capable of. These books come out of ignorant, inquiring humanity. They are usually the first
announcements for success in learning. Most of them were written for, and addressed to,

6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019

Q.4 Discuss four educational philosophies. Which philosophy of education is currently implemented in Pakistan. Do you think current philosophy is suitable if implemented correctly?


Within the epistemological frame that focuses on the nature of knowledge and how we come to know, there are four major educational philosophies, each related to one or more of the general or world philosophies just discussed. These educational philosophical approaches are currently used in classrooms the world over. They are Perennialism, Essentialism, Progressivism, and Reconstructionism. These educational philosophies focus heavily on WHAT we should teach, the curriculum aspect.

For Perennialists, the aim of education is to ensure that students acquire understandings about the great ideas of Western civilization. These ideas have the potential for solving problems in any era. The focus is to teach ideas that are everlasting, to seek enduring truths which are constant, not changing, as the natural and human worlds at their most essential level, do not change. Teaching these unchanging principles is critical. Humans are rational beings, and their minds need to be developed. Thus, cultivation of the intellect is the highest priority in a worthwhile education. The demanding curriculum focuses on attaining cultural literacy, stressing students’ growth in enduring disciplines. The loftiest accomplishments of humankind are emphasized— the great works of literature and art, the laws or principles of science. Advocates of this educational philosophy are Robert Maynard Hutchins who developed a Great Books program in 1963 and Mortimer Adler, who further developed this curriculum based on 100 great books of western civilization.


Essentialists believe that there is a common core of knowledge that needs to be transmitted to students in a systematic, disciplined way. The emphasis in this conservative perspective is on intellectual and moral standards that schools should teach. The core of the curriculum is essential knowledge and skills and academic rigor. Although this educational philosophy is similar in some ways to Perennialism, Essentialists accept the idea that this core curriculum may change. Schooling should be practical, preparing students to become valuable members of society. It should focus on facts-the objective reality out there–and the basics,” training students to read, write, speak, and compute clearly and logically. Schools should not try to set or influence policies. Students should be taught hard work, respect for authority, and discipline. Teachers are to help students keep their non-productive instincts in check, such as aggression or mindlessness. This approach was in reaction to progressivist approaches prevalent in the 1920s and 30s. William Bagley, took progressivist approaches to task in the journal he formed in 1934. Other proponents of Essentialism are: James D. Koerner (1959), H. G. Rickover (1959), Paul Copperman (1978), and Theodore Sizer (1985).


Progressivists believe that education should focus on the whole child, rather than on the content or the teacher. This educational philosophy stresses that students should test ideas by active experimentation. Learning is rooted in the questions of learners that arise through experiencing the world. It is active, not passive. The learner is a problem solver and thinker who makes meaning through his or her individual experience in the physical and cultural context. Effective teachers provide experiences so that students can learn by doing. Curriculum content is derived from student interests and questions. The scientific method is used by progressivist educators so that students can study matter and events systematically and first hand. The emphasis is on process-how one comes to know. The Progressive education philosophy was established in America from the mid 1920s through the mid 1950s. John Dewey was its foremost proponent. One of his tenets was that the school should improve the way of life of our citizens through experiencing freedom and democracy in schools. Shared decision making, planning of teachers with students, student-selected topics are all aspects. Books are tools, rather than authority.

Reconstructionism/Critical Theory

Social reconstructionism is a philosophy that emphasizes the addressing of social questions and a quest to create a better society and worldwide democracy. Reconstructionist educators focus on a curriculum that highlights social reform as the aim of education. Theodore Brameld (1904-1987) was the founder of social reconstructionism, in reaction against the realities of World War II. He recognized the potential for either human annihilation through technology and human cruelty or the capacity to create a beneficent society using technology and human compassion. George Counts (1889-1974) recognized that education was the means of preparing people for creating this new social order.

Critical theorists, like social reconstructionists, believe that systems must be changed to overcome oppression and improve human conditions. Paulo Freire (1921-1997) was a Brazilian whose experiences living in poverty led him to champion education and literacy as the vehicle for social change. In his view, humans must learn to resist oppression and not become its victims, nor oppress others. To do so requires dialog and critical consciousness, the development of awareness to overcome domination and oppression. Rather than “teaching as banking,” in which the educator deposits information into students’ heads, Freire saw teaching and learning as a process of inquiry in which the child must invent and reinvent the world.

For social reconstructionists and critical theorists, curriculum focuses on student experience and taking social action on real problems, such as violence, hunger, international terrorism, inflation, and inequality. Strategies for dealing with controversial issues (particularly in social studies and literature), inquiry, dialogue, and multiple perspectives are the focus. Community-based learning and bringing the world into the classroom are also strategies.

The main components of an educational system are the curriculum, the methods of instruction and behavior. As you answer the quiz, you would notice your preference for one description over the other. By this time, you sort of know what works best for you.

Let’s identify the four main world philosophies and their educational nature:

  1. Idealism believes that the world of mind, ideas and reasons are primary. Mind over matter.

Metaphysics: Their preferred subjects would include those that survived the test of time and combine the symbols and ideas of literature, history, mathematics and sciences of the physical world.

Epistemology: Aim to master a subject which was prescribed to them, usually through personal hard effort, or when taught as a demonstration.

Axiology: They learn by grasping ideas and concepts in order to know the truth, and when they do this, they tend to lean on fundamental knowledge related to the outside world.

  • Realism feels that the universe exists whether the mind perceives it or not. Reality for them is composed of matter (BODY) and form (MIND).

Metaphysics: Their desired curriculum concentrates them on subject matters like English, languages, history, mathematics, natural sciences, fine arts and also philosophy.

6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019

Epistemology: They value intellect thus they are the ones that prefer great books, lectures, and discussions as teaching methods.

Axiology: Like idealism, their objective is to know the truth but this is through using their senses and leaning on natural laws.

Pragmatism values experience through experimentation, especially testing if a certain technique works. For them, reality is relative and considered an event whose meaning depends to how they experience it.

Metaphysics: Their curriculum concentrates on problem-solving activities in the social studies, empirical sciences and vocational technology.

Epistemology: Pragmatics love to arrived to a conclusion by inquiry, testing and questioning and re-testing again. All these, they believe, can be achieved by doing guided projects.

Axiology: They love to do things with practical use. Therefore, they see education as a way to grow and it should vary according to the unique needs of an individual. They prefer a cooperative environment rather than a competitive one.

Existentialism focuses on personal and subjective existence. Reality for them is also relative but they find no purpose or meaning to the universe. They just exist as they are, and they believe that truth is subjective.

“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Such is the first principle of existentialism.” — Jean Paul Sartre

Metaphysics: As liberals, they choose which principles to follow and not. Their curriculum concentrates them to humanities, history, literature, philosophy and art.

Epistemology: Socratic dialogue is their way of learning.

Axiology: Education is a choice. The learner is a unique, free choosing and responsible creature made up of intellect and emotion. It’s like they are some form of art — they love to be creative and wouldn’t care if they don’t follow the public norm. Education, for them, should develop the uniqueness of a student, a journal toward self-realization.

6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019

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6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019

Q.5 “Schools are part of society not apart from it” What do you understand from this statement? How socioeconomic conditions of a country does dictates its educational initiatives?


“Are we better prepared for living as adults in society if we have learned how to be part of a community? Yes, I believe we are much better prepared for society if we learn to be part of a community. Being part of a community requires you to work together even if you don’t particularly like your neighbors or agree with them. In class on Wed our group had a discussion about if Dewey would actually have due dates. One member felt that there would not be due dates but some of us thought that there would have to be due dates or completion dates. This lead us to a discussion about working together. When you are working as a group one of the things you quickly realize is that each member is valuable and you must complete your part for others to continue their own work, Take the early example of the play. There would be a performance, so that would be the final due date. all of the scenery, costumes, props etc must be completed in order for the production to be presented. In order to include the community you would need to let them know of a date to come to the performance. Would the students be responsible for setting the date. I believe that in Dewey’s system they would definitely have input along with the teacher. I believe that all of these factors make you a better member of society.

I think that this is a good example of the school functioning as a community. This example shows the entire class and school working together towards a common goal -­- they are working to accomplish something important. I think that is the importance of a community, or at least a good and decent community. If everyone’s thinking was solely individualistic, then not much would be accomplished to proceed on into the future. The world would fall apart without the cooperation of everyone working together.

Classroom environments need to make the students feel welcome to share their ideas. This should not stop at the arrangement of the desks. Dewey was meaning a little more than comfort of the students. Dewey wanted the environment of the classroom to promote peer interactions and the stimulations students get from group work. If the desks are arranged in rows, it is very military feeling. Now if students are arranged in groups, then the idea of peer interactions can take place.

Also, students should be able to move around the classroom. This is mainly for younger students, but they should be able to have room to sit on the floors for group discussions.

Peer interactions are a strong part in learning. The number one way that students learn is from peer interactions. Students can help each other. Some people may think they are cheating, but it is only cheating if a student is merely copying the paper. If there is some discussion, whether they are arguing over the correct answer or one student is explaining to another, then peer interaction is working not cheating.

The other problem with this is students may misbehave in groups. Students misbehave because they are bored. If the teacher has the students engaged in explorations, they should be too busy to misbehave.

“A society is a number of people held together because they are working along common lines, in a common spirit, and with reference to common aims” (Dewey, p.14) Dewey thought that, not only should a school teach children how to be a part of the community, but it should also be a society itself. The best example I have seen of this is the private school I went to from 1st-8th grade. We got a great education, but we were also a kind of little family. We had to all work together to raise money to keep the school open. Classes volunteered to do things for the community (i.e. collecting food for the poor, singing or making cards for people at the nursing home). Also, the students worked together to keep the school clean. Some would volunteer to clean up the grounds. Eighth graders could volunteer to be on the cleaning crew. The cleaning crew got in groups of 4 or 5 and would go in a rotation, each group staying after school and cleaning for a week whenever it was their turn. Parents got involved in school repairs by offering their services and donating

tools and equipment from their various businesses. Also, students were given the opportunity to decide what they wanted to do and learn. We had extra classes (i.e. Spanish and chorus) that were optional. Plus, we did not try out for sports, so anyone could play whatever they wanted. All of these things built a great sense of community. We learned a lot, both inside books and out. We also learned to be responsible. Students treat their school a lot differently when they are the ones taking care of it. Since we knew that either we or some of our peers had to clean up after us, we respected the school property. Also, since we were the ones that kept our school running, we worked hard at whatever we did, whether it was academics or athletics. There was no point in working so hard to keep a school running and keep it looking nice if we weren’t going get something out of it. This sense of responsibility was carried with us whenever we left the school. There is still a part of me that cringes when I see that someone has defaced property in some way. They obviously don’t know what it costs!.

6411 AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Autumn 2019


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